High-efficiency particulate air filters, or HEPA filters, are a considerable upgrade from standard air filters. In fact, some HVAC manufacturers include HEPA filters with their products. In this blog, air conditioning service contractor J&M Air Conditioning & Heating shares some quick facts about HEPA filters.
HEPA Filters Were First Used in Nuclear Facilities and Hospitals
HEPA filters weren’t originally intended for use in residential applications. Back in the 1940s, they were used in the ventilation systems of nuclear facilities to help stop the spread of airborne particles. Hospital HVAC systems began using HEPA filters in the 1960s, and they were later adapted for use in household appliances such as vacuum cleaners and window air conditioners.
People Suffering From Allergies Can Benefit from HEPA Filters
People who suffer from allergies caused by particulates such as dust, pollen and dander can benefit from an upgrade to HEPA filters. HEPA filters are able to remove more than 99% of all airborne pollutants 0.3 microns or larger. In comparison, standard air filters that come with HVAC systems can remove airborne particles 5 to 10 microns or larger.
HEPA Filters Don’t Filter Everything
Don’t get us wrong, HEPA filters are one of the best types of air filters on the market. However, certain particles are just too small for them to catch, such as
Viruses, which range in size from 0.1 to 0.4 microns.
Bacteria, which varies in size from 0.2 to 1 micron.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from aerosol products, ammonia and paint, which are typically smaller than 0.3 microns.
Mold May Grow on the Filters
HEPA filters can catch water droplets in the air, which can be beneficial if indoor humidity is a problem. They also catch mold spores, which range from 3 to 100 microns in size, meaning HEPA filters can prevent mold from growing in certain areas. However, the combination of trapped moisture and mold spores can allow mold to grow on the air filter itself. We recommend conducting regular HVAC inspections and replacing the air filter when it gets clogged. For persistent mold growth, consult an HVAC technician about ways to improve indoor air quality.
Call J&M for Your Heating and Air Conditioning Needs
J&M is your leading provider of heating and cooling services, including heat pump inspections. Give us a call at (951) 663-4895 or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Hemet, CA, and nearby areas.