If you’re thinking about the indoor air quality in your the U.S. home, HEPA filters are a simple way to improve the air your loved ones breathe.
HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold benchmark for air filtration. These filters are often used in hospitals, as they filter at minimum 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can trap microscopic pollutants from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.
As a result of their powerful filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are deep and may lower airflow in some home comfort systems. It’s crucial to call a heating and cooling professional like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing prior to installing one to prevent damage to your furnace. So, let’s go over if you can use HEPA filters in your HVAC system.
HEPA furnace filters were primarily designed to defend scientists against radiation as they worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from fine mesh that traps most pollutants. Now, these filters are often seen in medical centers, science labs and even homes.
If you attempted to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d more than likely have problems receiving ample air from your vents. This is due to the fact your furnace’s blower motor isn’t designed to work with such a deep filter.
Filters are graded by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the number, the better the filter is at capturing tiny substances.
Here’s how typical household filters stack up:
Greater ratings, such as MERV 14-20, are used in commercial and medical facilities. A HEPA filter typically ranks at MERV 17-20.
In most cases, the highest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we suggest checking with a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing beforehand to keep clear of damage to your furnace.
HEPA filters in residences are commonly used in a separate whole-home air filtration system. This unit is installed within your ductwork and runs with your HVAC system.
To improve filtration power, some models of these systems have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to consistently eliminate some viruses in residences under specific airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can get rid of the majority of offensive odors, including cooking scents or tobacco smoke.
There are a few different options that function in partnership with your HVAC system—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.
A HEPA filtration system delivers the highest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for contaminants down to .3 micron. These filtration systems sometimes have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for big particles, MERV 17 filter for the remaining particles and carbon filter for odors.
Air purification systems are often the full package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner is just the filter and can come with carbon filtration add-ons.
Some of these systems are created to work with certain brands, while others are compatible with all brands. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you determine what will give you the best results for your family.
Here are several components to look for when buying a filtration system for your home:
If you want to improve the indoor air quality in your house, the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to help with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your household’s comfort matters to us, so we’ll work together to help you find the right solution for your home. Contact us at 866-397-3787 today to get your appointment.
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