The first thing we need to know when we are discussing HEPA filters is what a HEPA filter is.
What is HEPA?
HEPA, or High Efficiency Particulate Air filters, are designed for applications where contaminants must be trapped on the first go-round. For example, you wouldn’t want viruses circulating in the air in a hospital, so the facility would probably be equipped with HEPA filtration. HEPA filters can capture up to 99.7 percent of all contaminants 0.3 microns or greater using a dense mat of fibers arranged in a specific configuration. Some particles naturally adhere to the fibers when they hit, while others get trapped by the curved contours of the fibers. The remaining particles are trapped when they are forced to collide with gas molecules in the filter. This high particle capture rate comes at a cost HEPA filters present more resistance to airflow than standard filters. This means the blower on your HVAC equipment has to work harder to push air through the filter and therefore uses more energy.
Should You Get A HEPA Filter?
We are no experts on viruses or contagions, but we do know air filters. Right now it is unclear if the Coronavirus is caught by a HEPA filter. The viruses are measured in microns and honestly, it is very difficult to measure something that small. A HEPA filter couldn’t hurt, but only if you are willing to take the trade-off of extra mechanical burden on your HVAC system.
Older systems that you are trying to get the last little bit of life out of tend to not handle HEPA filters very well. However, newer systems have the efficiency and operation life to handle it. Also if you use a HEPA filter your system will stay cleaner longer.
In the end, there is no real data on whether a HEPA filter captures the Coronavirus, but with that said HEPA filters are designed to filter out these kinds of things it can’t hurt to install one for the time being as long as your system can handle the added strain.
If you need help or have questions about this or HVAC, contact us at ACME AC.