HVAC systems rely on air filters to trap particles and irritants before they enter your breathing air. One type of filter you can use in your HVAC system is a high-efficiency articulate air filter or HEPA filter. These efficient filters are a great way to improve the air quality inside your home. If you want to learn about HEPA filters, check out these five must-know facts.
The CDC Recommends Them for Disease Control
To be labeled a HEPA filter, the filter must go through a lot of testing and meet specific standards, including tests regarding the filter media, filter construction, filter penetration and flammability. Any filter that is labeled HEPA must be able to trap 99.97 percent of airborne particles that are at least 0.3 microns. For particles 0.1 micron in size, it must be able to trap 95 percent of them. Because HEPA filters work so well, the CDC often recommends using them to stop the spread of certain diseases, such as the infamous H1N1 virus.
Allergens Are No Match for HEPA Filters
HEPA filters are specifically great at capturing allergens, which makes them great for people who suffer from allergies, such as pollen, pet dander, and dust. HEPA filters prevent allergens from reaching your living space in three ways. First, the fine fibers in the HEPA filter intercept medium-sized particles, blocking them from entering the air ducts. Second, larger particles are too big to actually become trapped in the fine fibers, so the filter impacts them in the filter's counters. Last, the smaller particles that can actually fit through the filter are diffused and destroyed as they collide into gas molecules.
They Are Great for People With Breathing Difficulties
People with allergies aren't the only ones who can benefit from HEPA filters. People with breathing problems like asthma can also find relief with a HEPA filter in their HVAC system. One common asthma attack trigger are dust mites, which are about 100-300 microns in size and large enough for the HEPA filter to capture them with ease. Unfortunately, fumes and tobacco smoke are also common causes of asthma attacks, and HEPA filters do not capture these irritants.
They Can Improve Heart Health
Even if you don't have allergies or a breathing problem, a HEPA filter can be beneficial to your wellbeing. Recent studies have shown that HEPA filters may improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease or heart attack. Basically, repeatedly breathing pollution can cause inflammation to your circulatory and respiration system, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. The study showed that using a HEPA filter reduced indoor air pollution by more than 50 percent, improved blood vessel health and decreased systemic inflammation. The study showed that HEPA filters do an exceptionally good job at removing pollution from wood smoke.
You Don't Need to Replace HEPA Filters as Often
How often you should replace your HVAC filter depends on many factors, but you should replace it whenever it's dirty, and if you have pets or live with smokers, you'll probably need to replace it more often. For normal fiberglass or paper filters, you want to replace them about once every two months, but with a HEPA filter, you can usually wait four months before you replace your filter. On the downside, HEPA filters are more expensive than fiberglass and paper filters, so you won't end up saving money.
HEPA filters can stop the spread of disease, reduce allergens, improve breathing and reduce your risk of heart disease. If you're interested in learning more about HEPA filters, contact a professional in your area today and talk with HVAC contractors or visit websites like http://www.alliedairheat.com.