Low air quality in city centres is a huge problem, most commonly associated with traffic and non-renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, this issue can follow you around wherever you go — even inside buildings, for example, your home, office and business premises. In addition to pollutants, the air you breathe can also be full of airborne disease-causing particles responsible for everything from seasonal infections to the spread of coronaviruses such as COVID-19. Keeping the indoor air clean and pollution-free is, therefore, one of the most effective ways to ensure that your home is safe and comfortable for all its occupants. Below you can learn more about the meaning of HEPA filters, their uses, and effectiveness to understand why this air purification system is the best one for your house.

What is a HEPA filter?

The name is an acronym that stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. It’s an efficiency standard for air filters used in air purification systems and devices designed to clean the air from pollutants and pathogenic particles.

air purifiers filters

It’s a type of air filter recognised for its high efficiency. It’s capable of capturing and removing even 99.9% of coarse,fine and nanoparticles lingering in the air, such as viruses, bacteria, allergens and air pollutants.

HEPA filters were originally created during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project, which resulted in the development of the first atomic bomb. In order to avoid inhaling hazardous radioactive airborne particles while working on this program, scientists designed an innovative filtration technology capable of capturing particles as small as 0.3 microns.

How do these filters work?

The HEPA filter’s microscopic fibre maze consists of interlaced glass fibres that are twisted and turned. Small particles are caught by diffusion as they pass through the filters. By hitting and sticking to the sides of the fibres, these particles are trapped inside. This means that the filtered air no longer contains harmful pollutants and pathogens.

HEPA filters are highly effective in capturing 99.97% of fine particles in sizes as small as 0.3 microns. But, thanks to diffusion, it’s possible to achieve even better results. Particles smaller than 0.3 microns are small enough to pass through the filter, but due to their movement patterns, they hit the HEPA filter fibres and stick to them before being released into the room with the filtered air. According to NASA reports, this particle size is considered the most penetrating and, therefore, the most dangerous, so using air purifiers capable of capturing it is extremely beneficial for the quality of indoor air.

air purifier filter

When combined with other air filtration technologies (such as carbon filters, cold catalyst and UV-GI light), 99.99% of all lingering particles are captured and eradicated. This means that you can effectively eliminate viruses and bacteria, as well as airborne particles such as dust, mould spores, pollen and other allergens.

Does HEPA really filter the COVID virus?

The microscopic fibre maze of the HEPA filter efficiently captures fine particles, even as small as 0.001 microns. The SARs-CoV-2 coronavirus particle itself is 0.1 – 0.2 microns, moreover, it mainly travels through the air encapsulated in larger respiratory droplets. As a result, they can be quite easily caught by HEPA filters.

By trapping COVID-19 particles inside the filters, you can significantly reduce the spread of the virus and make your business premises much safer for your employees and customers.

Are there different types of HEPA filters?

No, as we mentioned above, HEPA is simply an efficiency standard filters need to comply with to be called a ‘HEPA filter’. How they comply with the standard and how far they go beyond the minimum requirements differ greatly from one HEPA filter to another.

There isn’t a single HEPA standard either. There are increasingly more stringent HEPA standards with ‘grades’ between H10 to H14. ‘True’ HEPA generally ranges from H10-H12. These filters are generally effective against particles 0.3 to 0.5 microns in diameter. Sadly, COVID frequently gets spread through particles as small as 0.1 microns in size.

That’s where HEPA H13-H14 standards come in. Filters complying with H13 and H14 standards are considered medical-grade quality. H10-H12 filters can only trap 85-99.5% of particles that are 0.1 microns in diameter, which proves to be relatively ineffective against COVID. HEPA H13 and H14 filters trap 99.95% and 99.995% of 0.1-micron particles, on the other hand.

Medical-grade H13 and H14 HEPA filters are commonly used in industries like pharmaceutical manufacturing, healthcare, and education because they have a greater particulate retention rate, and these industries have higher safety standards that only H13 and H14 filters can meet.

AIR8 Air Purifier

kitchen air purifier

At AIR8, we have high-quality HEPA 13 filters installed in our air purifiers. They are the most powerful filter you can install in common commercial appliances. HEPA 13 filters. Normal HEPA filters can typically only filter out 0.3-micron particles and larger; in contrast, HEPA 13 filters manage to filter out 99.95% of particles that are as small as 0.1 microns in size. If you want your air purifier to be effective in combatting COVID, you need an air purifier with a medical-grade HEPA filter installed.