HEPA filters are renowned for their ability to remove more than 99.9% of particles from the air, including allergens, viruses, bacteria, chemicals, dust, and more. This makes them an ideal choice for people with asthma, allergies, or respiratory problems.
HEPA airfilters are also effective at trapping large particles such as pet dander, pollen, and dust mites. However, other particles can still be present in the filter and require regular replacement every 12 to 18 months or when needed.
HEPA vacuums are also recommended to minimize dust, dander, and other common household allergens. But just because a filter or vacuum bag says HEPA doesn't mean you're getting true HEPA performance. To ensure maximum removal of contaminants from the air, it's best to purchase a HEPA air purifier that contains additional filters such as a carbon filter and a pre-filter. This is because HEPA filters work through a process called interception, where particles enter the fibers of the filter and remain attached to them.
HEPA filters are also excellent at reducing particles such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores. The Department of Energy (DOE) specifies that HEPA filters used by DOE contractors must be able to remove 99.7 percent of airborne particles 0.3 microns or larger. If someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, investing in a household HEPA filter will help reduce and eliminate airborne particles that cause or may worsen symptoms. Consumer Reports found that the HEPA vacuums they tested tend to do a good job of removing pet hair too. HEPA filters were originally designed in the 1940s to protect workers in nuclear facilities from breathing irradiated particles in the air.
To meet the HEPA standard, a filter must be able to remove up to 99.97 percent of contaminants with a size of 0.3 microns or larger.