Most of the time, people tend to think that air pollution is something that naturally happens outdoors. However, that is not always the case. Even indoors, there are several airborne contaminants like dust mites, mold spores and pet hair that can cause allergies and asthma. This is the reason why many people have turned to air purifiers to purify the air indoors, may it be in their homes or office space. This article will discuss what HEPA filtration technology is and how it can help purify indoor air effectively.
History of HEPA Filtration
The history of HEPA filters is quite unclear. It is more accurate to say that HEPA technology was developed over time. However, the first recorded use of this technology can be traced way back to the Manhattan Project, a secret military project responsible for creating one of the world’s first nuclear weapons. Initially, the main function of these HEPA filters was to stifle the dispersion of different radioactive particles inside the laboratory.
In the 1960s, German brother Manfred and Klaus Hammer introduced the first filtering systems accessible to the public. These filtering systems were primarily used to reduce the amount of airborne soot particles concentrated in many households due to coal-burning stoves. The brother then went on to manufacture one of the most popular air cleaner products in the market.
How Does HEPA Technology Work?
An HEPA filter is generally made of ultra-fine, glass-fiber medium. The glass-fiber is arranged and configured in such a way that it traps microscopic airborne particles that easily pass through other types of filters with the help of diffusion, inertial impaction, and interception. The HEPA filter also needs to go through comprehensive testing and certification to prove that the filter can effectively remove at least 99.97% of particles measuring 0.3 microns. This is to ensure that the HEPA filter meets the industry’s standards.
However, it is important to note that not all filters made with HEPA filter media can be considered as HEPA filter. The filter still needs to meet the true HEPA efficiency requirements. This is because filter leakage is inevitable, especially if the filter is not tested and certified after the manufacturing process.
Even the smallest leaks the size of a pinhole can compromise the efficiency of the HEPA filter and the quality may be categorized below HEPA standards. In order to guarantee the performance and integrity of the HEPA filter, it is important that the HEPA filter is tested in accordance with today’s industry standards.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Just like any other products in the market, no HEPA filters are created equal. So, this section of the article will shed some light on the things you need to look out for when purchasing an air purifier with HEPA filter feature. First, you need to know that there are air purifiers that are advertised as having HEPA filters. However, the truth is that these filters come with HEPA filters that do not perform as intended and do not meet the strict HEPA standards.
When purchasing an air purifier, you need to look carefully since some HEPA-type filters are being advertised as being able to capture 99.99% of airborne contaminants larger than 0.3 microns, which is nowhere near the filtration level provided by a true HEPA filter. Although that does not make an air purifier totally useless since the filter is still capable of capturing large particles, it is still your responsibility to get all the facts straight and purchase the right product.
Another that you need to remember that a True HEPA filter cannot do all the work on its own and this is why you need to choose the air purifier that comes with a pre-filter. This is to ensure that larger particles like dust, lint and pet hair are captured. Having a pre-filter that works hand-in-hand with the HEPA filter can help extend the longevity of the HEPA filter as it does not get clogged over time.
Additionally, HEPA filters are not capable of fully removing household odors and VOCs. In this case, you need to choose an air purifier that comes with an activated carbon filter. This type of filter is porous in nature which makes it ideal for capturing chemical vapors, fumes, gasses, and odors. When looking for a premium-quality air purifier, these features are what you should look for.
HEPA Testing and Certification
In order to ensure that the filtration device can provide efficient performance, an HEPA filter needs to undergo periodic testing once every 6 to 12 months or whenever the filter needs to be replaced. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC imposes such periodic testing and is commonly required by many facilities as well. Also, it is important to note that HEPA filter tends to break down over time. Hence, it is highly recommended that HEPA filters be replaced every two years regardless of how often the filters are used.
These are pretty much some of the things you need to know about HEPA filters. Therefore, you need to carefully choose the air purifier that meets today’s true HEPA standards to get the best out of its operation. This website reviews some of the best HEPA air purifiers in the market. Feel free to look around. Perhaps, you get to see the one that suits your needs.