What you need to know about HEPA air filters
Are you looking for a way to improve the air quality in your home or workplace? If so, consider investing in a HEPA air filter. This guide will discuss everything you need to know about these filters, from what they are to how they work. Plus, we will share some of our top picks for the best HEPA air filters on the market. So whether you are just starting your search or already familiar with these filters and want to find the best one for your needs, we recommend you read on.
The history of HEPA
HEPA stands for ‘High-Efficiency Particulate Air’. HEPA air filters have been used since the 1940s by the US Army. They have become increasingly useful in capturing airborne particles that can cause allergic reactions, illness, or environmental issues.
As part of the classified government project known as the Manhattan Project during World War II, scientists had to develop a filter to remove radioactive materials from the air (Wikipedia.org). After the war ended, their commercial and residential applications became more widespread.
Today, you will find HEPA filters being used in clinical settings, hospitality venues, educational facilities, care homes, offices and domestic dwellings where there is a need to remove harmful particles from the air.
Special types of HEPA filters like the HEPA H13 are capable of trapping 99.97% of particles that are 0.1 microns or larger. This includes common allergens like pollen, mould spores and dust, pet hair, cigarette smoke and other air pollutants.
How do HEPA filters clean the air?
HEPA air filters work by drawing air through their filter and trapping airborne particles and thus preventing them from entering your home. This is achieved with the fibres contained inside the HEPA filter. Its efficiency depends on its size, shape and materials used in its construction.
The HEPA H13 filter found in RUHENS air purifiers can completely clean the air of a 1000 sq. ft. (100 m²) room in a few minutes. With a CADR rating of 780 m3/hr, it is one of the highest-quality HEPA air filters available on the current market.
Centrally located, this final filter forms the last filtration stage before the clean, purified air is released back into the room. It efficiently and effectively traps 99.9% of microscopic particles that are 0.1 microns or larger, preventing tobacco smoke, pollen, mould spores and dust from entering your home.
What pollutants can HEPA air filters clear?
Medical-grade HEPA air filters like the HEPA H13 can effectively trap and eliminate a variety of pollutants, including;
- household dust
- pet hair
- mould spores
- and some airborne viruses, including COVID-19.
COVID-19 is 0.125 microns in size, so this can also be effectively filtered from the air by RUHENS HEPA H13 filter. Within 10 minutes of exposure, RUHENS air purifier ionisers were observed to reduce the viral load of Coronavirus by >99.9%, as noted in a recent report by Dr Inje Yi (IM Healthcare Co. Ltd).
Do HEPA filters work on their own?
No, HEPA air filters work best in conjunction with other air-purifying methods and filters such as pre-allergy and carbon filters, as well as ionisation and air sterilisation through UV lights.
How are HEPA filters used in air purifiers?
HEPA filters are the final filters air passes through before re-entering the room. Before this stage, air can pass through a series of pre-filters depending on the type or model of purifier you are using. A more comprehensive air purifier has air pass through the following process:
- Pre-filters trap larger-sized particles and pollutants like pollen or household dust.
- The air then continues through to a carbon filter followed by an anti-allergy filter. Both help eliminate unpleasant odours and formaldehyde and ensure that no bacteria can reproduce.
- Finally, the powerful HEPA H13 filter comes into play. It not only traps up to 99.9% of microscopic particles as small as 0.1 microns but also destroys them, releasing clean air back out into the room.
For additional protection, UVC lights found at the core of an air purifier will help disinfect and sterilise viruses and bacteria by breaking down their cellular composition, effectively killing the harmful particles, which makes filter changes much safer.
Best air purifiers with HEPA filters
RUHENS are the most reliable and affordable brand of air purifiers in the world. Our air purifiers have helped over 5,000 customers breathe cleaner air. All of our units are equipped with HEPA air filters and have received medical-grade approval.
- The RUHENS WHA 400 UVC cover large areas up to 140m2 and contains 8 filters, including a HEPA H13 filter, removing up to 99% of harmful allergens from the air. Further features include a ventilation alarm, which alerts users of high concentrations of CO2, whilst the real-time display will show you the air quality with its easy-to-read colour display.
- The RUHENS WHA 320 UVC tower air purifier is perfect for small to medium-sized homes, with 4-stage filtration, an ioniser and a carry handle for easy portability. Using a pre-filter, deodorisation filter, antibacterial filter and HEPA H13 filter, this air purifier absorbs polluted air through a total of 6,013 air holes yet only weighs 7.3kg making it easy to manoeuvre around the house.
A compact air purifier can improve the air quality if you have a small living or workspace, up to 45m2. The RUHENS WHA-500 and RUHENS WHA 200 are effective at purifying smaller areas because of their 4-stage filtration system containing HEPA filters. Both units have also been fitted with smart features, including smart sleep mode, automatic air volume control, timer settings, filter exchange alarms etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do HEPA filters get dirty?
Yes, HEPA filters get dirty and need to be cleaned or replaced on a regular basis. HEPA filters work by trapping small particles and allergens as the air passes through the filter. Over time, these trapped particles will begin to build up and reduce the filter’s effectiveness.
How long does a HEPA filter last?
HEPA filters do not require any cleaning or maintenance per se. However, it is important to change the filter every 6 months.
Are there any disadvantages to HEPA filters?
When it comes to maintenance, HEPA filters can be expensive to replace, which is why a rental plan covering filter changes may be an option to consider.
Additionally, some people find that the filters themselves can produce a slight odour and be bulky and difficult to move around. However, this depends on the type of air purifier, with smaller units offering a more portable alternative.
Finally, it’s important to note that HEPA filters are not 100% effective at removing all allergens from the air; therefore, they may not be suitable for everyone.
Are HEPA air purifiers worth it?
HEPA air purifiers are definitely worth it, as they can help remove harmful airborne particles from your environment. In fact, studies have shown that HEPA air purifiers can help reduce the incidence of asthma and allergies and improve overall respiratory health.
If you’re looking for an effective way to improve the air quality in your home, then a HEPA air purifier is definitely a good option to consider.