Do HEPA Filters Function with Your HVAC System?

If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality in your Fort Wayne home, HEPA filters are a great approach to freshen the air your family breathes.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold benchmark for air filtration. These filters are often in use in medical settings, as they trap at least 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. These filters can trap microscopic substances from the air like mold, dust and pet dander.

Due to their outstanding filtration performance, HEPA filters are deep and can reduce airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s critical to contact a heating and cooling professional like Rolf Griffin Service Experts before installing one to avoid damage to your furnace. So, let’s review 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 worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters use very thin mesh that traps the majority of contaminants. Now, these filters are typically seen in medical settings, science labs and even houses.

If you made an attempt to use a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d possibly have problems having ample air from your vents. This is due to the fact your furnace’s blower motor isn’t made 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 efficient the filter is at trapping small particles.

Here’s how typical household filters are categorized:

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

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

Normally, the largest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend consulting with a heating and cooling company like Rolf Griffin Service Experts first to prevent damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residential settings are frequently used in a stand-alone whole-home air filtration system. This system is installed inside your ductwork and runs in partnership with your HVAC system.

To enhance filtration power, some models of these systems come with UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably destroy certain viruses in homes under certain airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can get rid of the majority of pungent scents, including cooking odors or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are a couple of different solutions that work in partnership with your HVAC system—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system is most effective, with 99.97% efficiency for contaminants as miniscule as .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a multistep filtration process, with a prefilter for big particles, MERV 17 filter for the remaining particles and carbon filter for scents.

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

Some of these systems are created to work with certain brands, while others work with all brands. Rolf Griffin Service Experts can help you figure out what will provide you the best results for your family.

Here are several features to be on the lookout for when getting a filtration system for your house:

  • Offers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Filters contaminants, bioaerosols and smells
  • Gives filtration for your whole home, not just one space
  • Doesn’t make ozone, which can create respiratory inflammation
  • Functions with smart thermostats

If you want to improve the indoor air quality in your residence, the Experts at Rolf Griffin Service Experts are here to assist you with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort is our top priority, so we’ll work together to help you find the right solution for your needs. Contact us at 260-557-1275 right away to get your appointment.

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