Can You Use HEPA Filters with Your HVAC System?
If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your Winnipeg house, HEPA filters are a powerful approach to enhance the air your loved ones breathe.
HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold measure for air filtration. These filters are often in use in medical centers, as they remove at least 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can trap microscopic pollutants from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.
Because of their strong filtration efficiency, HEPA filters are dense and can restrict airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s important to talk to a heating and cooling pro like Winnipeg Supply Service Experts in advance of installing one to avoid damage to your furnace. So, let’s review if you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system.
What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?
HEPA furnace filters were originally made to protect scientists from radiation as they worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from intricate mesh that catches many substances. Today, these filters are typically seen in medical centers, science labs and even houses.
If you attempted to install a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d potentially have problems 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 thick filter.
What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Handle?
Filters are graded by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the number, the better the filter is at catching tiny substances.
Here’s how standard household filters rank:
- 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 some fumes.
Greater ratings, like MERV 14-20, are used in commercial and medical facilities. A HEPA filter usually ranks at MERV 17-20.
In most cases, the biggest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we advise asking a heating and cooling company like Winnipeg Supply Service Experts prior to avoid damaging your furnace.
HEPA filters in residences are commonly used in a separate whole-home air filtration system. This system is installed within your ductwork and filters with your HVAC system.
To boost filtration power, some models of these systems come with UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably wipe out some viruses in homes under particular airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can get rid of most pungent smells, including cooking smells or tobacco smoke.
What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home
There are several different options that function 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 particles as little as .3 micron. These filtration systems typically have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the residual contaminants 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 includes the filter and might have carbon filtration options.
Some of these systems are designed to work with specific brands, while others work with all brands. Winnipeg Supply Service Experts can help you decide what will provide you the best results for your family.
Here are a couple of features to look for when considering a filtration system for your family:
- Provides hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
- Traps particles, bioaerosols and scents
- Delivers filtration for your complete house, not just a single area
- Doesn’t produce ozone, which might result in respiratory inflammation
- Functions with smart thermostats
If you’re seeking to increase the indoor air quality in your home, the Experts at Winnipeg Supply Service Experts are here to provide support with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort matters to us, so we’ll work together to help you choose the right solution for your budget. Contact us at 204-800-0613 right away to schedule your appointment.