Can You Use HEPA Filters with Your HVAC System?

If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality in your Houston house, HEPA filters are a great method to enhance the air your household breathes.

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

On account of their strong filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are deep and might reduce airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s important to contact a heating and cooling Expert like Church Services prior to installing one to prevent damage to your furnace. So, let’s go over whether or not you can install HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?

HEPA furnace filters were primarily designed to safeguard scientists against radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters have intricate mesh that catches the majority of contaminants. Today, these filters are frequently installed in medical settings, science labs and even houses.

If you made an attempt to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d potentially have issues receiving enough air from your vents. This is since your furnace’s blower motor isn’t designed to work with such a dense filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Handle?

Filters are graded by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The bigger the number, the more efficient the filter is at capturing tiny particles.

Here’s how typical household filters rank:

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

Greater ratings, ranging from MERV 14-20, are installed in commercial and medical settings. A HEPA filter usually ranks at MERV 17-20.

Normally, the biggest rating you can safely use in your furnace is MERV 13, but we suggest checking with a heating and cooling company like Church Services beforehand to keep clear of damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in homes are frequently part of an independent whole-home air filtration system. This system is placed within your ductwork and filters with your HVAC system.

To improve filtration power, some models of these systems have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to dependably wipe out select viruses in houses under certain airflow circumstances. And activated carbon filters can get rid of the majority of offensive scents, including cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Residence

There are a few different options that function alongside your HVAC unit—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 little as .3 micron. These filtration systems typically have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for larger particles, MERV 17 filter for the remaining pollutants and carbon filter for scents.

Air purification systems are usually the total package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner is just the filter and can come with carbon filtration options.

Some of these systems are designed to work with distinct brands, while others can be used with all brands. Church Services can help you decide what will work best for your family.

Here are several components to be on the lookout for when getting a filtration system for your house:

  • Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Removes particles, bioaerosols and scents
  • Provides filtration for your total home, not only one space
  • Doesn’t create ozone, which might cause respiratory sensitivity
  • Compatible with smart thermostats

If you want to enhance the indoor air quality in your residence, the Experts at Church Services are here to provide support with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your household’s comfort matters to us, so we’ll work as a team to help you find the right solution for your needs. Contact us at 713-396-3760 today to book your appointment.