What do HEPA filters remove? You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about the percentage of particles that HEPA filters get out of the air, a minimum of 99.7% (at least, those larger than 0.3 microns). But what does that actually cover? There are plenty of different pollutants of different sizes, but what is and isn’t captured by HEPA filters?
In part, it depends on the size and rating of the filter. We’ll go over a typical HEPA filter that deals with particles at and above 0.3 microns, and more effective filters, called ultra-low particulate air filters (ULPA,) that deal with 0.1 microns and smaller. It’s important to note though, that the typical home-based HEPA filter only deals with 0.3 microns and up, although we can help you get a ULPA if you need it.
HEPA filters can collect pollen and other allergens, which are all larger than 0.3 micrometres. If you suffer from seasonal allergies or allergies to pet dander, a HEPA filter can do wonders to remove most of these particles from your home’s air. This can help you breathe easier and keep your air feeling cleaner without needing to open a window.
Dust particles and mites are large enough to be caught by HEPA filters, which is very convenient to help reduce your dusting schedule. You might also look into vacuums equipped with HEPA filters which can prevent your vacuum from spurting dust back into the air after picking it up from carpets and other surfaces.
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HEPA filters can also pick up the particles of some sprays that you might use regularly, including those from hair spray and fabric protectors.
Some smoke and paint pigments can also be picked up by HEPA filters. You need a HEPA filter that runs through a high volume of air to remove a lot of smoke, but they can help clean up the air a bit after minor kitchen mishaps.
Not all bacteria are larger than 0.3 microns, however, those that are will be trapped by the HEPA filter. It is important to note that the filter does not render the bacteria inactive. So, the bacteria can actually begin to grow on the filters if you don’t change them out on a regular schedule.
Do air purifiers get rid of VOCs? Volatile organic compounds are pollutants naturally released by new home furnishings, including carpets and furniture. Unfortunately, they are too small to be captured by HEPA filters, but they can be caught by ULPAs.
The vast majority of viruses are smaller than 0.3 microns, which means that HEPA filters cannot capture them. Instead, they simply pass through the filter and leave in the exhaust.
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