Can You Install HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System?

If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality in your Calgary residence, HEPA filters are a simple method to improve the air your loved ones breathe.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold standard for air filtration. These filters are frequently installed in medical centers, as they filter at least 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. These filters can trap microscopic substances from the air including mold, dust and pet dander.

As a result of their powerful filtration efficiency, HEPA filters are thick and can lower airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s critical to contact a heating and cooling Expert like A1 Chesney Service Experts in advance of installing one to prevent damage to your furnace. So, let’s go over whether or not you can add HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Filter Air?

HEPA filters were originally designed to protect scientists from radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters have very thin mesh that traps most pollutants. Now, these filters are typically installed in medical centers, science labs and even houses.

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

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Use?

Filters are graded by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The greater the number, the greater the filter is at catching microscopic substances.

Here’s how standard household filters rank:

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

Higher ratings, ranging from MERV 14-20, are used in commercial and medical facilities. A HEPA filter usually ranks at MERV 17-20.

In most cases, the largest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend consulting with a heating and cooling company like A1 Chesney Service Experts beforehand to avoid damaging your furnace.

HEPA filters in residential settings are frequently used in an independent whole-home air filtration system. This system is secured within your ductwork and filters with your HVAC system.

To increase filtration power, some types of these systems come with UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably destroy select viruses in residences under particular airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can wipe out most strong smells, such as cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are several different styles that operate 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 as miniscule as .3 micron. These filtration systems sometimes 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 usually the complete package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner is just the filter and may come with carbon filtration options.

Some of these systems are designed to work with certain brands, while others are compatible with all brands. A1 Chesney Service Experts can help you determine what will work best for your family.

Here are a couple of components to look for when getting a filtration system for your home:

  • Provides hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Filters particles, bioaerosols and smells
  • Delivers filtration for your total residence, not merely one room
  • Doesn’t produce ozone, which could result in respiratory inflammation
  • Functions with smart thermostats

If you want to enhance the indoor air quality in your residence, the Experts at A1 Chesney Service Experts are here to assist you 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 discover the best solution for your budget. Contact us at 587-315-5271 right away to schedule your appointment.

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