What is HEPA Filtration?

Over the last decade, air quality has dramatically worsened, and air pollution has continued to become a growing threat to public health and welfare. Every year, an estimated 4.2 million people are killed by the devastating impacts and health risks brought by air pollution. 

As the world grows warmer and climate change intensifies, air pollution becomes increasingly difficult to escape, no matter where you live. Fine particles and chemical pollutants floating in the air can easily slip past the corners of your home and infiltrate the body’s defenses, damaging the lungs, heart, and brain without warning. 

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about your air quality unless something goes wrong. With the global air quality rapidly declining, you need to know how to protect yourself and your loved ones at home. HEPA filtration technology is one of the most effective tools we have today to combat unwanted particles in the home and keep respiratory diseases at bay. 

What Are HEPA Filters?

HEPA stands for “High-Efficiency Particulate Air.” HEPA filters are designed to trap a high percentage of microscopic particles that other air filters might miss. These particles can include things like dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, bacteria, and germs. 

While most air filters are designed to trap larger particles, like dust and pollen, HEPA filters take a step further by trapping smaller particles that can also cause respiratory problems. 

HEPA filters are mechanical filters. They work by forcing air through a fine layer of mesh that captures particles. The mesh is made of very small fibers, and the spaces between those fibers are even smaller. This means that when air is forced through the filter, most particles are trapped in the mesh. 

Air filtration using HEPA filters can remove more than 99.97% of all air particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns or more, which is the size range that includes most viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.

“HEPA Type” Vs. “True HEPA”

Not all HEPA filters are created equal. When looking for one on the market, keep in mind that filters with “HEPA Type,” “Ultra HEPA,” and “HEPA Like” labels often fail to reach the efficiency of a True HEPA filter, sometimes called Absolute HEPA. These filters can only trap particles that are 2-5 microns in diameter, which is more than a 600% decrease in effectiveness compared to a True HEPA filter.

True HEPA filters are the standard HEPA filters. The most common HEPA filters, you’ll find these filters in most vacuums, air purifiers, furnace filters, and so on.

When buying HEPA air purifiers, look for a UL certification that can provide legitimacy about the filters used in the product. You want to see that a filter removes 85% of particles or higher at 0.3 to 0.1 microns in diameter — any other terms may be marketing jargon that aims to mislead unsuspecting customers. 

The Different Types of HEPA Filters

Because not all air filters perform the same way, they are classified according to their efficiency levels. To measure their effectiveness in trapping particles, manufacturers and researchers usually use the European Standard (the EN 779), or the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value) rating — the standard created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). 

According to these two standards, HEPA filters are typically class or grade H10, H11, or H12. H10-H12 HEPA filters can trap 85-99.5% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter. 

An even higher class of HEPA filters, H13-H14, are used in medical and health settings where the particulate retention rates are greater because of exposure to dangerous toxins. With these levels of air filters, the HEPA filtration rate targets 99.95% and 99.995% of even smaller 0.1-micron particles.

The Importance of Using HEPA Filters

An adult human will typically breathe 8,000 to 9,000 liters of air every day, which means you’ll also be inhaling thousands of particles each day. Many of these are contaminants that can be harmful to the respiratory system. Without a filter that can adequately remove them from the air circulating indoors, nothing stops them from doing irreversible damage to your health. 

HEPA filters can trap even the tiniest particles, including pollen, dander, dust mites, and disease-inducing bacteria, germs, and viruses. This is especially important to the elderly and individuals with pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular diseases, as studies have shown that they’re the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of urban air pollution. 

Furthermore, research has shown that proper air filtration using HEPA filters can also help in relieving allergy and asthma symptoms. Even among healthy individuals, HEPA filters can be beneficial in reducing the risks of disease transmission by bacteria and viruses in the air. Installing a proper air filtration system at home has also been proven to significantly improve sleep quality and overall wellness.  

Why Should I Get a Medical-Grade HEPA13 (H13) Filter?

As mentioned earlier, H13 filters go beyond the typical filtration efficiency of a HEPA filter, being able to trap 99.95% of all particles that are 0.1 microns in diameter — that’s three times smaller than what True HEPA filters capture. 

Only 0.05% of air particles can pass through this filter, which makes them the most powerful HEPA filters that can be used in common appliances. H13 filters are so thorough that they’re used in most medical settings, including hospitals, dental offices, and clinics, hence the term “medical-grade.” 

H13 filters effectively catch even the tiniest of airborne allergens, so they’re ideal for anyone who wants relief from common allergens in their household. 

The Bottom Line on HEPA Filtration

If you’re on the hunt for a HEPA air purifier, you want one with a filtration system that traps almost everything. The best HEPA filters available in the market are the H13 HEPA filters. Thus, the most effective HEPA air purifiers are the ones that use medical-grade H13 HEPA filters.

To experience the wonders that HEPA filtration can have on your health and home, shop the Sans air purifier today.