Can You Install HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System?

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

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

As a result of their outstanding filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are thick and might lower airflow in some home comfort units. It’s crucial to call a heating and cooling Expert like Stevenson Service Experts in advance of installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s go over if you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA furnace filters were primarily designed to safeguard scientists against radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters have intricate mesh that traps most pollutants. Now, these filters are typically seen in medical centers, science labs and even houses.

If you attempted to install a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d possibly have issues receiving adequate air from your vents. This is due to the fact your furnace’s blower motor isn’t engineered to work with such a dense filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Use?

Filters are graded by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The greater the number, the more effective the filter is at catching small pollutants.

Here’s how standard household filters rank:

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

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

Normally, the largest rating you can safely use in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend consulting with a heating and cooling company like Stevenson Service Experts first to prevent damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residential settings are typically installed in a separate whole-home air filtration system. This system is secured within your ductwork and works alongside your HVAC system.

To improve filtration power, some models of these systems include UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably destroy certain viruses in homes under particular airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can get rid of the majority of pungent scents, 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 function in partnership with your HVAC equipment—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system delivers the highest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for pollutants as miniscule as .3 micron. These filtration systems sometimes have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the remaining particles and carbon filter for smells.

Air purification systems are often 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 upgrades.

Some of these systems are designed to work with specific brands, while others can be used with all brands. Stevenson Service Experts can help you determine what will give you the best results for your family.

Here are a few things to be on the lookout for when buying a filtration system for your family:

  • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Filters particles, bioaerosols and scents
  • Delivers filtration for your complete residence, not just a single room
  • Doesn’t create ozone, which may result in respiratory inflammation
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you’re seeking to enhance the indoor air quality in your house, the Experts at Stevenson Service Experts are here to assist you with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your family’s comfort is our top priority, so we’ll work as a team to help you discover the best solution for your home. Contact us at 937-503-7896 today to get your appointment.

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