Are Thicker HEPA Filters Really Better?

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) is a much more stringent standard than MERV, and while it is very effective, it also has certain drawbacks. HEPA filters are thick and dense, which can substantially interfere with the airflow process of your HVAC equipment. If air flow is restricted, the property's demand for heating and cooling will increase, forcing utility bills to skyrocket and could cause damage to the entire HVAC system. For this reason, a HEPA filtration system is not suitable for all residential structures. Instead, HEPA filters are commonly used in air purifiers and vacuums.

Air filters remove particles of different sizes from the air before the air flows through the fan to the rest of the house. While higher quality air filters fall into a more expensive category, they are also better able to filter and remove air pollutants inside the home. However, some HVAC systems have filters inside the return air ducts spread across several rooms in the house. When used correctly, air and HVAC filters can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, in a building or small space. If the existing filters fit perfectly, note (or take a picture) of the size printed on the filter frame.

An effective air conditioning system has nine common components that you should be familiar with, including the air filter, air return, fan, coils, compressor, condenser, ducts, electrical elements and exhaust outlets. The problem is that a HEPA is a filter medium that is too fine to implement in existing HVAC systems and the only way to add one to an installation is through a portable or stand-alone HEPA air filtration system with its own dedicated fan designed to increase the resistance of this type of filter. Considering the threat posed by the spread of COVID-19 and other germs, changing a building's air filter to a HEPA is a much more effective step than simply a MERV 13, considering the small size of the virus (0.06 to 0.12 microns); the more efficient the filter, the better. But what does HEPA mean? And are HEPA filters really preferable to other filters? First of all, HEPA is just an acronym for high-efficiency particulate air. In addition, dusty air filters can eliminate the efficiency of HEPA filters and cause contaminants to build up in ducts. This is mainly because air filters with greater efficiency remove not only inorganic dust suspended in the air, but also microscopic organisms that can cause serious damage. Be sure to install the new filter facing right, look for the arrows on the filter frame that indicate the direction of the air flow.

Air and HVAC filters are designed to filter contaminants or contaminants from the air that passes through them. We also control the extent to which each filter restricts air flow, using a differential pressure transducer installed in the air filter.

Ben Depauw
Ben Depauw

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