When you need to lower the airborne particulates in your home, consider HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filtration. These filters are available as portable air cleaners, whole-house purification systems and even vacuum cleaner bags. A filter carrying this designation traps 99.7 percent of all particles up to .3 microns, which is nearly everything you find in indoor air, with the exception of some gases, including tobacco smoke or radon.
Anyone who suffers from allergies or asthma benefits from this high degree of filtration. HEPA filters remove pollen, dust, animal dander, mold spores, dust mite waste and some types of bacteria and viruses. Portable air cleaners that use these filters will clean the air in a limited space, while the whole-house systems work with forced air HVAC equipment to clean the air in the entire home.
Whole-house HEPA filtration systems connect to the blower as a supplemental system. These filters are too dense to use with your blower directly, since they slow the airflow through the blower, which could damage it. Filters for HVAC systems carry MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) that describes the size of the particles they trap.
The scale runs from 1 to 16 for residential filtration. HEPA filters have MERV ratings between 17 and 20, at the top of the scale for efficiency, well beyond what manufacturers recommend you use inside your equipment. Whole-house systems that use high-efficiency filters boost the airflow so that the blower receives the precise amount it needs to operate efficiently.
These filters need to be replaced periodically, since particulates build inside them, reducing their effectiveness. Just like the filter for your blower, too much debris slows the airflow through them, which reduces the volume of air flowing through the air cleaner. How often you need to change them depends on the number of home occupants, and the amount of dust, pollen and pet dander indoors.
If you’d like to learn your options for HEPA filtration systems, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We’ve provided HVAC services for Grand Traverse County and the surrounding areas for more than 30 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filtration and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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