What are HEPA filters & how do they work?

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What are HEPA filters?

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are pleated, mechanical air filters used to remove fine particulates. They are designed to capture 99.97% of all airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns in diameter or larger. This makes them well suited for trapping dust, viruses, pollen, mold, bacteria, allergens and any other hazardous particles found in the air today. Its ability to trap such small particulates is critical because 0.3 microns is considered the most penetrating particle size (MMPS) and is the standard for describing its efficiency rating.

How do HEPA filters work?

What does a HEPA filter do? Even though what they do is exceptional, the process by which HEPA filters work is quite simple. They are interwoven with extremely fine mesh films of varying fiber density, usually made from fiberglass or polypropylene fibers. Working by a series of impaction, interception and diffusion, they literally stop particles in their tracks and hold them in place. This works even for ultrafine particulates including pollutants, air particles and even odors. These filters effectively prevent these from escaping and circulating back into the air we breathe.

No matter if they are used in your home, office or jobsite, HEPA filters offer extremely high efficiency. This means they can be depended on to preserve health and wellness as well as workplace safety.

HEPA vs. True HEPA

What is a True HEPA filter? Although manufacturers may use the term “HEPA” when talking about their filters, the truth is there is a difference between HEPA-type filters and a True HEPA filter. Even if they are manufactured with HEPA filter materials, not all filters necessarily meet the Department of Energy standards for HEPA filtration. As mentioned before, the standard is capturing 99.97% of all airborne particles down to 0.3 microns in diameter. Only filters that meet this specification can be labeled as “True HEPA.”

What is a HEPA vacuum?

Understanding HEPA vacuums begins with knowing how vacuum cleaners in general work. They generate suction to pull air from one point to another. Typically, they include a collection chamber or bag to catch and hold particles before the air is recirculated out of the system. Although most vacuums are effective at catching larger particulates such as hair or crumbs, advanced filtration is required to get more granular particles.

HEPA-equipped vacuums provide an extra level of protection to trap all types of dust, allergens and other particles in the air that standard units cannot. These have become critical pieces of cleaning equipment not just in homes but also in industrial environments. This is because they are needed to help many operations meet safety and compliance standards.

Turn to DuroVac for HEPA expertise

Industrial vacuums generate powerful suction to collect even the heaviest debris and materials. However, it can be difficult to find the right balance between power and filtration. That’s where DuroVac’s PowerLift Silica Vacuum enters the picture. Commonly used in construction and hazardous chemical applications, it provides the necessary level of airborne protection to help you comply with OSHA regulations and workplace safety standards. If you’re in need of more lightweight and portable options, the Lifetime Series includes True HEPA-grade filtration with advanced maneuverability.

In addition to having the right equipment, following silica compliance tips is essential for ensuring your employees are safe from hazardous pollutants and you have permissible exposure limits under control. Follow the links to learn more.





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