HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air and HEPA air filters are used in a wide range of different appliances and devices in and around the home and office to reduce the number of pollutants in the air. Experts say that a HEPA filter will eliminate up to 99.97% of particles that are airborne and are 0.3 micrometers in diameter. This size of particle is thought to be the most difficult to filter and are known as the most penetrating particle size or MPPS. Any particles that are either bigger or smaller than this size are filtered with a better efficiency.
A HEPA filter is made up of a mat of fibers that are randomly distributed across each other forming a mesh of different sized fibers all placed on top of each other many times to form a filter. Air that passes though the mat is filtered as particles are trapped within it and the filter, after a certain period of time can be changed and all trapped particles are disposed of. A HEPA filter targets small particles and sticks them to fibers by one of three methods:
-Impaction: This works by the larger particles being unable to pass through or swerve past fibers even when using air stream contours. The higher the air flow and lower the fiber separation the more particles will stick to the filter.
-Interception: This happens when particles are airborne and follow the stream of air and stick to a fiber when they come into close contact with it.
-Diffusion: This works by the smallest particles colliding with gas molecules, which in turn will slow them down, making them stick to the filter and not pass through it.
Together this mixture of methods means that the majority of particles from 0.1 micrometers upwards will adhere to the filter and be taken out of the air. HEPA filters can be used in different ways such as in generating nuclear power (they are used in the housing filters to eliminate contaminants from getting in to the air), air conditioning units (which when used to eliminate airborne bacterial can be up to 99.995% effective) and vacuum cleaners (to rid the air of dust mites, pet dander and other irritants).
Using a HEPA filter can drastically cut down on the amount of pollutants that are in the air and today their use is not just limited to commercial ventures. You can easily have HEPA filters put into your air conditioning or ventilation systems both in residential and commercial properties. And using a vacuum cleaner with a removable HEPA filter can vastly improve the air quality in the home and can make all the difference if you suffer from allergies.
To make sure that you have HEPA filtration working for you make sure that you change your filter at the recommended time and only use filter appliances that can use a HEPA filter. If you would like more information on installing HEPA filters into your air conditioner or ventilation system speak to your local HVAC professional who can assist you with all your filtering and air conditioning needs.