Do HEPA Filters Work with Your HVAC System?

If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your Medina home, HEPA filters are a easy method to freshen the air your loved ones breathe.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the peak standard for air filtration. These filters are typically used in medical centers, as they trap at minimum 99.97% of particles as little as 0.3 microns. These filters can remove microscopic pollutants from the air including mold, dust and pet dander.

Due to their strong filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and may lower airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s critical to call a heating and cooling Expert like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning before installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s go over whether or not you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA furnace filters were initially produced to defend scientists against radiation as they created the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters have fine mesh that catches many substances. In modern times, these filters are frequently seen in medical settings, science labs and even houses.

If you attempted to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d more than likely have trouble having ample air from your vents. This is because your furnace’s blower motor isn’t designed to work with such a dense filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Work With?

Filters are classified by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the number, the more effective the filter is at capturing microscopic substances.

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. Filters pollen, dust mites, mold and certain fumes.

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

Generally, the highest rating you can safely have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we suggest checking with a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning beforehand to avoid damaging your furnace.

HEPA filters in residences are frequently used in a stand-alone whole-home air filtration system. This unit is secured inside 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 wipe out certain viruses in residences under certain airflow conditions. And activated carbon filters can wipe out many offensive scents, like cooking scents or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are a couple of different styles that operate in partnership with 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 often have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for larger particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual contaminants and carbon filter for scents.

Air purification systems are typically the full 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 compatible with distinct brands, while others work with all brands. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you figure out what will provide you the best results for your family.

Here are a few features to check for when getting a filtration system for your residence:

  • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Traps particles, bioaerosols and smells
  • Gives filtration for your complete home, not just one space
  • Doesn’t produce ozone, which may cause respiratory sensitivity
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you want to improve the indoor air quality in your residence, the Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help 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 ideal solution for your home. Contact us at 330-305-2799 right away to request your appointment.