If you are considering to purchase an air purifier and have read some product reviews, I’m quite sure you have come across word HEPA. When searching for the best air purifier, you will come across with many new words like AHAM, CADR, ACH, activated carbon and others. The biggest mistake you can make is to purchase an air purifier without even knowing what those words mean.

So, what is HEPA? HEPA stands for Hih Efficiency Particulate Air. Keep reading to find out some insight on how does it work, about history, applications, and things to look out for.

HEPA Filter History

It is very hard to tell accurately the exact moment when HEPA filters first showed in the air purifier industry. It would be much more accurate to say that they were developed slowly over time. Do you have heard about Manhattan Project when the first atomic bomb was developed? I`m sure you have and at that time the first use of HEPA filters was recorded. I was quite shocked about this fact, cause it was almost a century ago, more than 80 years ago. HEPA filters were first used in research laboratories, and they were used to stifle radioactive particles.

best-whole-house-air-purifierThe next time they showed up in daylight was in the 1960`s when two German brothers Manfred and Klaus Hammers were introducing the first filtering systems for commercial use. They used HEPA filters to lower the airborne soot concentration, which was generated by coal burning stoves. Later one they formed a company called IQAir which is well known until today. As you already know, IQAir is one of the leading air purifier company on the market. I also have reviewed one of their best product HealthPro Plus.


How Do HEPA Filters Work?

The HEPA filters use several different principles to capture air pollution. What`s, is its secret? It is how the glass fibers of HEPA filter are arranged in a unique configuration, so it captures large particles such as mold, dust, and other allergens while clean air can freely pass through. The adhesion principle helps to trap large contaminants inside the filter while fresh air can circulate through with no hassle. It was a big accomplishment to create this structure of HEPA filter and a production line to produce them to provide this new product to consumers.

It is not the HEPA filter structure alone that makes it so effective.

  • Contaminant particles are being trapped in contact with glass fibers.
  • Airborne particles will be pressed against the filter by stronger air flow.
  • Dust and other particles attract each other and stick together, in result airborne particles will be attracted by contaminants which are already trapped inside HEPA filter.

Thanks to all principles mentioned above HEPA filters can collect up to 99.9% of contaminants which are larger or equal to 0.3 microns in diameter.

Can you imagine what impact HEPA filters can give on the air quality in you home, cause most particles fall into this size category? They are an excellent choice for people who suffer from allergies, hay fever or asthma. The HEPA filters offer the highest efficiency in removing airborne particles such as mildew, pet dander, pollen, dust, mildew spores and other dangerous allergens.


Must Know Things Before Buying An Air Purifier With HEPA Filter

Just the same as everything else, all air purifiers are not created completely equal, the same thing applies to HEPA filters. I want you to know few more tips in case an air purifier you are willing to buy HEPA filter. The first thing to be aware of is marketing because a bunch of air purifiers which are advertised as having HEPA filters, in reality, doesn’t have them. Mostly it is masked with words – HEPA-Like filters, which are far away from HEPA filter standards.


Just make sure you look very carefully because there are also True HEPA filters, and they are the best and most efficient. Usually, advertisements will assure that HEPA-Type filters can remove up to 99.9% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns in diameter. Those are not lies, but you should know that HEPA-Type filters are nowhere close to True HEPA filters. The air filtration level offer by True HEPA filters is much higher. It is your responsibility to know those facts and not buy the first air purifier you see.

Companies make these very similar terms and product names on purpose, to confuse consumers and gain benefit from the fact that people usually don`t dig deep. The biggest problem for the consumer is the time he needs to spend to read reviews and learn facts. But it’s exactly what you should do to save time and money in future.

If you are not low on budget and want the best air quality in your home, invest more and look for an air purifier with pre-filter. Even True HEPA filter can`t do anything, so there are made even more complex, multi-level filtering air cleaners. Pre-filter is an excellent feature to have in your purifier, and it will capture the largest particles like pet hair, lint, and dust. Pre-filters maximize HEPA filter effectiveness and increase the lifetime of the whole unit.


Remember that HEPA filters can`t deal with VOCs and nasty smells. This is the reason why multi-level filtration systems also use activated carbon filters, ionizers, UV light or other technologies. After HEPA filter catches all the particles, following filters will remove odors, VOCs, gasses, pollen and chemical vapors. This multi-level air filtering system will give you maximum effect and provide with the cleanest air possible.

And That`s All For Now

Well there you have it, all the information you should know about True HEPA and HEPA-Type filters. I covered all the basic things everyone should know before buying the best air cleaner for your needs. After knowing these tips you should be able to make the right choice with no problem, and above all to save money in long term.

If you still feel that something is not clear to you, read my other informational articles and learn more about pre-filters, activated carbon filters, CADR, Asthma, Air Purifier Features and more.