By Sierra Air Conditioning & Plumbing

What Does HEPA Mean and Where Did it Come From?

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air as officially defined by the U.S. Dept. of Energy. HEPA filters are supposed to trap 99.97% of airborne particles that are 0.3 microns (µm) in size so that they do not circulate in your air. The specific size 0.3 microns is used because according to scientists, it is the most penetrating size particle, meaning they are the hardest size particle to capture. To put the size of microns into perspective, the width of a human hair is 50-70 microns.

What are HEPA Filters Made From and How Do They Work?

HEPA filters trap particles such as viruses, bacteria, pollen, mold, smoke, pet dander, and other allergens. Most HEPA filters are made from interlaced glass fibers or synthetic fibers that are randomly aligned and twisted to create a fibrous maze. As particles travel through the HEPA filter, they’re trapped by the HEPA filter in one of the following ways:

  • Direct Impaction: Large contaminants (dust, mold, pollen, etc.) travel in a straight path, collide with fiber and stick to the filter.
  • Sieving: The air stream carries a particle between two fibers, but the particle is larger than the gap, so it gets trapped in the filter.
  • Interception: Airflow is nimble enough to reroute around fibers, but, thanks to inertia, particles continue on their path and stick to the sides of fibers.
  • Diffusion: Small, ultrafine particles move more erratically than larger ones, so when they travel through the filter, they hit and stick to fibers in the filter.

Why Use a HEPA Filter?

HEPA filters can help you to improve indoor air quality in your home, which in turn helps you and your family breathe easier. These filters are meant to help reduce allergies, respiratory issues, and odors in your home. IF someone in your home suffers from respiratory issues, they may benefit greatly from a HEPA filter.

HEPA filters reduce the amount of dust and other allergens in your home’s air, which means that you will also notice you do not have to dust as much. However, this does not mean you can stop dusting and/or vacuuming your home, it just means that most of the dust is being collected by your HEPA filter. Dusting and vacuuming are important to help keep the remainder of the dust, allergens, etc. to a minimum.

Sierra Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers various products with HEPA filters. If you are interested in better filtration, call us today and start breathing easier!

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