Are HEPA Filters Suited for Your HVAC System?

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

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the top measure for air filtration. These filters are often used in medical settings, as they filter at least 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can trap microscopic particles from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.

Due to their powerful filtration efficiency, HEPA filters are deep and might restrict airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s essential to talk to a heating and cooling Expert like Levy & Son Service Experts before installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s discuss if you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA filters were initially made to safeguard scientists against radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters have fine mesh that traps most contaminants. In modern times, these filters are frequently seen in medical settings, science labs and even houses.

If you made an attempt to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d possibly have trouble having ample air from your vents. This is because your furnace’s blower motor isn’t engineered to work with such a thick 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 effective the filter is at trapping tiny pollutants.

Here’s how standard household filters rank:

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

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

In most cases, the largest rating you can safely have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we suggest asking a heating and cooling company like Levy & Son Service Experts first to keep clear of damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residential settings are frequently part of a stand-alone whole-home air filtration system. This unit is installed in your ductwork and purifies alongside your HVAC system.

To boost filtration power, these systems sometimes have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably destroy select viruses in houses under specific airflow conditions. And activated carbon filters can eliminate most strong scents, including cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence

There are a couple of different styles that operate alongside your HVAC system—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 multistep filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual contaminants and carbon filter for odors.

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

Some of these systems are compatible with certain brands, while others can be used with all brands. Levy & Son Service Experts can help you figure out what will work best in your situation.

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

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

If you want to improve the indoor air quality in your home, the Experts at Levy & Son Service Experts are here to assist you with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort is important to us, so we’ll work with you to help you discover the right solution for your family. Contact us at 469-250-0932 today to book your appointment.

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