High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which are found in numerous air-cleaning products, have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 13 to 16. This means that these components have the ability to filter airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns with 75% efficiency.
While these filters have provided a great deal of relief to people who suffer from allergy symptoms caused by dust, pollen and dander, they aren’t without their limitations. All Seasons Inc., one of the top local heating and air conditioning companies, explains more in today’s post.
No Guarantee of Allergen Removal
HEPA filters, despite their high MERV ratings, can’t guarantee the removal of all allergens. Viruses, for instance, can easily pass through them, given their size between 0.004 and 0.1 microns. Bacteria, with sizes ranging from 0.2 to 1 micron, can still get trapped, but that doesn’t stop them from releasing toxic substances small enough to escape the filter and contaminate indoor air.
The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in common household items like hair spray and upholstery cleaners emit gasses smaller than 0.3 microns. Just like viruses, HEPA filters can’t stop them. Airborne mold can get trapped, although the presence of moisture may facilitate the spread of mold spores throughout the filter. Eventually, the moldy filter will release spores into the air indoors if not replaced quickly enough.
Not All HEPA Filters Are the Same
HEPA filters, as specified by the Department of Energy (DOE) for their contractors, must be able to remove about 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 microns or larger. Even so, there are no federal or national regulations for HEPA filters for the consumer industry.
Heat pump and furnace companies like ours caution customers regarding filters labeled as “HEPA-type” or “HEPA-style.” These may not be tested and certified under DOE standards. Only those with labels “Absolute HEPA” or “True HEPA” meet the government’s specifications, with manufacturers doing the tests and certifications voluntarily.
To be sure that you’re getting the right filter for your HVAC system, it makes sense to seek the expertise of certified technicians. All Seasons Inc. consistently provides innovative products and services that more than satisfy our customers’ HVAC needs.
We’re also one of your local electric panel companies. We install electric panels to make your home safer and give you the chance to pursue future safe electrical upgrades. Call us at (253) 203-6200 or fill out our contact form to request more information. We serve Tacoma and Puyallup, WA.