How is a HEPA filter different than regular filters?

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If someone in your family suffers from a breathing issue like allergies or asthma, then a HEPA filter just might be the solution. Today our indoor air quality professionals are answering all of your questions about HEPA filters.

Q: What is a HEPA filter?

A: The acronym HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance or High Efficiency Particulate Air. It’s reference to a pleated mechanical air filter that has been tested and certified in accordance with current HEPA filter standards.

Q: How is a HEPA filter different than regular filters?

A: The main difference between a HEPA filter is that it is made of thin fibers of glass and activated carbon-based materials. Regular filters are made of porous materials like cotton paper sheets and polyester.

Q: How does a HEPA filter work?

A: HEPA filters work by forcing air through a fine mesh. That mesh then traps potentially harmful allergens and irritant particles like smoke, dust, dirt, pollen, and pet dander. The HEPA filter traps dirt and dust particles in three different ways. Some particles crash into filter fibers and are then absorbed by impact. Some dust particles are caught as they flow through the moving airstream because they have moved too close to a fiber and become trapped by interception. At lower airstream speeds, some dirt particles become trapped by diffusion. Diffusion is when the particles crash into one another and become sucked into the fibers of the HEPA filter.

Q: How many types of HEPA filters are there?

A: There are 6 types of HEPA filters – A, B, C, D, E and F.

Q: Is a HEPA filter washable?

A: Our heating and cooling experts suggest cleaning a washable HEPA filter under cold water only. However, if you have a HEPA filter that is marked as permanent then you should not use water. Permanent HEPA filters should be cleaned with a vacuum hose or brush only. Use the vacuum brush or hose to gently suck the dirt and debris off the filter’s surface.

Q: Where did HEPA filters come from?

A: The nuclear industry was the original developer of HEPA filtration and used HEPA filters to clean up dangerous, radioactive particles.

Want more information on improving the indoor air quality of your home? Give our IAQ professionals a call today!