Do HEPA Filters Work with Your HVAC System?

If you’re worried about the indoor air quality in your Oakville home, HEPA filters are a simple way to enhance the air your loved ones breathe.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold benchmark for air filtration. These filters are frequently used in medical centers, as they filter at baseline 99.97% of particles as little as 0.3 microns. These filters can trap microscopic particles from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.

As a result of their outstanding filtration efficiency, HEPA filters are dense and may restrict airflow in some home comfort equipment. It’s important to talk to a heating and cooling professional like Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare prior to installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s discuss whether you can add HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

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

HEPA furnace filters were originally produced to safeguard scientists against radiation as they worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters are made from fine mesh that traps the majority of contaminants. Now, these filters are frequently seen in medical centers, science labs and even homes.

If you attempted to have a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d possibly have problems having ample air from your vents. This is since your furnace’s blower motor isn’t designed to work with such a deep filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Use?

Filters are classified by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The greater the number, the more effective the filter is at catching small substances.

Here’s how common household filters rank:

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

Better ratings, like MERV 14-20, are in use in commercial and medical facilities. A HEPA filter usually ranks at MERV 17-20.

Normally, the biggest rating you can safely install in your furnace is MERV 13, but we advise consulting with a heating and cooling company like Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare beforehand to prevent damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residences are frequently installed in a stand-alone whole-home air filtration system. This system is installed in your ductwork and operates alongside your HVAC system.

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

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

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

A HEPA filtration system is most effective, with 99.97% efficiency for contaminants as little as .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a multistep filtration process, with a prefilter for larger particles, MERV 17 filter for the leftover pollutants and carbon filter for smells.

Air purification systems are typically 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 have carbon filtration options.

Some of these systems are created to work with specific brands, while others are compatible with all brands. Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare can help you decide what will give you the best results in your situation.

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

  • Offers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Traps particles, bioaerosols and smells
  • Provides filtration for your complete house, not merely one area
  • Doesn’t produce ozone, which might create respiratory sensitivity
  • Works with smart thermostats

If you want to increase the indoor air quality in your house, the Experts at Abbey Air Home Services by Enercare are here to provide support with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your loved ones’ comfort matters to us, so we’ll work as a team to help you discover the right solution for your home. Contact us at 289-813-5566 now to schedule your appointment.