Can You Add HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System?

If you’re thinking about the indoor air quality in your Richmond house, HEPA filters are a simple method to improve the air your family breathes.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the top benchmark for air filtration. These filters are often installed in medical centers, as they trap at least 99.97% of particles as tiny 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 performance, HEPA filters are thick and could reduce airflow in some home comfort units. It’s essential to contact a heating and cooling pro like Eveready Service Experts prior to installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s go over if you can add HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

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

HEPA furnace filters were originally produced to defend scientists against radiation as they created the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from fine mesh that catches the majority of pollutants. Now, these filters are typically installed in medical centers, science labs and even residences.

If you tried to install a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d more than likely have issues receiving enough 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 Handle?

Filters are graded by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The greater the number, the more efficient the filter is at trapping tiny substances.

Here’s how standard household filters are categorized:

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

Greater ratings, such as MERV 14-20, are used in commercial and medical centers. A HEPA filter usually ranks at MERV 17-20.

Normally, the biggest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend asking a heating and cooling company like Eveready Service Experts beforehand to keep clear of damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residences are typically part of a separate whole-home air filtration system. This unit is placed in your ductwork and works in partnership with your HVAC system.

To boost filtration power, some models of these systems have 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 most strong odors, such as cooking scents or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence

There are a few different styles that work in partnership with your HVAC unit—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system provides the greatest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for particles down to .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a combined filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the leftover pollutants and carbon filter for smells.

Air purification systems are usually the complete package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner is only the filter and may have carbon filtration options.

Some of these systems are designed to work with distinct brands, while others work with all brands. Eveready Service Experts can help you determine what will work best for your home.

Here are a couple of components to check for when buying a filtration system for your home:

  • Provides hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Traps pollutants, bioaerosols and odors
  • Provides filtration for your complete home, not merely one room
  • Doesn’t make ozone, which could result in respiratory inflammation
  • Compatible with smart thermostats

If you want to enhance the indoor air quality in your house, the Experts at Eveready Service Experts are here to assist you with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your household’s comfort is important to us, so we’ll work as a team to help you choose the right solution for your budget. Contact us at 804-548-4480 right away to schedule your appointment.

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