HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air (filter or filtration). A true HEPA product is an air filter that can trap tiny particles with an efficiency rate of 99.97%. This is effective enough to remove most of the particles from the air. To qualify for HEPA rating, they must do so with 99.97 percent efficiency. The main differences between the HEPA filter and the True HEPA filter are the filtration efficiency.
In general, the HEPA-type filter has an efficiency rate of 99% for capturing particles as small as 2 microns. True HEPA filters the game with a better efficiency rate of 99.97% on particles as small as 0.3 microns. As both filters are widely used in the air purifier industry, the HEPA-type filter is often combined with the most economical and compact air purifier, while the true HEPA filter is labeled with the largest premium air purifier. Minimum Efficiency Report, or MERV, values report a filter's ability to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns (µm). Average particle size efficiency in microns.
When looking for air filtration options, you'll need to decide if you want HEPA filtration or conventional filtration. HEPA filters cannot eliminate VOCs, as they are simply much smaller than what can be trapped. All air filters require regular cleaning and filter replacement to work properly. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance and replacement. Despite this fact, HEPA-based products were marketed for a long time with the intention of protecting against viruses. Other particles that accumulate and fill the filter begin to act as nutrients and allow mold spores to grow in and through the filter membrane and eventually release new spores into the air. When you're looking for air filters, you've probably come across those with the acronym HEPA, which stands for high-efficiency particulate air, on the label.
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, the pathogens are released back into the air. In conclusion, investing in a HEPA filtration system, when properly sized for the space, will go a long way in providing clean air and peace of mind to everyone inside the building. Considering the threat posed by the spread of COVID-19 and other germs, upgrading a building's air filter to a HEPA is a much more effective step than just a MERV 13 considering the small size of a virus (0.06-0.12 microns); the more efficient the filter, the better.