Clean air in living spaces is important for the health of your family, and one of the best ways to purify it is through HEPA filters in the home. These filters are available in some home appliances and are helpful in improving your home’s air quality. Here is what you need to know about them.

HEPA in Nuclear Facilities

The creation of High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters goes back to the 1940s when they were first used in nuclear facilities to help keep the air safe for employees. In the 1960s, hospitals began using HEPA filters to slow the spread of germs. From there, companies started to incorporate them into household appliances like vacuums and air purifiers.

Allergy Relief

If you suffer from allergies, HEPA filters in your home can help alleviate symptoms. The airborne irritants that often cause coughing, sneezing, and headaches can be trapped by a HEPA filter. Although the EPA doesn’t formally recommend HEPA filters to relieve allergy symptoms, they’re known to provide allergy sufferers with many benefits.

What HEPA Filters Can’t Remove

Having HEPA filters in your home will improve the quality of your indoor air, but some particles are small enough to pass right through them. For instance, some viruses are too small to be trapped by the filter. Also, while HEPA filters will initially trap bacteria, as it begins to die, it can shrink and become small enough to escape.

HEPA filters trap mold spores, but the moisture in the air filter can cause those spores to grow, even inside the filter. As a result, the filter will become covered in mold and can release those spores into the air. To prevent mold growth, change the filter frequently.

HEPA Filters in Household Appliances

HEPA filters are available in some home appliances. The most common devices that HEPA filters are found are vacuum cleaners, portable air purifiers, and whole-home air filtration systems. Using one or more of these appliances regularly will help purify the air you breathe.

Choose True HEPA Filters for Your Home

According to the Department of Energy, HEPA filters in your home are able to remove 99.7 percent of particles found in the air. Unfortunately, there aren’t many regulations on how these filters are manufactured. Be sure to purchase filters labeled as True HEPA as opposed to HEPA-type, as this guarantees they meet the Department of Energy standards.

Replacing HEPA Filters in the Home

As these filters trap bacteria, dust, pet dander, mold, and other particles found in the air, they become clogged quickly. The timeframe for replacing these filters will vary depending on what type of appliance they are found in, so read the manufacturers’ recommendations on when to change your filters. Because HEPA filters are so effective, you’ll find it’s necessary to replace the filters more frequently than with other types of filters.

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