With heating and cooling systems becoming more and more common in households, we are also becoming more aware of the different things we need to run an optimal HVAC system. We are exposed to commercials that tell us we need "this" and we look on the Internet and read that we need "that." It's no wonder we're so educated on a wide variety of topics. One of those topics we keep hearing about when it comes to our HVAC systems is the HEPA filter.
HEPA filters are filters that can filter out 99.97% of article particles that are 0.3 micrometers in diameter. Basically, to put it in layman's terms, they are super filters whose fibers are arranged in such a matter than enables them to filter out much smaller particles than other filters. When you look back at the origin of the HEPA filter, it's actually quite scary. The first HEPA filter was made in the 1940's as a means of preventing radioactive contamination.
It wasn't until the 1950's that it became more widely used as a high-efficiency filter for pollutants. The top commercial industries that use HEPA filters are aerospace, pharmaceutical processing, hospitals, nuclear plants, and computer chip labs. The Department of Energy has specific requirements that a filter must pass in order to be deemed a HEPA compliant filter.
Again, this is a filter more commonly used in the industrial space; however, it is becoming more popular in the residential area. This is largely due to a rise in demand for better air quality in our living spaces. One of the main reasons they are not as widespread as they could be is the fact that most HVAC equipment, as it exists today, are not equipped to use HEPA filters.
Slowly but surely newer equipment that has the capability to use HEPA technology is coming out, going down and price, and being used in residential construction. If you suffer from allergies, asthma, a lowered immune system, or other ailments, using a HEPA filter can greatly improve your day-to-day quality of life. These filters can capture allergens, mold, mildew, lint, hair, dander, and more.
They are expensive to purchase, however, and require more maintenance than other types of filters. This makes sense, though, if you look at the logic. If the filter captures more pollutants, it will become dirtier quicker, and will require more cleaning. The cost of the filters will be a judgment call for everyone, as it depends on your personal preference. Would you prefer cleaner and higher quality air in your living space? If so, a HEPA filter just might be the solution for you.
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