Can You Install HEPA Filters in Your HVAC System?

If you’re concerned about the indoor air quality in your Tulsa house, HEPA filters are a simple method to improve the air your family breathes.

HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the peak benchmark for air filtration. These filters are often in use in medical centers, as they trap at least 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. These filters can capture microscopic substances from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.

On account of their strong filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are dense and might lower airflow in some home comfort units. It’s crucial to call a heating and cooling pro like Jack Nelson Service Experts before installing one to avoid damage to your furnace. So, let’s review whether or not you can use HEPA filters in your HVAC system.

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

HEPA furnace filters were initially produced to safeguard scientists against radiation as they worked on the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters have fine mesh that catches the majority of substances. In modern times, these filters are often seen in medical centers, science labs and even homes.

If you attempted to install a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d more than likely have issues getting enough air from your vents. This is due to the fact your furnace’s blower motor isn’t designed to work with such a deep filter.

What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Handle?

Filters are categorized by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the number, the more effective the filter is at capturing small substances.

Here’s how typical household filters are categorized:

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

Better ratings, such as 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 have in your furnace is MERV 13, but we recommend consulting with a heating and cooling company like Jack Nelson Service Experts beforehand to prevent damage to your furnace.

HEPA filters in residences are typically part of an independent whole-home air filtration system. This equipment is secured within your ductwork and purifies 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 consistently destroy some viruses in houses under particular airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can get rid of the majority of strong odors, including cooking smells or tobacco smoke.

What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home

There are a few different styles that function alongside your HVAC unit—HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems and media air cleaners.

A HEPA filtration system is most effective, with 99.97% efficiency for particles down to .3 micron. These filtration systems sometimes have a multiple-step filtration process, with a prefilter for large particles, MERV 17 filter for the remaining pollutants and carbon filter for scents.

Air purification systems are usually the complete package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner includes the filter and may offer carbon filtration upgrades.

Some of these systems are created to work with distinct brands, while others can be used with all brands. Jack Nelson Service Experts can help you figure out what will give you the best results in your situation.

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

  • Offers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
  • Filters contaminants, bioaerosols and smells
  • Gives filtration for your complete 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 house, the Experts at Jack Nelson Service Experts are here to assist you with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your household’s comfort is important to us, so we’ll work as a team to help you choose the right solution for your home. Contact us at 918-212-8927 today to book your appointment.

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