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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About HEPA Filters

HEPA filter

HEPA is an acronym that stands for high efficiency particulate air. The HEPA filter is the most efficient and effective air filter in the world.

Even your garden variety HEPA filter has the ability to filter out 99.97 percent of all airborne particulate matter. But what is even more amazing is that it can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns—this is the diameter of a single human hair!

Why is this important to know? Today, the air we breathe is getting more and more congested with toxins. Not only are we breathing in pollen, pet dander, dust, mould, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals daily, but we are breathing in more of these toxins than ever before.

Even worse, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the indoor air we are breathing is up to five times more toxic than the outside air.

Why is this so significant? Because today, we spend up to 90 percent of our average day indoors!

While we can’t always do a lot to combat outside air pollution, with the help of the HEPA filter, we absolutely can control how clean and safe the air is inside our cars, workplaces, and houses.

In this post, learn everything you ever wanted to know about HEPA filters, including their history, how they work, and where you can find them!

A Brief History of HEPA

HEPA technology was invented during World War II in the 1940s. The goal at the time was to filter out tiny airborne radioactive toxins emitted during the manufacturing of atomic bombs.

HEPA filters turned out to be very good at their job. The filter design was based on gas masks worn by U.S. soldiers fighting in the war. The gas masks contained a special type of complex paper that filtered out airborne toxins in four different ways to ensure the soldiers’ lungs were protected.

Today’s HEPA filters still use essentially the same filtration techniques to achieve a level of air purity no other filter can match. After the war, HEPA filters were quickly adapted first for use in medical and research labs, nuclear facilities, hospitals, and surgical clinics and then for commercial and residential applications.

Today, seven decades since their invention, HEPA filters are more popular than ever.

Appliances That Use HEPA Filtration

HEPA filters can be found in a variety of appliances and devices today. The most common place where HEPA filters are found continues to be in high efficiency air conditioning (HVAC) units.

But HEPA filters are also being used in vacuum cleaners, car air filters, air filtration devices (portable/whole home), as well as certain types of exhaust venting filters.

The good news here is, if you want to make use of HEPA filter technology to clean and filter your air at home or at work, you can do it.

How a HEPA Filter Can Improve Your Health

The following examples represent just a handful of the many ways that you can use a HEPA filter to keep your indoor air clean and safe.

1. Offers relief from allergies

Health experts like WebMD recommend HEPA filters as a tool for individuals who are particularly prone to allergies, whether from seasonal pollens or other airborne toxins.

2. Strengthens cardiovascular health

With regular use, you can improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk for heart disease and lung damage.

3. Improves sleep and reduce asthma attacks

HEPA filters can help make measurable improvements in your sleep and reduce the risk of asthma attacks.

4. Reduces risk of lung cancer from breathing in secondhand smoke

If your household includes both smokers and non-smokers, the use of a HEPA filtration system can reduce non-smokers’ risk of contracting lung disease from secondhand smoke.

What Type of HEPA Filter Should You Get?

It is hard to resist a list of health benefits as long as the one that use of HEPA filters can provide. However, just fitting your air conditioner with a HEPA-rated internal air filter may not be the right solution for you.

This is because a HEPA filter carries an efficiency rating above a “16,” which is the highest rating currently in use for residential HVAC systems. The higher the efficiency rating, the more the filter will restrict air flow as it filters out airborne particulate matter.

For this reason, most residential HVAC units don’t easily accommodate internal HEPA filters. However, there is another way to accomplish the same result. You can simply add an exterior HEPA filtration system that works directly with your HVAC system to filter out the air to the level of a commercial grade HEPA filter (17 to 20 rating).

Another option is to take a combination approach by adding several room HEPA filters to your home. For the best results, you should place these portable HEPA filters in each bedroom, the bathroom(s), the kitchen, and the common area. This will give you a commensurate air quality result to a single whole-home external HEPA unit.

You can also upgrade to a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA-rated inbuilt filter. This will pull many of the allergens and aggravating toxins out of your carpet and off your flooring so they no longer cause health symptoms.

Give Us a Call

Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we love to talk about air quality! We also love helping our clients clean and purify your indoor air!

Our summer Breathe Clean Air Event is going on right now. You can save 20 percent off all Whole Home HEPA Filters, Whole Home UV Filtration Systems, Heat Recovery Ventilators, and Whole Home Humidifiers.

Give us a call at 905-544-2470 or complete this easy online form to reserve your discount today!

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