The Hype around HEPA
Why HEPA Air Purifiers Are The Solution To Bad Air
HEPA filters came about during World War II when the Atomic Energy Commission developed them to stop radioactive energy. That has to be a powerful filter, and you can use this same technology in your home to stop the most harmful particles in your air from destroying the quality of your life. Today, HEPA filters are everywhere, and used on many new models of appliances that require filters. Of the appliances that use them, HEPA air purifiers and vacuum cleaners make the best use of this important filter technology.
Why HEPA is Healthier
What’s the big deal, a filter is a filter—right? Wrong. While HEPA gets a lot of hype as an allergy prevention filter, it has many benefits beyond preventing allergy attacks. A HEPA filter will catch the smallest particles that bigger filters will miss. These include some of the most harmful particles in the air around you including bacteria and mold spores.
Additional Support from HEPA Filters
You’ll notice, as you search for air purifiers, or other appliances that use HEPA technology, they are not single filter machines. The HEPA is not meant to work alone. It is such a tight filter, that it would clog too easily if the larger debris in the air were filtered through it. When searching for an air purifier you need to make sure that there is at least one, but usually two additional filters that trap larger particles before the air goes through the HEPA filter.
HEPA style filters are easy to care for. Because they are the last line of defense, and are not responsible for catching the big, heavy particles they don’t get dirty fast and usually last two or more years between changes. However, it is important to note that you want to make sure the HEPA system in the unit is coated with an anti-bacterial agent so that it kills the harmful elements that get caught in it. That way you get rid of the health risks instead of trapping them in the air filter to live.
Of course, the reason these filters are so commonly associated with allergy relief is that they are a powerful resource for anyone who suffers from allergies or asthma related problems. The other filters in your air purifier will usually trap hair and even dander, but a lot of junk can escape the bigger filters. Nothing gets through the HEPA, so even if dander or hair does manage to work free of the initial filters, it will get trapped by the HEPA and your air will be clean.
VOCs are the tiniest particles in your air, but they are also the most destructive. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds, and your home has them no matter how hard you work to keep it clean. VOCs are caused by gas emissions, chemicals and even common items like markers and printer ink.
Bacteria are also considered VOCs, and you don’t even have to be “sick” to bring in these nasty particles. They can travel into your home on your clothes and shoes and live in the air for months waiting to strike and make your family sick.
IEST (Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology) sets up the filtration standards for the filtration industry. The best HEPA filter units trap over 99.97% of all particles including VOCs. It is important to pay attention when you buy an air purifier with a HEPA filter that it uses the highest quality filter. Any filter that traps at least 85% of the particles in the air is designated as a HEPA filter, and there are 5 levels of HEPA designations (H10, H11, H12, H13 and H14).
You need to find a purifier that is and H12 or better with H14 being the best you can get. An H12 will trap 99.5% of all particles in the air. An H14 will stop 99.97%, but you will pay more for the highest levels of HEPA filtration, and the replacements will cost more as well.
Whether you buy an H12 air purifier or an H14, they will improve the health of your home, and also help control harmful or just obnoxious odors that are common in homes, so you’ll not only feel better you’ll enjoy your home more.