When Should a Homeowner Consider HEPA Filtration?
If you or a family member are experiencing issues related to airborne particulates, such as dust mites (specifically their excrement), dander (household pets’ dead skin flakes), mold spores or bacterial or viral organisms in the home, finding a solution can be of vital importance. Health effects can range from mildly irritating to debilitating. If airborne particulates are a health issue in your home, HEPA filtration may be an effective solution. HEPA stands for “High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor” and is a filter consisting of a web of randomly arranged fibers designed to “catch” different sized particulates as they are forced by HVAC system air through a filter.
Larger and smaller particles (>0.4 and <0.1 microns respectively) are more efficiently trapped by the mechanics of this web than are the particles in the mid-range size of approximately 0.3 microns, which is used to measure the effectiveness of the filter. These measurements are called the MERV ratings. MERV is an acronym for "Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value" and is a measurement technique allowing different vendors to compare efficiencies of filters. This boils down to how efficiently the filter removes the 0.3 particulates from the air: filters with lower MERV ratings allow larger particles through than ones with higher ratings. A high rating of 16, for example, would remove up to 99.97 percent of particulates. Looking at MERV ratings alone, you might conclude that the higher the rating, the better the air quality.
Not necessarily. In fact, most home systems would require adjustments to compensate for problems with airflow created by higher rated filters. A mid-range rating might be sufficient to satisfy your needs and allow your system to function without regard to concerns about damage. To determine what’s best in your circumstance do further research, or ask an HVAC professional.
At Sobieski Services, our technicians are up-to-date with the most innovative air filtration technology. To learn more about HEPA filtration or to schedule a consultation, Contact us today. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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