What is a HEPA Filter?

If you have been looking for a new vacuum cleaner or air purifier, you have probably come across the term, HEPA filter. Do you know what a HEPA filter is? It is obviously some type of filter for your appliances, but what sets it apart from other filters and why it is so important? These questions and more will be answered below:


What Does HEPA Mean and What Does it Stand For?

Before you can start to understand what a HEPA filter is, you should know that it is an acronym for HighEfficiency Particulate Air and the first letters of each word make up the term, HEPA. Contrary to popular belief, HEPA is not a brand, it is simply a type of filter that is found in a number of appliances like in yourvacuum cleaner or air purifier. In order to be considered a true HEPA filter, the US Department of Energy has released a set of standards that each filter must meet in order to bear the HEPA label, but they don't regulate or oversea its use. In other words, companies lie and confuse consumers on purpose to sell their vacuums and air purifiers with acronyms that look like the work true HEPA. As you can deduce from the words that make up the acronym, a HEPA filter is one that is highly efficient and filters particulates from the air. Look for the periods between the word HEPA for an actual H.E.P.A. filter!


The HEPA Confusion Game

There are two main different types of filters that are referred to as HEPA filters that you may find when shopping for air purifier or vacuum cleaner parts. There's actually many different types of fake HEPA's that each company will use to sell their products such as, HEPA style, HEPA like, etc. This is deceptive and we atGoVacuum don't like that manufacturers are using these terms to confuse consumers and make them believe their products are effective for filtration. This is why you can buy a vacuum for $49 that claims to have a HEPA style filter from a department store.

True H.E.P.A. Filters - The real type of HEPA filter is called a H.E.P.A., true HEPA filter, or an absolute HEPA filter. A true H.E.P.A. filter is one that has been tested for effectiveness. Once testing is complete the filter is given a serial number and the results of the test will be printed directly onto it. How do they pass the test? The filter must be able to catch a minimum of 99.7% of all particulates that are at least 0.3 microns in size. Because of the quality of these filters, you might find that they are more expensive than other air purifier or vacuum cleaner parts.

HEPA Type Filters - The other type of filter that is grouped into the HEPA category are the HEPA type or HEPA like filters. In many cases, these filters are made in the same way as true HEPA filters and even look like true HEPA filters. Theses filters are not tested and because of that, they might not be as high of quality as true HEPA filters.


How HEPA Filters Work

A HEPA filter works by trapping small particles as air flows through it. The method of purification that is used by a HEPA filter is known as "impingement." In the case of HEPA filters, air is pushed through the filter and any pollutants in the air become stuck in the filter. The now clean air is pushed back into the room. As you can imagine, the larger the filter, the more it will be able to hold before it needs changed. These filters must be changed fairly often, of course, as you want to make sure that they are efficient at all times.
 

Limitations of HEPA Filters

Though HEPA filters are widely considered to be some of the best on the market, they do have some limitations. For instance, particles that are smaller than 0.3 microns will slip through the filter. They also do not catch things like odors, gases or viruses. Vacuum cleaners and air purifiers with HEPA filters also might be a bit noisier than other appliances with filters.

You can learn more about HEPA filters and other air purifier and vacuum cleaner parts by reaching out toGoVacuum at 1-888-468-2210.