Do HEPA Filters Function with Your HVAC System?

If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your Albany residence, HEPA filters are a effective approach to freshen the air your loved ones breathe.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the top benchmark for air filtration. These filters are often in use in hospitals, as they filter at minimum 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can capture microscopic substances from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.

On account of their strong filtration performance, HEPA filters are thick and could lower airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s critical to call a heating and cooling pro like D.A. Bennett Service Experts prior to installing one to avoid damage to your furnace. So, let’s review whether or not you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA filters were initially designed to defend scientists against radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters use fine mesh that captures most contaminants. Today, these filters are frequently installed in medical facilities, science labs and even residences.

If you tried to install a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d more than likely have problems having ample air from your vents. This is due to the fact your furnace’s blower motor isn’t made to work with such a dense 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 better the filter is at capturing microscopic particles.

Here’s how standard household filters stack up:

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

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

Normally, the highest rating you can safely have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend consulting with a heating and cooling company like D.A. Bennett Service Experts prior to avoid damaging your furnace.

HEPA filters in residences are typically used in a stand-alone whole-home air filtration system. This system is secured within your ductwork and operates in partnership 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 consistently eliminate select viruses in houses under certain airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can get rid of many pungent odors, such as cooking scents or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are a couple of different options that function in partnership with 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 contaminants as miniscule as .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for big particles, MERV 17 filter for the remaining particles and carbon filter for scents.

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

Some of these systems are designed to work with specific brands, while others work with all brands. D.A. Bennett Service Experts can help you figure out what will give you the best results for your family.

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

  • Offers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Captures pollutants, bioaerosols and scents
  • Delivers filtration for your whole residence, not merely a lone space
  • Doesn’t create ozone, which may create respiratory sensitivity
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you’re seeking to increase the indoor air quality in your home, the Experts at D.A. Bennett Service Experts are here to help with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your household’s comfort is important to us, so we’ll work with you to help you choose the ideal solution for your home. Contact us at 518-205-3324 right away to request your appointment.

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