Air pollution is one of the most common hazards that is destroying the environment and adversely affecting our health, but we can protect ourselves by using HEPA air filters. Most people think that factory smoke, vehicle exhaust, and emissions from power plants are the only sources of air pollution. However, there are several sources in your home as well such as pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and dust mites. These pollutants are especially harmful for our health because they enter our body when we breathe and cause several medical conditions such as asthma, allergies, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. However, you can protect your family from catching these diseases by using HEPA air filters to trap these pollutants.
High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters were originally designed to be used in laboratory experiments for creating close-to-ideal air conditions. These filters were used for purifying air and preventing harmful radioactive particles from escaping into the air. Nowadays, they are found in air filtration systems and even in vacuum cleaners to improve the air quality in homes. The HEPA filter contains a mesh of fiberglass fibers that trap pollutants in the air when it is forced to pass through the filter, giving out air that is clean and free of harmful particles.
How HEPA Air Filters Work?
A HEPA air filter has a simple working mechanism. They pump air in and pass it through a series of randomly arranged carbon chemical filters. Almost all the toxins and pollutants are removed from the air before it is let out in the environment. This means that when you breathe in the air filtered from a HEPA filter, it has a very small percentage of pollutants and is cleaner. A HEPA filter is capable of trapping several types of harmful particles such as tobacco smoke, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and a few types of bacteria and viruses.
Standards for HEPA Air Filters
A true HEPA filter is capable of trapping 99.97 percent of air pollutants that have a diameter of 0.3 microns. If you compare the diameter of a human hair, which is between 50 and 150 microns in diameter, a HEPA filter is able to filter out particles that are about several hundred times thinner. These filters will trap anything in their mesh that is greater than 0.3 microns. If a HEPA filter is able to trap and filter all the particles of this diameter, then it is up to standard set by NIOSH (the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health).
Classification of HEPA Air Filters
HEPA filters are classified into 4 different grades that are represented by five letters, i.e. from A to E. The letters are assigned based on how well the HEPA filter resists airflow and captures particles. Type A filters are on the lowest in terms of efficiency, while Type E filters are used in environments with radiological, chemical, or biological particles, and are the most efficient.
The HEPA filters are also classified based on whether they are resistant to fire (type 1) or semi-combustible (type 2). In respiratory equipment, the HEPA filters are classified into nine different grades. The grades are based on the level of efficiency (99.97, 99, and 95), and the level of filter degradation (P, R, and N). P refers to oil proof, R is oil resistant, and N is not resistant to oil. You may notice a label on your HEPA filter of P100, which means that it is 99.97 percent efficient and oil proof.
What HEPA Air Filters Do Not Filter?
A HEPA filter catches mostly those particles that are airborne and can easily move through air. Some particles that are larger than 0.3 microns are too heavy to move through the air, and therefore do not pass through the HEPA filter, as these particles tend to settle on surfaces. Some pollutants that the HEPA filters are unable to catch include non-floating particles (on counters, drapes, and floors), indoor smoke, and particles in bedding.
The Health Benefits of HEPA Air Filters
HEPA filters have been engineered and modified over the years to make them suitable for use in homes. They provide several health benefits by cleaning the air inside homes. Some of the benefits are:
Reduce Cardiovascular Health Risks
HEPA air filters make your respiratory system more efficient which lead to improving your cardiovascular health. Several cardiovascular diseases are caused by the malfunctioning of small vessels in the body. The inner lining of these small vessels is affected by air pollutants, and their poor condition can be very dangerous for heath, especially of the ones that directly connect to the heart. If you are experiencing cardiovascular issues, or want to prevent from being diagnosed by such problems in the future, your best bet is to use a HEPA air filter.
Relief from Allergies and Asthma
Having clean air to breathe is important for staying healthy. People suffering from allergies or respiratory problems, like asthma, are often susceptible to experiencing reactions when the indoor air contains allergens. Pollutants such as dust mites, everyday household dust, pet dander, and mold spores can trigger an asthma attack or allergy that could be life-threatening. If you use HEPA filters in your home, the indoor air quality will improve significantly and prevent allergic reactions. Its filtration system traps all these pollutants in many layers of fibers and then releases the purified air back into the environment.
Another great benefit of HEPA air filters in Fort Worth is that they are cost-effective. While you may think that the initial cost of the air purifier equipped with a HEPA filter is high, the difference will be covered from the cost savings of not having to purchase replacement filters. It is quite easy to remove and clean the HEPA filter from an air purifier, which saves time and money. You may have to change the filters after a certain period depending on where the air purifier is located in your home. However, purchasing new filters will only cost you $10 to $30.