Are HEPA Air Filters Worth It?

HEPA filters are renowned for their ability to effectively reduce particles such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores. If you're looking to protect your family from these types of particles, updating your air filters is a great way to do so. HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is the highest standard for air filtration. These filters are often used in medical environments and can filter out at least 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. These filters can remove microscopic substances from the air such as mold, dust and pet dander.

Newer filter systems use ultraviolet (UV) irradiation light to kill germs, according to Jake Loiko, owner of Hawks Mountain Home and Property Services in Springfield, Vermont. This electrostatic air filter has a MERV rating of 12, making it sufficient for common allergens, such as mold spores, pollen, and pet dander. How often the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced will depend on the season or region, but Loiko recommends a minimum of every 3 months. The fine print will tell you that HEPA filters can trap up to about 99.97 percent of the tiny particles, contaminants and allergens found in most indoor air environments, up to a size of about 0.3 microns. There are several considerations when thinking about which one would work best with your HVAC or air purifier.

There are many options on the market, and understanding the ins and outs of different air filters can be tricky.

Air purifiers

can further reduce particles that would otherwise be freely present in your home or workplace. As a result, airflow can be reduced, operating times can be increased, energy costs can also be increased, and the life of your HVAC blower can be seriously compromised. With a MERV rating of 13, it can filter out microscopic particles of lint, dust mites, spores, pollen, pet dander, fine dust, smoke, viruses and bacteria. The real benefit of this filter is that it can be used up to a year before changing it (depending on usage).

A HEPA-grade filter can theoretically trap particles as small as 0.3 microns (for reference, a human hair can be between 17 and 180 microns wide).Keep in mind that UV filters should be used in conjunction with an air filter that deals with the particles themselves. And remember that the higher the efficiency of the filter is, the more often you'll have to clean or replace it. This means that the blower in your HVAC equipment has to work harder to push air through the filter and thus consumes more energy.

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