If you’re thinking about the indoor air quality in your Fort Worth house, HEPA filters are a powerful way to purify the air your household breathes.
HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the gold measure for air filtration. These filters are typically used in hospitals, as they trap at baseline 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. These filters can remove microscopic pollutants from the air including mold, dust and pet dander.
On account of their powerful filtration performance, HEPA filters are dense and might lower airflow in some home comfort units. It’s important to talk to a heating and cooling Expert like Stark Services in advance of installing one to avoid damaging your furnace. So, let’s discuss if you can use HEPA filters in your HVAC system.
What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Purify Air?
HEPA furnace filters were primarily designed to protect scientists from radiation as they developed the atomic bomb during World War II. These fiberglass filters have very thin mesh that captures most substances. Now, these filters are often used in medical settings, science labs and even houses.
If you made an attempt to use a HEPA filter in your furnace, you’d more than likely have issues getting adequate air from your vents. This is due to the fact your furnace’s blower motor isn’t made to work with such a dense filter.
What MERV Rating Can My Furnace Work With?
Filters are ranked by their MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the number, the better the filter is at catching tiny particles.
Here’s how typical household filters stack up:
- 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 specific fumes.
Higher ratings, such as MERV 14-20, are in use in commercial and medical centers. A HEPA filter typically 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 Stark Services prior to keep clear of damage to your furnace.
HEPA filters in residences are typically part of a separate whole-home air filtration system. This system is secured inside your ductwork and runs with your HVAC system.
To boost filtration power, some types of these systems have UV germicidal lights and activated carbon filters. Germicidal lights have been shown to reliably destroy certain viruses in homes under specific airflow situations. And activated carbon filters can get rid of the majority of pungent smells, including cooking odors or tobacco smoke.
What to Look for in a HEPA Filter for Your Home
There are a few different solutions 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 contaminants as miniscule as .3 micron. These filtration systems often have a multistep filtration process, with a prefilter for big particles, MERV 17 filter for the leftover pollutants and carbon filter for scents.
Air purification systems are typically the total package, with a hospital-grade MERV 16 filter, germicidal lights and carbon filters. A media air cleaner includes the filter and can have carbon filtration upgrades.
Some of these systems are compatible with specific brands, while others are compatible with all brands. Stark Services can help you decide what will work best for your home.
Here are a couple of components to be on the lookout for when getting a filtration system for your home:
- Provides hospital-grade filtration (MERV 16 and up)
- Filters contaminants, bioaerosols and scents
- Gives filtration for your complete home, not only one space
- Doesn’t produce ozone, which may result in respiratory inflammation
- Compatible with smart thermostats
If you want to boost the indoor air quality in your residence, the Experts at Stark Services are here to help with a free, no-obligation home comfort assessment. Your household’s comfort is our top priority, so we’ll work with you to help you discover the ideal solution for your home. Contact us at 817-668-6689 right away to get your appointment.