HEPA is the best standard for air filtration. HEPA filters are frequently installed in hospitals, since they filter out around 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. This eliminates microscopic particles from the air such as mildew, mold spores, pet dander, and dust particles.
Due to their outstanding filtration capabilities, HEPA filters are thick. Due to their thickness, they might lower airflow passing through some common home cooling units. Before installing a HEPA filter to your HVAC system, call the best heating and cooling experts in Scottsdale at (480) 531-8624 to avoid damaging your system.
But first, let’s go over the details of HEPA systems.
What Is a HEPA Filter and How Does It Work?
HEPA filters consist of spun fiberglass and were initially designed to safeguard scientists against radiation during the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. They have intricate spun mesh that traps most pollutants but allows air to pass through. Today, medical centers, science labs, commercial aircraft, workplaces, and even houses commonly use HEPA filtration.
If you previously attempted to install a HEPA filter on your HVAC system, you probably noticed some problems getting adequate return air blowing out your vents. Most blower motors are not engineered to work with such a dense filter.
What MERV Rating Can My System Use?
The MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is the standard by which filters are rated. The higher the HERV rating number, the more effective the filter is at catching small pollutants.
Here’s how standard household filters typically rank:
- Flat filters are MERV 5, and capture dust mites, some pollens, and other airborne particles.
- Pleated filters are MERV 8 and also filters out mold.
- Box filters are MERV 13 and can also trap fumes and smoke particles.
- Higher-rated premium filters range from MERV 14 to MERV 20 and are installed in commercial and medical settings.
HEPA filter typically rank from MERV 18 to MERV 20. Home HVAC systems are typically designed for a maximum rating of MERV 13, well underneath the minimums of HEPA filtration. However, with some re-engineering of your system, it is possible to install HEPA filtration. HEPA filters in residential settings are typically installed in a separate whole-home air filtration system secured within your existing ductwork.
HEPA filtration systems are designed to run alongside your HVAC system, and may include UV-C germicidal lights and activated carbon filters for disinfection of air passing through the system. These UV-C germicidal lights are capable of killing airborne pathogens, including the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, if installed correctly. An additional layer of activated carbon filters can get rid of the majority of pungent scents, such as cooking smells or tobacco smoke.
Call us today at (480) 531-8624 if you would like to retrofit a whole-home HEPA filter into your system.
There are a few different types of equipment on the market that function in partnership with your HVAC equipment. Let’s look at some of the most common options: HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems, and media air cleaners.
A HEPA filtration system delivers the highest effectiveness, with 99.97% efficiency for pollutants as miniscule as 0.3 microns. HEPA filtration systems sometimes have a multistep filtration process. They use a conventional prefilter to trap large particles, an activated carbon filter to block unpleasant odors, and a MERV 17 or higher filter for any remaining particles.
Air purification systems often come in a complete package, with a hospital-grade MERV 17 or higher HEPA filter, germicidal lights, prefilters, and carbon filters.
A media air cleaner is often only a small, portable air filtration machine that can have a small internal filter of varying grade. Sometimes, a media air cleaner will come with a prefilter or an activated carbon filter upgrade.
Some of these filters and systems are designed to work with specific equipment lines or brands, while others can be used with all brands. Scottsdale HVAC Repair Pros can help you determine what will achieve the best results for your family.
Here are a few things to check for when choosing a filtration system for your family:
- Delivers hospital-grade filtration (MERV 17 and up)
- Filters out airborne particles, aerosols, and scents
- Delivers filtration for your complete residence, and not just for a single room
- Does not create ozone
- Is compatible with smart thermostats
If you are looking for ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home, our best experts at Scottsdale HVAC Repair Pros are here to help you with a free, no-obligation filtration assessment. Your comfort is our top priority, and we will work as a team to help you find the best solution for your home and family. Contact us at (480) 531-8624 or send us a message here to get started today!