Updated on January 23, 2020
HEPA filters, also known as High Efficiency Particulate Air, is a fancy way to say that the filter stops all the particles preventing them from causing you and your family harm. They are particularly useful against pollen, dust, tobacco smoke, and even pet dander. Having a vacuum with a HEPA filter means not only are you cleaning up your carpets and rugs, but you are actively working to prevent bacteria from growing in your house.
How Do HEPA Filters Work?
The HEPA filters in vacuum cleaners work by forcing air into a fine fiber wired mesh that prevents all the harmful allergens from getting back out into the air and harming your family. If that wasn’t enough of a reason to ensure that your vacuum comes equipped with this innovation then perhaps, it should be noted that those suffering from Upper and Lower Respiratory illnesses will feel a noticeable lessening of their symptoms. Smokers especially can make use of the benefits found when using a HEPA filtration system on their vacuums. People diagnosed with Asthma can also find a lessening of their symptoms when employing the filter on their vacuum.
In order to enjoy the full range of benefits offered by the filtration system, you must do a few things first. You should vacuum daily; this will prevent any dust mites or other harmful allergens from settling into your carpets and rugs. You can also install hardwood floors, first ensuring that your vacuum works on hardwood floors.
Many might wonder “what is a HEPA filter made of?” Well, to answer that question, we have to go back to the fundamental design. The fiber wired mesh is made of finely connected fiberglass that ranges in diameter from 0.5 micrometers to 2.0 micrometers. The space between each fiber is typically less than 0.3 um. As the vacuum suctions the particulates into the hose and then forces them into the filter where the harmful substances adhere to the fiberglass fibers. Thus the HEPA filter does not give the harmful agents an opportunity to come in contact with your loved ones.
HEPA filters are regulated by the United States Department of Energy and have to meet strict guidelines in order to be called a HEPA filter. They have to remove a minimum of 99.97% of all airborne particles in order to have the name attached to the vacuum. The minimal amount of airflow resistance has to be at least 0.044 psi on the normal setting. While in Europe they offer several different classes or tiers depending on the number of particles removed by the HEPA filter vacuum. There are several ratings which include:
- E10 which removes 85%
- E11 which removes 95%
- E12 which removes 99.5%
- H13 which removes 99.95%.
There are even higher ratings that go from:
- U15 which removes 99.9995%
- U16 which removes 99.99995%
- U17 which removes 99.999995%
No matter where you are from it should go without saying that the HEPA filter is the gold standard when it comes to vacuum filters and should be on the list of things to look out for when choosing a vacuum to buy.