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How HEPA Filters Keep Your Home Healthy

Monday, February 17, 2014

HEPA filters earn a mention in nearly every guide for those with allergies or asthma, and rightly so. Using these highly efficient filters in your home is one of the simplest ways to control the air contaminants that trigger breathing difficulties, watery eyes and other annoying symptoms. Before you invest in HEPA technology, though, it's important to know what you should be looking for.

The HEPA Filter Difference

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air filter. To qualify for this rating, a filter must be able to trap 99.97 percent of air contaminants that are 0.3 microns or larger. For comparison, visible dust particles are around 25 microns.

Medium-efficiency pleated furnace filters have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), or filter efficiency classification, of around 8 to 11. While they catch the vast majority of air contaminants, they still miss the smallest lung irritants such as tobacco smoke particles and dust-mite feces. HEPA filters have MERVs of 17 or higher, meaning they can trap even the tiniest particles.

Using HEPA technology to stay healthy

HEPA filters are too dense to be used in the average home heating and cooling system, but there are other ways to benefit from these filters.

  • Portable HEPA air purifier – A portable room air purifier gives you clean air right where you need it. These air cleaners contain a pre-filter to trap large particles and a HEPA filter to catch smaller particles. Some also use an activated carbon filter to control odors. For your health, look for a model that doesn't emit ozone.
  • HEPA-fitted vacuum – A vacuum with a HEPA filter picks up dust more efficiently than a standard model. You'll get a cleaner home and reduce the risk of triggering your allergies or asthma while you're cleaning.
  • Bypass system – A skilled HVAC contractor may be able to add a HEPA filter to your furnace by installing a bypass system to prevent the filter from interfering with airflow.

For professional guidance on finding the best air quality equipment for your health needs, contact us to find a Mitsubishi Electric Contractor in your area.

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