Are HEPA Filters Suited for Your HVAC System?

If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality in your Philadelphia home, HEPA filters are a easy way to purify the air your loved ones breathe.

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

Because of their powerful filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s critical to contact a heating and cooling pro like Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning before installing one to prevent damage to your furnace. So, let’s discuss 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 originally designed to protect scientists from radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters have intricate mesh that captures most substances. Today, these filters are typically installed in medical facilities, science labs and even houses.

If you attempted to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d possibly have trouble receiving adequate 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 Handle?

Filters are categorized by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the number, the better the filter is at trapping small substances.

Here’s how common household filters stack up:

  • 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 some fumes.

Better ratings, such as MERV 14-20, are used in commercial and medical facilities. A HEPA filter commonly ranks at MERV 17-20.

Normally, the highest rating you can safely have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we advise checking with a heating and cooling company like Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning beforehand to keep clear of damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residential settings are frequently part of a stand-alone whole-home air filtration system. This unit is placed within your ductwork and purifies alongside your HVAC system.

To boost filtration power, some models of these systems include UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably wipe out certain viruses in houses under specific airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can get rid of many pungent odors, including cooking odors or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence

There are a couple of different options that operate with your HVAC unit—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system is most effective, with 99.97% efficiency for contaminants down to .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual contaminants and carbon filter for odors.

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

Some of these systems are compatible with specific brands, while others work with all brands. Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning can help you decide what will provide you the best results for your family.

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

  • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Removes contaminants, bioaerosols and smells
  • Provides filtration for your total residence, not just one area
  • Doesn’t make ozone, which may create respiratory sensitivity
  • Compatible with smart thermostats

If you’re seeking to enhance the indoor air quality in your home, the Experts at Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning are here to provide support with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort is our top priority, so we’ll work as a team to help you find the right solution for your budget. Contact us at 215-278-9690 right away to get your appointment.

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