Unfortunately, most of the air you breathe daily in your home is not fresh. It’s air that is continuously recirculated throughout your home for the most part. This is true of central air systems, air purifiers and other types of apparatus in your home that circulate air through them. It’s also why it’s so important to have air filters on these devices. There are many different types of air filters made but among the better types are what are known as HEPA (“High Efficiency Particle Arrestor”) air filters.
Why are HEPA air filters better than most other types of air filters? It has everything to do with how they are made. HEPA filters are made using a combination of ultra-thin glass fibers and in most cases have added activated carbon too. The glass fibers on a HEPA filter also have a tighter weave than normal. That means they are more effective than normal air filters because they will filter much smaller particles of contaminants out of the air you breathe in your home.
What Do HEPA Air Filters Effectively Filter Out of the Air?
It would probably scare you enough to sleep outside your home if you knew what was circulating in the air in it. There are many harmful particles found in household air. Among them are such allergens as pet dander and pollen. You will also find irritant causing dust mites and other forms of small dust particles. It’s good to know that a HEPA type filter very effectively traps these types of harmful air particles. The tightly wound fibers in a HEPA filter are even fine enough to catch and trap tobacco smoke.
How Much Do HEPA Filters Cost and How Long Do They Last?
Normal glass fiber air filters are very inexpensive, and that’s good because they need to be replaced every 3 to 6 months. HEPA air filters are at least 2 to 3 times more expensive than their cheap loose weave air filter counterparts. There is a catch, however.
HEPA air filters last a great deal longer than conventional air filters do. They only need replacing every 2 to 3 years. So when you factor in cost versus longevity over time HEPA air filters are about the same price as conventional air filters. Don’t be fooled here and you can’t put a price on your health either. Even in powerful commercial air circulation systems HEPA filters only need to be replaced every 6 months on average.
How Does Activated Carbon Help A HEPA Air Filter Work Better?
We mentioned that many HEPA style air filters also have activated carbon added to them. Activated carbon has the unique ability to remove odors out of the air you breathe. It actually ‘absorbs’ such things as odors, gases, smoke and other chemical fumes. It is a nice added bonus for the quality of the air you breathe in your home.
How does it absorb these air contaminants? Activated carbon has an unbelievable amount of surface area for its size. This large surface area is covered with microscopic hairs that absorb the contaminants in your air. When activated carbon works in combination with tight woven HEPA fibers, it makes for a great household air cleaning team.
Should You Make The Switch To HEPA Style Air Filters?
Many people wonder if they should switch all of the air filters in their home over to HEPA style air filters. Here is one reason why the answer to that question should be yes. It’s estimated that on average each individual spends 40% – 50% of their day inside their home breathing the recirculated air inside it. If you are like most people, you will want that air you breathe to be of as high a quality as possible. Using HEPA air filters on your air circulating appliances and devices will certainly help with that.
Anyone in your home that suffers from allergies is sensitive to breathing dust or reacts negatively when breathing pet dander can benefit by breathing air in your home that frequently passes through HEPA air filters. That is why it’s never a bad idea to install HEPA air filters on your central air system, in any air purifier you use and even make sure your vacuum cleaner uses them inside. Some humidifier and dehumidifier models have HEPA air filtration too.
If you have HEPA air filters on your air purifiers, you can use your central heating and air system to help with circulation. Set your central heating and air system, so it circulates the air in your home through them even when it’s not calling for heating or cooling.
The small extra amount of money you spend on your electric bill is well worth the tradeoff to breathe cleaner air. HEPA filtration will make the 40% – 50% of the time you spend in your home much healthier because you have these types of air filters.