Can You Install HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System?

If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your Daytona Beach house, HEPA filters are a effective approach to enhance the air your loved ones breathe.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold benchmark for air filtration. These filters are typically installed in medical centers, as they filter at baseline 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can remove microscopic particles from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.

Because of their outstanding filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and can reduce airflow in some home comfort systems. It’s essential to contact a heating and cooling professional like All American Air Service Experts before installing one to avoid damaging 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 filters were primarily made to protect scientists from radiation as they created the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from fine mesh that traps the majority of contaminants. In modern times, these filters are often installed in medical centers, science labs and even houses.

If you tried to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d potentially have trouble receiving enough air from your vents. This is due to the fact your furnace’s blower motor isn’t designed to work with such a dense filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Use?

Filters are ranked by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the number, the better the filter is at capturing microscopic pollutants.

Here’s how common 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. Filters pollen, dust mites, mold and some fumes.

Better ratings, ranging from MERV 14-20, are used in commercial and medical settings. A HEPA filter typically ranks at MERV 17-20.

Normally, the biggest rating you can safely have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend asking a heating and cooling company like All American Air Service Experts beforehand to prevent damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in homes are typically used in an independent whole-home air filtration system. This unit is placed inside your ductwork and filters with your HVAC system.

To boost filtration power, some types of these systems have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to consistently eliminate some viruses in houses under certain airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can wipe out the majority of strong odors, such as cooking scents or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your House

There are a few different options that work 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 pollutants as little as .3 micron. These filtration systems typically have a multistep filtration process, with a prefilter for big particles, MERV 17 filter for the leftover contaminants 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 includes the filter and might offer carbon filtration upgrades.

Some of these systems are compatible with distinct brands, while others can be used with all brands. All American Air Service Experts can help you decide what will work best in your situation.

Here are several components to check for when getting a filtration system for your residence:

  • Provides hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Traps contaminants, bioaerosols and scents
  • Provides filtration for your whole residence, not merely one space
  • Doesn’t produce ozone, which can result in respiratory irritation
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you’re seeking to boost the indoor air quality in your residence, the Experts at All American Air Service Experts are here to help with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort is important to us, so we’ll work as a team to help you find the best solution for your budget. Contact us at 386-310-2061 right away to book your appointment.

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