Can You Add HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System?

If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality in your Orlando residence, HEPA filters are a effective method to purify the air your household breathes.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the peak standard for air filtration. These filters are frequently used in hospitals, as they filter at least 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. These filters can capture microscopic pollutants from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.

Because of their strong filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and may lower airflow in some home comfort systems. It’s essential to contact a heating and cooling pro like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning prior to installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s review if you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA filters were originally produced to safeguard scientists against radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters use fine mesh that captures most substances. In modern times, these filters are typically seen in medical settings, science labs and even houses.

If you attempted to install a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d probably have issues having ample air from your vents. This is because your furnace’s blower motor isn’t engineered to work with such a dense filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Work With?

Filters are ranked by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The greater the number, the more efficient the filter is at capturing microscopic pollutants.

Here’s how common household filters stack up:

  • Flat filters—MERV 5. Traps 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, such as MERV 14-20, are installed in commercial and medical facilities. A HEPA filter commonly ranks at MERV 17-20.

In most cases, the biggest rating you can safely use in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend consulting with a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning prior to keep clear of damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residential settings are commonly part of an independent whole-home air filtration system. This unit is secured within your ductwork and works in partnership with 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 dependably destroy certain viruses in houses under particular airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can wipe out many offensive odors, including cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your House

There are several different solutions that work alongside your HVAC equipment—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system is most effective, with 99.97% efficiency for pollutants down to .3 micron. These filtration systems sometimes have a combined filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the remaining particles and carbon filter for odors.

Air purification systems are typically the full package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner includes the filter and might come with carbon filtration add-ons.

Some of these systems are compatible with specific brands, while others are compatible with all brands. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you determine what will work best in your situation.

Here are a few components to be on the lookout for when getting a filtration system for your home:

  • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Filters pollutants, bioaerosols and scents
  • Gives filtration for your total home, not merely a lone room
  • Doesn’t make ozone, which may cause respiratory irritation
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you want to improve the indoor air quality in your house, the Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to provide support with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your household’s comfort is our top priority, so we’ll work together to help you find the best solution for your family. Contact us at 407-329-7661 now to get your appointment.

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