Do HEPA Filters Work with Your HVAC System?

If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality in your Concord house, HEPA filters are a effective approach to freshen the air your family breathes.

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

Due to their outstanding filtration performance, HEPA filters are deep and could restrict airflow in some home comfort units. It’s important to call a heating and cooling professional like Freschi Service Experts in advance of installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s review whether you can use HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

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

HEPA furnace filters were initially made to safeguard scientists against radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters have intricate mesh that captures most substances. Now, these filters are frequently installed in medical settings, science labs and even homes.

If you attempted to use a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d possibly have trouble receiving enough air from your vents. This is since your furnace’s blower motor isn’t made to work with such a thick filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Work With?

Filters are classified by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The greater the number, the more efficient the filter is at trapping tiny substances.

Here’s how typical household filters are categorized:

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

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

In most cases, the biggest rating you can safely use in your furnace is MERV 13, but we advise checking with a heating and cooling company like Freschi Service Experts beforehand to keep clear of damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in homes are commonly installed in a separate whole-home air filtration system. This system is secured inside your ductwork and works in partnership with your HVAC system.

To increase filtration power, some types of these systems have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to consistently destroy certain viruses in residences under specific airflow conditions. And activated carbon filters can eliminate most strong scents, like cooking odors or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your House

There are several different options that work in partnership with your HVAC unit—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system provides the greatest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for particles as little as .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the leftover pollutants and carbon filter for odors.

Air purification systems are often the complete 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 upgrades.

Some of these systems are designed to work with distinct brands, while others are compatible with all brands. Freschi Service Experts can help you decide what will work best in your situation.

Here are a couple of components to be on the lookout for when considering a filtration system for your home:

  • Provides hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Filters pollutants, bioaerosols and odors
  • Delivers filtration for your complete house, not merely a lone area
  • Doesn’t make ozone, which might cause respiratory irritation
  • Functions with smart thermostats

If you’re looking to boost the indoor air quality in your residence, the Experts at Freschi Service Experts are here to assist you with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort matters to us, so we’ll work as a team to help you discover the best solution for your family. Contact us at 925-384-1303 right away to schedule your appointment.

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