You have heard about HEPA filters on everything from intake vents to air purifiers to vacuum cleaners. But why is having a HEPA filter so important and are they worth the additional expense? Do they really limit everything from dust mites to pollen? How do they work, and will you really notice a difference?
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. It’s a mechanical air filter that forces air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. Because air is forced through randomly arranged fiberglass particles, HEPA filters are able to trap even the smallest particles and air pollutants. In order to be labeled as a HEPA filter, it must be able to remove 99.97 percent of particles bigger than .3 microns. For a frame of reference, the human hair is around 40-70 microns, so imagine how many more microscopic particles are floating in the air you are breathing.
Having a HEPA filter in your home offers a wide variety of benefits. One of the biggest is that this technology reduces allergens commonly found in the air, including dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollen. According to WebMD, “Using a HEPA filter in your home can remove most airborne particles that might make allergies worse.” Additionally, other experts have suggested that reducing the air pollution in your home could also reduce heart disease.
Here are some things to consider when adding an appliance with a HEPA filter to your home:
- If you are getting an air purifier, make sure it is the correct size for your home and that it’s strategically located.
- Read the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating (MERV). This reflects the ability of the filter to eliminate particles from the air. On a scale of 1 to 20, you want to get the highest number because those do a better job trapping smaller particles and impurities.
- The HEPA filter should be 100 percent sealed so that air has to travel through the filter before it returns to the environment. If there are leaks or if some of the air doesn’t go through the filter, then unfiltered air will get circulated back into your home.
- Some HEPA filters are designed to be cleaned, so it’s important to read the manufacturer’s directions on how often to clean the filter. Other filters should be replaced regularly. Consult the instructions to know how often it should be replaced and consider how much it will cost to replace them.
- Before deciding to purchase a HEPA vacuum cleaner, you should also search and read user reviews. Our experts at Buckhead can point you in the right direction.
You may not be able to control the air quality everywhere, but HEPA filters can help you increase the quality of the air in your home. Whether you have a newborn baby, a family member with asthma or severe allergies, or live in an area with high pollution, using a HEPA filter can help improve everyone’s health in your home. We think it’s definitely worth considering, and we would be happy to show you the high-quality products you can bring into your home to help everyone breathe easier.