Can You Install HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System? 

If you’re thinking about the indoor air quality in your Dallas house, HEPA filters are a effective approach to enhance the air your household breathes. 

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

Because of their outstanding filtration performance, HEPA filters are thick and may lower airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s essential to talk to a heating and cooling pro like Levy & Son Service Experts prior to installing one to avoid damage to your furnace. So, let’s discuss whether or not you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system. 

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

HEPA furnace filters were originally made to safeguard scientists against radiation as they worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters have intricate mesh that traps most pollutants. Now, these filters are often seen in medical settings, science labs and even homes. 

If you attempted to install a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d more than likely have issues receiving adequate air from your vents. This is because your furnace’s blower motor isn’t made to work with such a deep filter. 

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Handle? 

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

Here’s how common household filters rank: 

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

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

In most cases, the highest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we suggest asking a heating and cooling company like Levy & Son Service Experts beforehand to prevent damage to your furnace. 

HEPA filters in homes are often part of a stand-alone whole-home air filtration system. This system is placed inside your ductwork and operates with your HVAC system. 

To enhance filtration power, these systems sometimes have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably eliminate certain viruses in homes under certain airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can get rid of the majority of strong scents, such as cooking odors or tobacco smoke. 

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence 

There are a few different solutions that operate with 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 pollutants as small as .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a combined filtration process, with a prefilter for big particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual pollutants and carbon filter for odors. 

Air purification systems are usually the total package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner is only the filter and might offer carbon filtration add-ons. 

Some of these systems are compatible with certain brands, while others work with all brands. Levy & Son Service Experts can help you determine what will give you the best results for your home. 

Here are a couple of components to check for when getting a filtration system for your house: 

  • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up) 
  • Removes pollutants, bioaerosols and scents 
  • Delivers filtration for your complete house, not just a single space 
  • Doesn’t make ozone, which may create respiratory sensitivity 
  • Works with smart thermostats 

If you’re seeking to enhance the indoor air quality in your house, the Experts at Levy & Son Service Experts are here to provide support with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort matters to us, so we’ll work together to help you choose the right solution for your home. Contact us at 469-250-0932 now to get your appointment. 

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