Are HEPA Filters OK for Your HVAC System?

If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality in your Miami residence, HEPA filters are a easy method to improve the air your loved ones breathe.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the top standard for air filtration. These filters are frequently installed in medical centers, as they remove at minimum 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can remove microscopic pollutants from the air like mold, dust and pet dander.

Due to their outstanding filtration performance, HEPA filters are thick and may lower airflow in some home comfort units. It’s critical to talk to a heating and cooling professional like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning prior to installing one to prevent damage to your furnace. So, let’s discuss whether you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA filters were initially designed to safeguard scientists against radiation as they created the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters use fine mesh that catches the majority of pollutants. Now, these filters are frequently installed in medical centers, science labs and even houses.

If you tried to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d possibly have issues 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.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Use?

Filters are graded by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the number, the greater the filter is at capturing small substances.

Here’s how common household filters rank:

  • Flat filters—MERV 5. Captures pollen and dust mites.
  • Pleated filters—MERV 8. Traps pollen, dust mites and mold.
  • Box filters—MERV 13. Captures pollen, dust mites, mold and specific fumes.

Greater ratings, ranging from MERV 14-20, are installed in commercial and medical centers. A HEPA filter typically ranks at MERV 17-20.

In most cases, the largest rating you can safely have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we suggest consulting with a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning beforehand to avoid damaging your furnace.

HEPA filters in residences are frequently part of an independent whole-home air filtration system. This equipment is secured inside your ductwork and runs with your HVAC system.

To boost filtration power, these systems sometimes include UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to reliably eliminate certain viruses in residences under specific airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can wipe out the majority of strong smells, such as cooking odors or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are a few different styles that operate with your HVAC unit—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system is most effective, with 99.97% efficiency for contaminants as little as .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the remaining contaminants and carbon filter for smells.

Air purification systems are usually the complete package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner is just the filter and might have carbon filtration upgrades.

Some of these systems are created to work with certain brands, while others can be used with all brands. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you figure out what will give you the best results in your situation.

Here are several components to look for when buying a filtration system for your home:

  • Offers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Traps pollutants, bioaerosols and scents
  • Provides filtration for your total home, not merely a single space
  • Doesn’t make ozone, which could result in respiratory inflammation
  • Compatible with smart thermostats

If you want to boost the indoor air quality in your house, the Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to assist you with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your family’s comfort matters to us, so we’ll work with you to help you choose the right solution for your family. Contact us at 305-440-1505 today to request your appointment.

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