Can You Add HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System? 

If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality in your the U.S. house, HEPA filters are a simple method to enhance the air your loved ones breathe.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the peak standard for air filtration. These filters are typically in use in medical centers, as they filter at least 99.97% of particles as little as 0.3 microns. These filters can remove microscopic pollutants from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.

Because of their powerful filtration performance, HEPA filters are deep and might restrict airflow in some home comfort units. It’s crucial to contact a heating and cooling professional like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing before installing one to avoid damage to your furnace. So, let’s go over if you can add HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Filter Air?

HEPA furnace filters were initially made to protect scientists from radiation as they created the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters use fine mesh that captures the majority of pollutants. Today, these filters are typically installed in medical facilities, science labs and even houses.

If you tried to install a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d potentially have issues getting adequate air from your vents. This is because your furnace’s blower motor isn’t engineered to work with such a deep filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Use?

Filters are categorized by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The greater the number, the better the filter is at trapping microscopic pollutants.

Here’s how standard household filters are categorized:

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

Better ratings, like MERV 14-20, are installed in commercial and medical settings. A HEPA filter typically ranks at MERV 17-20.

In most cases, the biggest rating you can safely have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend checking with a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing beforehand to prevent damage to your furnace.

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

To boost filtration power, some types of these systems include UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably destroy some viruses in houses under certain airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can wipe out most strong odors, such as cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your House

There are a couple of different solutions that function alongside 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 pollutants as little as .3 micron. These filtration systems sometimes have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for big particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual particles and carbon filter for smells.

Air purification systems are typically the full package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner is just the filter and may come with carbon filtration options.

Some of these systems are compatible with specific 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 home.

Here are a few things to check for when buying a filtration system for your house:

    • Provides hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
    • Filters contaminants, bioaerosols and scents
    • Provides filtration for your whole house, not just a lone room
    • Doesn’t make ozone, which can create respiratory sensitivity

If you’re seeking to increase the indoor air quality in your house, the Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to assist you with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort is our top priority, so we’ll work together to help you discover the best solution for your home. Contact us at 866-397-3787 today to request your appointment.

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