What is a Hepa Filter?

Posted by admin on January 05, 2015

Most homeowners have lots of questions when it comes to their HVAC systems.  One thing many homeowners want to know about are HEPA filters.  Since filter replacement is often done by homeowners themselves as the need arises, you need to be informed about them.  It is important to make sure you are using the right type of product to keep your system in good condition and running efficiently. 

What is a HEPA Filter?

Most people have heard of HEPA filters but may not know much about them. “What is a HEPA filter?” is a common question that can be answered very simply.  HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air filter. 

HEPA filters were originally developed for use in laboratories working with radioactive particles during WWII.  Today this technology has a variety of uses in the automobile and aerospace industries, hospitals and biomedical research facilities, nuclear power and fuel facilities, and in microprocessor and pharmaceutical manufacturing. HEPA filters are also used in residential and commercial applications in furnaces, air handlers, HVAC systems and other air filtration devices.

How they work

HEPA filters are mechanical filters that work when air is forced through them, as it would be in a forced air HVAC system.  As the name implies, HEPA filters are extremely efficient at trapping small particles that are suspended in the air.  They are more efficient than standard filters.  The filter media in a HEPA filter is denser than the media used in standard filters, so it is able to trap more and smaller particles. HEPA filters also have folds, giving it a pleated or “zig-zag” type of pattern.  This design gives the filter more surface area to trap particles, which makes it more effective.

To meet the minimum qualifications for HEPA, a filter must trap 99.97% of particles of .3 microns in size.  To put this in perspective, human hair is between 40 and 120 microns in size, and the human eye can see about as small as 40 microns.  Filters labeled HEPA-style or HEPA-type do not meet this standard.

What is a HEPA filter good for?

HEPA filters can help improve the air quality in your home.  Allergens like dust, pet dander, tobacco smoke, and pollen are extremely small, and will be missed by standard filters. Since HEPA filters trap these smaller particles, the amount in the air is significantly reduced.  This can often bring relief for allergy sufferers. HEPA filters are usually a bit more expensive but normally don’t have to be replaced quite as often as standard filters.

If you have questions about what is a HEPA filter and what can it do for the air quality in your home call Climate Experts today at 1-855-241-7171.

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