2 Potential Problems When Upgrading To A HEPA Filter

Standard HVAC air filters are designed primarily to prevent dust and other airborne debris from causing destructive wear to the components inside of your home's blower system. Those with concerns about air quality often choose to upgrade to a HEPA filter, which is capable of also filtering out such things as mold spores and pollen. Yet before making the switch, it is important to realize that a HEPA filter can also end up causing unintended problems of its own. If you would like to learn more about switching to a HEPA filter, here are two potential problems to be aware of.

Airflow Restrictions

Here, essentially, the problem has to do with too much of a good thing. In this case the good thing in question is the effectiveness of the filter. You see, those cheap filters you can buy by the dozen at your local home improvement store consists of little more than a sheet or two of fiberglass fabric. Moreover, the pores in the fabric are quite large, meaning they only really act to filter out the largest varieties of airborne debris.

A HEPA filter, by contrast, is made up of many more layers of filtration fabric. Not only that, but the fabric used is also much more tightly woven. Generally speaking, this is a good thing, as it allows the HEPA filter to trap virtually everything except air. Yet it can also cause problems since in some cases even air may have a troublesome time getting through.

This is an especial concern for those with weak or undersized blower systems. If your HVAC system's fan isn't up to snuff, your airflow rate may fall well below what is optimal. The best way to determine this is to hire a professional to measure the airflow rate through your ducts, both with and without a HEPA filter installed. If the HEPA filter seems to be constricting things to an excessive degree, you may need to look into other methods of air filtration.

Air Leaks

When installing any type of filter in an HVAC system, it is vital that the filter is seated in place properly. Any gaps around its edges will allow air to escape past it unfiltered. This is especially problematic for HEPA filters, since, as noted above, they present a less permissive screen in the first place. It also means that all of those allergens you want to keep out may be passing right around your filter instead.

Thus there is no reason to install a HEPA filter until you have had your filter's housing checked for dents and deformations by a professional. They will also be able to make a careful measurement of its dimensions, thus allowing you to purchase the filter size best suited for your needs. For more information, talk to a professional like Rizzo Heating & Air Conditioning.