Can You Use HEPA Filters with Your HVAC System? 

If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your Winnipeg home, HEPA filters are a great method to freshen the air your loved ones breathe.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the peak measure for air filtration. These filters are frequently in use in hospitals, as they remove at baseline 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can trap microscopic substances from the air like mold, dust and pet dander.

Due to their outstanding filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are dense and could lower airflow in some home comfort units. It’s crucial to talk to a heating and cooling professional like Winnipeg Supply Service Experts before installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s go over if you can use HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA furnace filters were primarily made to protect scientists from radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from very thin mesh that traps many contaminants. Today, these filters are typically installed in medical facilities, science labs and even houses.

If you attempted to use a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d possibly have trouble having ample air from your vents. This is since your furnace’s blower motor isn’t designed to work with such a thick 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 more effective the filter is at capturing small substances.

Here’s how typical household filters stack up:

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

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

Generally, the largest rating you can safely have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we advise asking a heating and cooling company like Winnipeg Supply Service Experts beforehand to keep clear of damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residences are often used in a stand-alone whole-home air filtration system. This equipment is placed within your ductwork and works alongside your HVAC system.

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

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are a couple of different styles that function with your HVAC system—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system provides the greatest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for pollutants as small as .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a combined filtration process, with a prefilter for big particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual particles and carbon filter for smells.

Air purification systems are often the complete package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner is only the filter and can come with carbon filtration upgrades.

Some of these systems are compatible with distinct brands, while others can be used with all brands. Winnipeg Supply Service Experts can help you figure out what will provide you the best results in your situation.

Here are a couple of features to check for when considering a filtration system for your house:

    • Offers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
    • Traps pollutants, bioaerosols and scents
    • Gives filtration for your complete house, not merely a single area
    • Doesn’t make ozone, which may create respiratory irritation

If you’re seeking to improve the indoor air quality in your home, the Experts at Winnipeg Supply Service Experts are here to assist you with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your family’s comfort is important to us, so we’ll work with you to help you choose the right solution for your needs. Contact us at 204-800-0613 today to book your appointment.

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