Do HEPA Filters Function with Your HVAC System?

If you’re thinking about the indoor air quality in your Edmonton house, HEPA filters are a easy method to purify the air your household breathes.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold measure for air filtration. These filters are frequently in use in medical settings, as they filter at least 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. These filters can remove microscopic substances from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.

On account of their outstanding filtration efficiency, HEPA filters are deep and can lower airflow in some home comfort units. It’s essential to talk to a heating and cooling professional like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning prior to installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s review whether or not you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA furnace filters were originally made to protect scientists from radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters use very thin mesh that traps many pollutants. In modern times, these filters are frequently installed in medical centers, science labs and even houses.

If you attempted to use a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d more than likely have problems getting enough air from your vents. This is since your furnace’s blower motor isn’t made to work with such a dense filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Handle?

Filters are classified by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the number, the greater the filter is at trapping small particles.

Here’s how standard household filters stack up:

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

Better ratings, like MERV 14-20, are used in commercial and medical centers. A HEPA filter commonly ranks at MERV 17-20.

Normally, the highest rating you can safely have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we suggest checking with a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning beforehand to prevent damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residential settings are frequently part of an independent whole-home air filtration system. This system is secured inside your ductwork and works in partnership with your HVAC system.

To improve filtration power, some types of these systems have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to reliably destroy certain viruses in residences under specific airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can get rid of most strong odors, including cooking odors or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are a couple of different styles that operate alongside your HVAC equipment—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system provides the greatest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for particles 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 residual particles and carbon filter for odors.

Air purification systems are usually the total package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner is only the filter and may offer carbon filtration upgrades.

Some of these systems are designed to work with distinct brands, while others work with all brands. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you decide what will provide you the best results for your home.

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

  • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Captures particles, bioaerosols and scents
  • Provides filtration for your whole home, not only a single room
  • Doesn’t make ozone, which might result in respiratory inflammation
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you want to enhance 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 household’s comfort is important to us, so we’ll work as a team to help you choose the right solution for your needs. Contact us at 587-404-0790 today to get your appointment.

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