Most of the time, people tend to think air pollution happens outside their home. However, that is not the case. Even inside, you’ll find airborne contaminants like dust mites, mold spores and pet hair that can cause allergies and asthma. This is why many people turn to air purifiers to clean the air in their home or office. This article discusses HEPA filtration technology and how it helps purify clean the air.
History of HEPA Filtration
We can trace HEPA back to the Manhattan Project, the top-secret military project that developed the world’s first nuclear weapons. HEPA filters served as a barrier between radioactive particles inside the laboratory and humans.
In the 1960’s, German brothers Manfred and Klaus Hammer introduced the first filtering systems to the general public. Thier filters promised to reduce soot particles produced by coal-burning stoves. Their company grew into a global organization. In fact, their company, IQAir, produces today some of the most powerful and effective purifiers available.
How Does HEPA Technology Work?
A HEPA filter is typically made from ultra-fine, glass-fibers. Manufacturers configure the glass-fiber into a fine mesh that traps microscopic airborne particles that easily pass through other types of filters. In other words, HEPA traps almost everything but air and odor. To earn the title “HEPA” a filter must endure comprehensive testing. Ultimately the filter must remove at least 99.97% of particles measuring 0.3 microns or larger.
But, don’t be fooled by HEPA style or HEPA-type filters. Look for the HEPA certification seal. Many manufacturers attempt to pass of a filter with similar features. But, without certification, you’ll never be sure the filter you’re using is truly effective.
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.
While you shop for your first, or next, purifier keep your eyes peeled for shady marketing. Some companies advertise HEPA-type filters ability to capture 99.99% of airborne contaminants larger than 0.3 microns. Their claim sounds impressive. Yet, that figure 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, we think you should know what you’re buying.
Also understand that a true HEPA is fairly expensive. And, their filters trap almost everything. That dirty air quickly clogs a naked HEPA filter. This is why you should also look for an air purifier with a pre-filter. This will trap larger particles like dust, lint and pet hair before they clog your expensive HEPA filter.
Additionally, HEPA filters do not remove odors and VOCs. They’re just too small. So if you want clean and fresh air, choose a purifier with an activated carbon filter. This type of filter traps chemical vapors, fumes, gasses, and odors in an ultra porous structure. Kind of like a sponge.
HEPA Testing and Certification
In order to ensure that the filtration device provides enough performance, a HEPA filter needs to undergo periodic testing once every 6 to 12 months or whenever the filter needs to be replaced. The 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, you should replace your filter every two years regardless of how often they are used.
These are pretty much some of the things you need to know about HEPA filters. 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.