Is it Worth Investing in a HEPA Filter for Your Home?

HEPA filters are renowned for their ability to reduce the presence of allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores in the air. If you're worried about these types of particles in your home, replacing your air filters with HEPA filters can help keep your family safe. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and medical professionals, ozone is a respiratory irritant and can worsen allergy or asthma symptoms. Air purifiers are an effective way to improve indoor air quality and reduce health risks.

Nowadays, we spend most of our time indoors, where the air is often more polluted than outside. Air purifiers clean air of particulate matter and trap large allergenic particles in a HEPA filter. HEPA filters were first developed in the 1940s to protect workers at nuclear facilities from inhaling radiated particles in the air. The term HEPA (high efficiency air particles) describes filters designed to capture 99.7 percent of all particles of 0.3 microns or smaller.

It's important to note that a HEPA filter should only be seen as part of the solution to improve indoor air quality. Higher-quality filters will prevent more debris from passing through the system than lower-quality filters. Every model included in the Good Housekeeping Institute's rigorous guide to the best air purifiers you can buy has an authentic HEPA filter. Today, almost all HEPA filters are combined with additional filtration technologies, such as activated carbon.

It's also essential to remember that frequent replacement of filters is necessary, since allergens and other toxic materials accumulate in the filter. According to the EPA Guide to Home Air Filters, using HEPA air filters in portable air purifiers and HVAC systems can help reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. In the 1960s, HEPA filters were already being used in hospitals to help stop the spread of germs and particulates in the air, and soon after, they began to appear in appliances such as vacuums, air purifiers, and whole-house air filtration systems. Air purifiers that use HEPA filters can capture particles from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that spreads COVID-19. The Department of Energy (DOE) specifies that HEPA filters used by DOE contractors must be able to remove 99.7 percent of airborne particulates of 0.3 microns or more, but there are no federal or national regulations for the consumer industry. If you're most concerned about larger particles and you want to buy a HEPA filter, be sure to pay attention to the details when buying a purifier; just because it has the term HEPA doesn't mean it meets the standard.

Ida Trodden
Ida Trodden

Devoted beer geek. Passionate twitter nerd. Proud introvert. Evil twitter maven. Friendly web junkie. Certified pop culture ninja.

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