What is a HEPA Filter?
Short for high efficiency particulate air, a HEPA filter is a type of ultra-fine mesh mechanical filter that traps airborne allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, mold, bacteria, tobacco smoke, pollen, smog, and some virus carriers.
HEPA filters can be placed on AC units, in the duct work, and on air purifiers. While air purifiers are better than nothing, they clean only the air of the room in which they are placed. If you or a loved one suffers from allergies, asthma, or other breathing difficulties, you’ll want to look into a whole house solution.
HEPA Filters and Your AC
A HEPA filter can greatly reduce the number of airborne irritants, making breathing much easier. When selecting a HEPA filter, it’s important to find one that will provide the air purifying qualities you want without restricting too much airflow and causing your AC to work harder. If you have questions about what works for you and your home, contact an AC maintenance professional.
I’m Already Using a Filter. What’s the Difference?
The filter you’re probably using, if you chose the high-end allergen trapper filters – which most of us don’t because of the cost – traps at about a 16 as measured by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), which is the scale by which filters are ranked. HEPA filters reach up to 20 trapping more airborne irritants.
Who Needs a HEPA Filter?
People with breathing difficulties exacerbated by indoor or outdoor allergens will find relief by installing a HEPA filter. Even if no one in your household suffers from allergies or asthma you can benefit from cleaner air if:
- You have pets
- You or someone in your home smokes
- You live in a high pollen area
- You have wall-to-wall carpeting
- There’s a lot of traffic in and out of your home
- Someone in the house has chronic breathing problems brought on by lung cancer, emphysema, or other pulmonary issues (including allergies and asthma, as mentioned above), particularly the elderly and young children
Is My System Compatible?
Before installing a HEPA filter it’s important to figure out whether your system is compatible. Seek the advice of an HVAC contractor/installer before making the switch to HEPA filters. Not all units are compatible and some may see reduced airflow and strain on the system if they weren’t designed to work with HEPAs.
If Your System is not Compatible
If your current HVAC system is not compatible with HEPA filters, you still can achieve the air purification benefits of HEPA, by having a by-pass HEPA system installed, which will work alongside yours without reducing its efficiency.
If you’re unsure whether your system is HEPA compatible, or if you want to know more about it, contact the AC repair professionals at AC Express!