Do HEPA Filters Go with Your HVAC System?

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

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

As a result of their powerful filtration performance, HEPA filters are deep and may reduce airflow in some home comfort systems. It’s essential to talk to a heating and cooling Expert like Calverley Service Experts before installing one to avoid damage to your furnace. So, let’s go over if you can use HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

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

HEPA furnace filters were primarily made to safeguard scientists against radiation as they created the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters use very thin mesh that catches most pollutants. Today, these filters are frequently used in medical facilities, science labs and even residences.

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

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Work With?

Filters are ranked by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The bigger the number, the more efficient the filter is at catching small pollutants.

Here’s how common household filters stack up:

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

Higher 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 use in your furnace is MERV 13, but we advise checking with a heating and cooling company like Calverley Service Experts beforehand to keep clear of damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residences are often part of a separate whole-home air filtration system. This equipment is secured within your ductwork and purifies with your HVAC system.

To boost filtration power, these systems sometimes come with UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to consistently eliminate select viruses in residences under certain airflow conditions. And activated carbon filters can wipe out the majority of offensive scents, such as cooking odors or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence

There are several different styles that work with your HVAC equipment—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 sometimes have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for big particles, MERV 17 filter for the leftover contaminants and carbon filter for scents.

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

Some of these systems are designed to work with certain brands, while others can be used with all brands. Calverley Service Experts can help you decide what will provide you the best results for your home.

Here are a few things to check for when getting a filtration system for your house:

  • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Filters contaminants, bioaerosols and scents
  • Gives filtration for your whole residence, not just a lone area
  • Doesn’t create ozone, which can create respiratory irritation
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you want to improve the indoor air quality in your residence, the Experts at Calverley Service Experts are here to provide support with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort is our top priority, so we’ll work as a team to help you discover the right solution for your family. Contact us at 817-380-5647 right away to get your appointment.

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