Will An Air Purifier Really Help With Your Allergy Problem?
The HEPA air filter that is responsible for the success of most air filtration systems. HEPA is an acronym that stands for high-efficiency particulate air. Therefore, a HEPA filter or a HEPA type filter is a mechanical type of filter. Typically is designed with a fine mesh design that captures harmful particles such as pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. When an air purifier features a HEPA filter, it can easily arrest allergies, provided back-up measures are taken, such as the sealing of windows and doors and the use of a vacuum with HEPA filtration
HEPA Filtration and HEPA-Type Filters
If you happen to walk into any big box retailer, you can find air purifiers for sale. The same can be said of the selection online. Air purifiers come in all shapes and configurations from small streamlined designs to mechanical industrial-type machines.
However, you may wonder if the claims associated with air purification are true. Air purifiers are touted as zapping viruses, killing dust mites, destroying mold, and sanitizing the air. Most of the purifiers are designed with HEPA filters, thereby ensuring that the smallest particles will be captured and eliminated from an indoor environment.
Some air purifiers that do not feature HEPA filters come with HEPA-type filters. The differences between these two filter types is almost indistinguishable. While HEPA filters capture 99.97% of particles measuring as small as 0.3 microns, HEPA-type filters catch 99% of particles that are at least two microns in size. Although the particulates that are captured by air filters are too small to be seen, they still can penetrate the respiratory tract and lungs and cause health difficulties.
With that said, you might wonder what size a micron represents. Microns are sized at one-millionth of a meter. A particle that is one inch is equal to 25,400 microns. Therefore, we cannot visually observe any particle that is under 10 microns. To further elaborate:
- Spores range from three to 40 microns in size.
- Bacteria is 0.3 to 60 microns overall.
- Mold measures from three to 12 microns in size.
- Car emissions are one to 150 microns in size.
- Pure oxygen measures 0.0005 microns.
Air Purifiers Cannot Totally Get Rid of Dust or Pollen without Some Help
To get the most of a home air purifier, especially one featuring a HEPA filter or HEPA-type filter, you need to follow a certain process before plugging in the device. First, you should make sure that most pollen particles or moisture are blocked in your home by replacing old windows and caulking around frames or openings. If your home features carpeting, you should also use a vacuum with a HEPA filter when you clean the floor.
Besides a particulate-capturing filter, an air purifier may feature a container that holds baking soda as well. This added feature also removes unpleasant odors represented by trash, pets, cigarette smoke, cooking, and litter boxes. Therefore, air purifiers not only remove allergens but they can also feature amenities that remove unwanted smells.
How HEPA Filters Work
HEPA filters trap very small contaminants in one of four ways. It just depends on the particle size. For example, large particulates are captured by inertial impaction and sieving. The particles are usually trapped as they attempt to travel through the fibers.
On the other hand, medium-sized particles are caught in the fibers by way of interception. Smaller contaminants are dissipated as they go through the fiber, ultimately colliding with the fiber and becoming trapped.
Contrary to the popular consensus, all HEPA filters are not designed the same. However, one thing is for sure: they work to get rid of the pollutants that cause respiratory irritation. Therefore, air purifiers that feature HEPA filtration or HEPA-type filters will prevent allergies. You just have to make sure that you take other measures as well.
For example, as noted, your doors and windows should be sealed tightly to keep dust or pollen from entering the house. You also need to make sure that your carpet or floor is cleaned with a vacuum that features a HEPA filter. These added measures will ensure that your air purifier will clear the air and help you breathe more easily.