Do HEPA Filters Go with Your HVAC System?

If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality in your East Syracuse home, HEPA filters are a effective approach to purify the air your family breathes.

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

As a result of their strong filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are dense and could reduce airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s crucial to contact a heating and cooling pro like Falso Service Experts in advance of installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s discuss whether or not 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 designed to defend scientists against radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from intricate mesh that catches many substances. In modern times, these filters are typically seen in medical facilities, science labs and even residences.

If you tried to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d probably have trouble 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 Work With?

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

Here’s how typical household filters are categorized:

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

Better ratings, ranging from MERV 14-20, are in use in commercial and medical centers. A HEPA filter usually ranks at MERV 17-20.

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

HEPA filters in residential settings are often installed in a separate whole-home air filtration system. This system is placed in your ductwork and operates with your HVAC system.

To improve filtration power, some models of these systems come with UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to reliably destroy some viruses in residences under specific airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can get rid of most offensive odors, including cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are a couple of 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 combined filtration process, with a prefilter for larger particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual particles and carbon filter for odors.

Air purification systems are often the total 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 are compatible with all brands. Falso Service Experts can help you figure out what will give you the best results for your home.

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

  • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Removes pollutants, bioaerosols and odors
  • Provides filtration for your whole residence, not merely a lone area
  • Doesn’t produce ozone, which can create respiratory sensitivity
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you’re seeking to enhance the indoor air quality in your home, the Experts at Falso Service Experts are here to help with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your family’s comfort matters to us, so we’ll work with you to help you choose the ideal solution for your home. Contact us at 315-313-6531 now to schedule your appointment.

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