Do You Really Need a HEPA Filter Vacuum Cleaner?

Any good vacuum cleaner should be able to collect cat hair and dander. However, if you are looking for a way to minimize dust, dander, and other common household allergens, then a HEPA vacuum cleaner might be the right choice for you. But it is important to note that just because a vacuum filter or bag says HEPA doesn't mean you're getting true HEPA performance. For those who are concerned about larger particles, such as dust, pollen, and animal dander, HEPA might be the right option. If you are worried about other sources of indoor air pollution, such as VOCs, viruses and bacteria, then HEPA may not be the best choice.

It is important to note that many vacuums without a HEPA filter are just as good at removing particles. If you are concerned about the emissions of a vacuum cleaner, buying one with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is a good option. View our vacuum ratings and choose a model that scores well for emissions. Two that fit the requirements are the Kenmore Elite 21814 and the Panasonic MC-CG937, both bagged cartridge models.HEPA filters will effectively remove most allergens, dust, pollen and mold from the air. However, they will not eliminate viruses or VOCs.

Mold can grow inside fibers, so it's essential to replace it regularly every 12 to 18 months or when needed. They are very effective at removing particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites and smoke. A normal vacuum would recirculate these particles back into the air.

HEPA-filter vacuums

, on the other hand, trap particles in place. For maximum efficiency, you need a true HEPA filter, not just a filter that mimics your style.

Removing these air particles has many benefits, especially for people with asthma, allergies, or respiratory problems. For homes without central HVAC, or if you have pets indoors, a HEPA room air purifier may be beneficial. It is still important to take care of deposited dust deposits and keep pets out of the bedroom. The room air purifier must be suitable for cleaning the air in the room in which it is being used. Don't expect it to clean an entire house and remember: only particles that pass through the air filter will be captured. Despite this fact, HEPA-based products were marketed for a long time with the intention of protecting against viruses.

The filter also becomes less effective as contaminants build up, posing an additional threat to the air quality inside your home. Installing HEPA filters in the home can immediately reduce the amount of airborne particles that are responsible for triggering these allergy-related symptoms. It's also important to understand that simply using a HEPA-type bag or adding a HEPA filter to a standard vacuum doesn't mean you'll get true HEPA performance. If you have a central HVAC system, consult a reputable contractor about replacing the manufacturer's filter with an approved oven filter (the right size for your unit and the size of your air ducts) with a minimum efficiency rating (MERV) value of 11 or 12, and then configure the fan to work continuously. HEPA filters are effective in part because there are multiple filtration methods that actively reduce the amount of contaminants circulating back into the air. True HEPA filters have an assigned serial number and have been shown to trap at least 99.97 percent of 0.3 micron particles. Most importantly, make sure to replace filters frequently, as live pathogens, such as mold, stay alive and can reproduce on the filter surface. If you or someone else in your household has allergies or asthma, a HEPA filter will help reduce allergens. We certainly recommend checking the air filters in your home or building but whether a HEPA filter is needed may depend on the specific situation.

In commercial environments where HEPA vacuums are required such as construction or restoration sites, using standard vacuums with HEPA filters or bags can constitute a violation of EPA regulations and can result in a substantial fine. Interception occurs when particles following the natural air stream come into contact with one of the fibers of the HEPA filter and then adhere to it. Many filters sold as HEPA can capture only 85 to 90 percent of all particles and that percentage can decrease even further for particles of a micron or smaller. It is important to say that frequent replacement of filters is essential since the pathogens collected in the filter can include living organisms and eventually these pathogens are released back into the air.