Pollution is the bane of modern-day existence. There are so many pollutants, and allergens in the air both inside and outside the home, that using artificial methods to clean it have become necessary. Air pollution does not consist of only factory fumes and vehicle exhaust. It also consists of dust, dander, pollen, and mold spores. Breathing in air that is not clean is a health hazard. Though there isn’t much that one can do to reduce the contaminants in the air outside their homes, other than fulfilling their environmental duty, we can still improve the quality of indoor. HEPA air filters are the key to making the air inside your home cleaner.
What Are HEPA Air Filters?
As defined by the U.S. Department of Energy, HEPA is an acronym that stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air (Filter). It is basically a pleated mechanical air filter that can trap minute contaminants present in the air. Theoretically, its efficiency is 99.97%, which means that it can trap that amount of airborne particles measuring at least 0.3 microns (µm).
Why At Least 0.3 Microns?
O.3 microns is considered by the scientists to be the Most Penetrating Particle Size or MMPS. According to them, these size particles tend to escape the air filters the most.
What Are HEPA Filters Made Of?
The modern HEPA filters are made of interlaced borosilicate glass fibers or plastic fibers that are twisted and turned in numerous directions creating a fibrous maze. They are usually bound together with approximately 5% acrylic binder.
How HEPA Filters Trap Airborne Particles
Air is forced through a fine mesh, which is the HEPA filter, and airborne particles are taken out of circulation as they travel through this maze. There are usually 4 ways in which the particles get trapped:
1. Direct Impact – large particles travel in a straight line and hit the fiber head-on, causing them to stick to it.
2. Sieving – A particle gets trapped between two fibers when it is bigger than the gap between them.
3. Diffusion – Small particles move haphazardly and hence are more likely to collide with one of the many fibers and get ensnared.
4. Interception – Inertia continues to move an airborne particle along a definite path, and the fiber that comes in contact with it traps it.
Can HEPA Filters Make For A Healthy Home?
To a vast extent, the HEPA filters can make the air inside your home clean. So yes, they make for healthier homes. But can they eliminate 100% of the airborne contaminants? The answer is, “No”. As stated above, they are only 99.97% efficient. They cannot capture all the allergens, viruses, and bacteria, but they can definitely reduce their concentration inside your home.
You will notice a definite reduction in the frequency with which you or your family members fall ill once you start using the HEPA filters. Additionally, the severity of allergies will also drop considerably. This difference is due to the drastic reduction in the concentration of impurities suspended in the air.
HEPA filters are especially useful when you are remodeling your home. The dust and chemicals find their way into the air and degrade the indoor air quality. When these particles move across the filters, they become trapped and are unable to find their way back into circulation.
Limitation Of HEPA Filters
There are two main limitations of the HEPA filters:
1. They Are Not 100% Efficient – The HEPA filters can only trap or capture 99.97% of the suspended or airborne pollutants. They cannot guarantee completely pure air as they are not 100% efficient.
2. They Can Only Capture Airborne Contaminants – All impurities and pollutants are not always airborne. Many times, when they are too big or heavy, they settle on surfaces. Touching these contaminated surfaces can still make you fall ill. The HEPA filters cannot eliminate these settled contaminants.
How Can You Make Your Home Healthier
Using HEPA filters in your home air purification system is the best way to improve the indoor air quality. Other than that here are a couple more ways in which you can make the air inside your home cleaner and thus healthier:
1. Identify the source of allergens and irritants and try to get rid of them completely. If, for example, cigarette smoke is the culprit, don’t smoke indoors. Else identify an area in your home that is separate from the main structure to smoke. This way, your HVAC system will not pick the cigarette smoke and circulate it throughout your home.
2. Vacuum and dust all upholstery and surfaces regularly. Air out the carpets and wash the bedding frequently.
3. There are many indoor plants that clean the air quite effectively. You can place these plants throughout the home to uplift the mood, improve its aesthetics, and also clean the air.
4. Allow natural sunlight to disinfect your home. The UV rays present in it are extremely effective in killing most viruses and bacteria. Also, air out your home from time to time to reduce the concentration of pollutants in the air inside.
5. If you have pets, groom them regularly. They need to be given a bath as per need and brushed every day to reduce dander, which is a very common allergen.
HEPA filters are not a stand-in for following and maintaining adequate hygiene; neither do they replace the need for doctor’s advice. These filters are only an additional but very effective way to improve the quality of air inside the home. We spend a significant amount of time indoors with our families, so the air that we breathe needs to be healthy. The HEPA filters ensure just that.
The air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning strongly recommend using HEPA filter air purification systems in homes. We can help you choose the one that fits your needs and home the best. Residents of West Palm Beach, Florida, can contact us at +1-888-729-8452 to further discuss their options. We also provide HVAC repair and maintenance services, so we are your one-stop solution for all home comfort solutions.