Can You Add HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System?

If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your Rochester home, HEPA filters are a simple approach to purify the air your household breathes.

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

On account of their powerful filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are deep and could restrict airflow in some home comfort systems. It’s important to call a heating and cooling Expert like Strogen's Service Experts in advance of installing one to prevent damage to your furnace. So, let’s go over whether or not 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HEPA filters were originally made to safeguard scientists against radiation as they worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from intricate mesh that catches the majority of substances. Today, these filters are frequently used in medical facilities, science labs and even houses.

If you made an attempt to use a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d possibly have problems having ample air from your vents. This is since your furnace’s blower motor isn’t engineered to work with such a deep filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Handle?

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

Here’s how standard household filters are categorized:

  • 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.

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

Normally, the highest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we advise consulting with a heating and cooling company like Strogen's Service Experts prior to prevent damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residential settings are often used in a separate whole-home air filtration system. This unit is placed in your ductwork and runs in partnership with your HVAC system.

To improve filtration power, some models of these systems have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably destroy certain viruses in houses under certain airflow conditions. And activated carbon filters can wipe out most strong smells, like cooking scents or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence

There are a couple of different options 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 pollutants down to .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a combined filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the remaining pollutants and carbon filter for smells.

Air purification systems are typically 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 have carbon filtration add-ons.

Some of these systems are designed to work with distinct brands, while others can be used with all brands. Strogen's Service Experts can help you decide what will provide you the best results for your family.

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

  • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Filters pollutants, bioaerosols and odors
  • Delivers filtration for your total residence, not merely one area
  • Doesn’t produce ozone, which could cause respiratory irritation
  • Compatible with smart thermostats

If you want to enhance the indoor air quality in your residence, the Experts at Strogen's Service Experts are here to help with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your family’s comfort is our top priority, so we’ll work together to help you discover the ideal solution for your home. Contact us at 603-923-4570 now to request your appointment.

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