If you’ve ever shopped for filters for your air conditioner, you’ve likely seen some labeled HEPA filters. While most homeowners typically use MERV-rated air filters for their residential HVAC units, some choose to go with HEPA filters, and many commercial HVAC units will use HEPA filters for maximum indoor air quality. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. These filters can capture 99.7% of the most commonly missed contaminants that are .3 microns or larger, meaning they are far more effective than the majority of other filters.
How Do HEPA Filters Work?
HEPA filters were actually created in the 1940s and were first used to minimize the spread of the radioactive contaminants used in creating atomic bombs. Although their needs have shifted greatly since then, their efficiency has only improved, providing significant benefits to those who use them. These highly effective filters are made with densely arranged fibers that are arranged in a specific pattern. Most particles traveling through the HVAC unit will cling to the fibers due to their curved configuration, while others will collide with gas molecules that are located within the filter that cause them to then become trapped.
Where Are HEPA Filters Used?
One of the most common places that you might find HEPA filters is, of course, HVAC units. Some homeowners will use them in their homes to minimize contaminants as best as possible, especially if someone in the home has serious allergies, respiratory issues, chronic asthma, or other health concerns. Additionally, many commercial HVAC units utilize HEPA filters to keep businesses’ air quality as clean as possible. Places like hospitals and other companies where health is a big priority often have HEPA filters to ensure they are providing the best indoor air quality to their visitors. You might also see HEPA filters used in cars, vacuum cleaners, and stand-alone air purifiers.
Improving Indoor Air Quality
When outdoor air quality is bad, you need to be able to trust that the air inside your home is clean and safe to breathe. Whether you live in a highly polluted area or not, outdoor air quality can suffer a great deal at certain times of year, leading to more colds, coughs, and respiratory problems. HEPA filters have proven to be more effective than any other residential HVAC filter at cleaning the air that comes inside your home.
Minimizing Bacterial and Viral Contaminants
Although air filters cannot completely capture a virus or bacteria, and they certainly cannot eradicate them, they can help protect your family from viral and bacterial concerns. Virus-sized particles can become trapped in your HEPA filter should it make its way through your HVAC system, and once it’s trapped, it cannot survive for long or dislodge to infect others. There is no guarantee that utilizing a HEPA filter will remove bacterial and viral contaminants from your home, but they can reduce the number of particles that remain in your breathable air.
To learn more about HEPA filters, AC repairs and maintenance, and how Comfort Experts can help you improve your indoor air quality, contact us today.