Can You Add HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System?

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

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold benchmark for air filtration. These filters are typically in use in medical centers, as they trap at least 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can trap microscopic substances from the air including mold, dust and pet dander.

On account of their outstanding filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are dense and can lower airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s essential to talk to a heating and cooling professional like Midland Air Service Experts prior to installing one to avoid damage to your furnace. So, let’s review whether you can use HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

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

HEPA filters were originally made to safeguard scientists against radiation as they created the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from very thin mesh that traps most contaminants. Now, these filters are frequently seen in medical settings, science labs and even homes.

If you tried to use a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d more than likely have issues getting adequate air from your vents. This is due to the fact your furnace’s blower motor isn’t designed to work with such a thick filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Work With?

Filters are classified by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The greater the number, the greater the filter is at catching microscopic substances.

Here’s how common household filters rank:

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

Greater ratings, ranging from MERV 14-20, are in use in commercial and medical settings. A HEPA filter commonly ranks at MERV 17-20.

Normally, the largest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we advise checking with a heating and cooling company like Midland Air Service Experts prior to avoid damaging your furnace.

HEPA filters in homes are typically installed in an independent whole-home air filtration system. This system is placed within your ductwork and runs with your HVAC system.

To increase filtration power, some types of these systems include UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably eliminate certain viruses in houses under particular airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can eliminate the majority of pungent odors, such as cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence

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

A HEPA filtration system delivers the highest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for contaminants as miniscule as .3 micron. These filtration systems typically have a multistep filtration process, with a prefilter for larger particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual pollutants and carbon filter for odors.

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

Some of these systems are compatible with certain brands, while others work with all brands. Midland Air Service Experts can help you figure out what will give you the best results for your home.

Here are a few components to check for when considering a filtration system for your family:

  • Offers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Removes particles, bioaerosols and odors
  • Delivers filtration for your total house, not merely one space
  • Doesn’t produce ozone, which might cause respiratory irritation
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you’re looking to increase the indoor air quality in your residence, the Experts at Midland Air Service Experts are here to provide support with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your family’s comfort matters to us, so we’ll work with you to help you discover the right solution for your budget. Contact us at 803-399-7208 now to schedule your appointment.

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