HEPA Filtration: Take Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality To New Levels
Staying indoors may not be the best strategy for avoiding airborne organic allergens and microorganisms. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency reports that indoor air quality may be many times more polluted than the great outdoors. It’s not hard to believe. Homeowners have spent the last few decades making their homes airtight and energy efficient. But those lower utility costs came with a downside: Well-sealed homes also accumulate dust and other contaminants, exposing residents to concentrated doses with every breath.
The MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) for typical HVAC filters is in the 6 to 8 range. These will capture airborne pollutants from 3 to 10 microns. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters have MERV ratings above 17 and remove particles down to 0.3 microns — the standard used in hospitals and health-care facilities.
The enhanced efficiency of HEPA filtration could also restrict airflow in ducts, strangling the system and creating pressure imbalances. Instead, whole-house HEPA filters connect to the return air duct in a bypass loop that draws up to 60 percent of the air out of the duct and into the filter array without affecting airflow. The filter array is composed of a polyester pre-filter for large inorganic particulates, a carbon filter to remove fumes and odors and a pleated HEPA filter that removes 99.97 percent of remaining airborne particulates. A blower fan incorporated in the unit pulls air through the filter and circulates it back to the return duct. In normal usage, the entire volume of air in a typical residence passes through the HEPA filtration unit up to 36 times every 24 hours.
Whole-house HEPA filtration operates in conjunction with the air conditioner/heater system or independently. In independent mode, the blower in the filter unit runs continuously, even when the rest of the system is off, providing constant air circulation and filtration through the ducts.
Contact us at Symbiont Service Corp. on Florida’s Suncoast for the latest in geothermal, heating and air conditioning technology. We’re looking out for your indoor air quality with superior products and experienced service.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HEPA filtration and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.