HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) is an air filter comprised of a mat of dense fibers arranged in folds thus creating a fine mesh, which are designed according to federal standards to trap at least 99.97% of airborne particles. HEPA works by forcing the air through the mesh thus trapping harmful particles. HEPA is specifically used in vacuum cleaners and air filters.
Air pollution is all around us including in our homes. Dust mites, pollen, pet hair, tobacco and mould spores are found in the cleanest of home and can cause health problems, especially if any family members suffer with asthma or allergies. Therefore using a vacuum with HEPA is invaluable, and can help keep your home practically pollutant free and your allergy’s at bay.
It is important to be aware that there is a difference between a HEPA and a Sealed HEPA. In order for the vacuum cleaner to be fully effective it must be designed so that all of the air that is drawn into the vacuum is expelled through the filter, and none leaks past it. This type of vacuum is known as a sealed HEPA, however it is also sometimes called a true HEPA. The motor in a sealed or true HEPA will also be more powerful. Vacuum cleaners labelled as HEPA or HEPA-like will not be as efficient when it comes to air filter, and therefore will not get rid of as many pollutants.
Although HEPA filters do last a long time, they will need to be replaced at some point in order for the vacuum to continue to perform at an optimal level. However it is difficult to say how often you should change the filter, as this depends on how often, and conditions it is used for. As a general rule though a HEPA filter used in a residential setting should last about two–three years. And in a commercial setting it should be changed every 6 months to a year depending on its condition.
Studies have shown that standard vacuum cleaners release harmful ultrafine particles back into the air. These tiny particles are then either absorbed into the bloodstream or inhaled, and have shown to result in increases in allergies and asthma. It has also been suggested they cause strokes, heart attacks and some cancers. Therefore because the HEPA vacuum cleaner captures and keeps 99.97 % of airborne particles, it is the recommended cleaner for anyone caring about their health and the environment.
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