HEPA Air Filters – 5 Answers to Questions About HEPA Technology

HEPA is an acronym for high efficiency particle arresting. The first letter of each word has been used to shorten the name of this technology which can sometimes be a mouth full to pronounce. Using this type of filter in homes and offices has become increasingly important in keeping us healthy. Here are some answers that will help you determine whether it can help you in your home or office.

How effective is it at removing particles? By definition this type of filter removes 99.97% of particles as small as .3 microns, with one micron (used to measure length) defined as one millionth of a meter. And to really get a feeling for how big even one micron is, the period at the end of this sentence measures 615 microns. The benefit for us is that air filtered with HEPA technology will have 99,997 out of every 10,000 particles removed from the air.

What kinds of things can it remove from the air? It can remove airborne pollutants such as dust, dust mites, mold and mildew spores, pollens, copier toner, human hair, saw dust, talcum powder, face powder and various other particulates that are .3 microns or larger in size.

Can it eliminate bacteria and viruses? It can eliminate bacteria and viruses down to .3 microns. Bacteria range in size from .5 to 20 microns; and viruses have a range of .002 to .3 microns. Because many viruses are smaller than .3 microns this type of filter may at first seem an ineffective solution for their removal. But viruses typically travel by attaching to larger airborne particles such as the ones mentioned in the paragraph above, removing the bigger particles greatly reduces the number of viruses in the air.

Will it remove airborne pet dander and pet hair? This type of filter easily eliminates pet dander and hair from the air. And as you probably know from experience, all warm blooded pets such as dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, bunnies, and hamsters have both hair and dander.

How well do HEPA filters eliminate odors and gases? HEPA filters, as their name suggests, are best at eliminating particles rather than gases and odors. Carbon based filters have been determined to be best at eliminating gases, odors, and chemical fumes. There are air purifiers available that have both HEPA and carbon based filters making them an efficient, practical, and cost effective way of dealing with a greater variety of indoor airborne pollutants.