How HEPA Filters Improve Indoor Air Quality

Air – it’s one of life’s necessities that is easily taken for granted. But that doesn’t mean the air we breathe is always clean.

Take indoor air, for example. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside. And given that on average, we spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors there is at least some cause for concern, especially for those suffering from allergies or asthma. 

So how does one win the battle against polluted indoor air? Enter the HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. 

What is a HEPA Air Filter?

HEPA filters are dense, fibrous mats composed of randomly arranged fibers. These fibers are typically made of fiberglass and are extremely fine, ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 micrometers in diameter. To put this into perspective, a human hair is roughly 50 to 70 micrometers thick, highlighting just how small the particles HEPA filters can capture.

How Do HEPA Filters Work?

HEPA filters trap contaminants in four different ways as they pass through the filter:

  1. Mechanical Filtration: As air passes through the dense mat of fibers, particles become trapped within the filter. The key to HEPA filters’ effectiveness lies in their ability to capture particles of various sizes, from larger dust particles to ultrafine pollutants and allergens.
  2. Particle Interception: Larger particles are captured through a process called interception. As these particles flow through the filter, they collide with the fibers and become trapped. This mechanism is particularly effective for particles larger than 0.4 micrometers in diameter.
  3. Impaction: Medium-sized particles, typically between 0.1 and 0.4 micrometers, are captured through impaction. As these particles navigate through the airflow, they are unable to follow the airstream’s sharp turns and are instead forced into contact with the fibers, where they adhere and are captured.
  4. Diffusion: Ultrafine particles smaller than 0.1 micrometers are captured through diffusion. These particles are so small that they move erratically due to Brownian motion, causing them to collide with and adhere to the fibers as they pass through the filter.

Benefits of HEPA Filters

Introducing a HEPA filter into your home can offer a multitude of benefits, enhancing both your health and overall quality of life. Here are three such advantages of incorporating a HEPA air filter into your home environment:

  1. Improved Indoor Air Quality: HEPA filters are designed to capture a wide range of airborne pollutants, including dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, bacteria, and viruses, creating a cleaner and healthier environment for you and your loved ones. 
  2. Reduced Allergens and Irritants: HEPA filters excel at trapping allergens and irritants that can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory issues. By removing these particles from the air, HEPA filters can significantly reduce the presence of common allergens like dust mites, pollen, and pet dander, as well as other irritants such as mold spores and airborne bacteria. 
  3. Enhanced Overall Health and Well-being: Breathing cleaner air can lead to better sleep quality, increased energy levels, and reduced instances of respiratory discomfort. Additionally, by reducing exposure to airborne pollutants and contaminants, HEPA filters can contribute to long-term health benefits, potentially lowering the risk of respiratory infections, allergic reactions, and other health issues associated with poor indoor air quality. 

At Air Professionals, we offer a variety of indoor air quality solutions, including HEPA-equipped whole-house air filtration systems that can effectively capture microscopic particles and allergens so you can breathe easy. Contact us today to find out whether a professionally installed air cleaner is the right solution to improve the quality of the air in your home.

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