Are HEPA Filters Compatible with Your HVAC System?

If you’re thinking about the indoor air quality in your Toronto house, HEPA filters are a easy way to freshen the air your household breathes.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold measure for air filtration. These filters are frequently in use in hospitals, as they remove at baseline 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can remove microscopic pollutants from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.

Due to their outstanding filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and could reduce airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s crucial to talk to a heating and cooling Expert like Service Experts Commercial HVAC prior to installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s discuss whether you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA furnace filters were primarily made to defend scientists against radiation as they worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters use very thin mesh that catches the majority of substances. In modern times, these filters are typically seen in medical centers, science labs and even homes.

If you made an attempt to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d more than likely have issues receiving enough air from your vents. This is since your furnace’s blower motor isn’t engineered 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 bigger the number, the more effective the filter is at catching microscopic substances.

Here’s how standard household filters rank:

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

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

Normally, the largest rating you can safely have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend consulting with a heating and cooling company like Service Experts Commercial HVAC prior to avoid damaging your furnace.

HEPA filters in residences are often part of an independent whole-home air filtration system. This equipment is placed inside your ductwork and runs alongside your HVAC system.

To increase filtration power, some types of these systems include UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to consistently destroy some viruses in houses under specific airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can get rid of the majority of pungent scents, such as cooking scents or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence

There are a few different styles that function in partnership with your HVAC equipment—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system delivers the highest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for particles as little as .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a combined filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the leftover 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 is only the filter and may come with carbon filtration options.

Some of these systems are created to work with certain brands, while others work with all brands. Service Experts Commercial HVAC can help you figure out what will give you the best results for your family.

Here are several things to check for when buying a filtration system for your house:

  • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Removes particles, bioaerosols and odors
  • Gives filtration for your total home, not only a single area
  • Doesn’t create ozone, which could result in respiratory inflammation
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you’re looking to enhance the indoor air quality in your house, the Experts at Service Experts Commercial HVAC are here to assist you with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort matters to us, so we’ll work with you to help you choose the ideal solution for your needs. Contact us at 289-201-2346 today to request your appointment.