When shopping for filters, you may have come across the term “HEPA”—but what does it mean, and is it necessary? Here, find the answers to your most common HEPA-related questions.
Standing for high efficiency particulate air, HEPA filters trap small, harmful particles, such as pollen, pet dander, smoke and dust mites by forcing air through a fine mesh. In consumer products, these fine mesh filters are most often used in vacuums and air purifiers.
HEPA filters prevent ultrafine pollutants from being recirculated into the air we breathe. Additionally, some HEPA filters are designed to trap odors.
When it comes to HEPA, there is a difference between “true” or “absolute HEPA” and “HEPA type.” While HEPA type filters effectively collect dust, lint, pet dander and pollen, they don’t meet the same industry standards as true HEPA filters.
True HEPA filters go through extensive testing to ensure they trap 99.97 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns (that’s less than one-millionth of a meter!) in diameter.
While the air filter you use for your HVAC system also collects unwanted particles, such as dust, smoke, lint and more, most filters cannot capture high levels of the 0.3-micron particles a HEPA filter can.
So, think of an air purifier with a HEPA filter like a one-room booster to your home’s overall indoor air quality. For example, Filtrete’s Room Air Purifier (which comes in various sizes to fit many rooms) with an Allergen, Bacteria & Virus True HEPA Filter is able to attract and trap particles 1,000 times smaller than the human eye can see.