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March 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Environmental Quality

What is a HEPA Filter (in Vacuums)?

Are you wondering what a HEPA filter is?

Are you curious as to the benefits of using a HEPA filtered vacuum?

In this article we will discover how HEPA filters work and what the major benefits are for using HEPA filtered vacuums.   

 

What is a HEPA Filter?

HEPA Filters are composed of a mat of randomly and finely arranged fibers. Designed to capture 99.97% of airborne particles. Great for allergy season!

HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. Dust mites, mold spores, pollen and pet dander in the air inside your office or work space can cause problems such as allergies and/or asthma. A HEPA filter is a type of mechanical air filter that works by forcing air through fine and randomly arranged set of fibers. It is designed to capture and remove extremely small pollutants and particles by utilizing three mechanisms. 

Three Mechanisms that Capture Particles in a HEPA Filter (see image above):

1. Interception: Where particles following a line of flow in the air stream come within one radius of a fiber and adhere to it. 

2. Impact: Where larger particles are unable to avoid fibers by following the curving contours of the air stream and are forced to embed in one of them directly.

3. Diffusion: The result of the collision with gas molecules by the smallest particles, especially those below 0.1 µm in diameter, which are thereby impeded and delayed in their path through the filter. 

With these three mechanisms and the unique structure of a HEPA filter, vacuums are proven to throw less dirt and fewer microscopic dust mites back into the room while you vacuum. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, to qualify as a true HEPA filter, it must be able to capture at least 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter or larger, that enter into the filter (dust mites range from 2-10 microns in size). 

 

Reduction of Allergy Symptoms

By removing most airborne particles that make allergies worse, such as dust mites, HEPA filters are proven to show significant signs of improvement in many allergy sufferers.  Plus, the design of the HEPA filter is to capture and hold the dust intake, as opposed to traditional vacuums that throw dust back into the air that can cause immediate effects on people in the vicinity. 

 

Reduction of Sick Building Syndrome

Dust captured from vacuum filter

According to the NSC (National Safety Council), sick building syndrome is a situation in which occupants of a building experience acute health effects that seem to be linked to time spent in the building, but no specific illness or cause can be identified. The complaints may be localized in a particular room or zone, or may be widespread throughout the building. 1 A poorly functioning vacuum cleaner, for example, can do more harm than good by spreading dust around rather than capturing and removing it. Vacuum models equipped with HEPA filters which remove even the tiniest particles are infinitely preferable to reduce the problem of sick building syndrome. 

 

 

 

References

1 Environmental Illness Resource (EiR) | http://www.ei-resource.org/illness-information/related-conditions/sick-building-syndrome-(sbs)/

 

 

Are you currently using a HEPA filtered vacuum?

What is your experience?

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