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What is a HEPA Filter?

hepa filter

St. Louis area homeowners have many options available for filtering the air in their homes. Although standard store-bought filters can do a decent job of protecting your HVAC system from dirt buildup, the same can’t be said for their ability to improve indoor air quality. One way you can get cleaner and healthier air in your home is to install a HEPA filter. So what is a HEPA filter and how does it improve the quality of air in your home?

What is a HEPA filter?

HEPA stands for “High Efficiency Particulate Air.” It’s an air filtration method that is able to remove up to 99.7 percent of airborne particles from your home down to .3 microns in size. Unlike inexpensive fiberglass filters, HEPA filters can protect your family from the tiny particles in chemicals, bacteria and allergens that make us sick and aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms.

HEPA filters are so effective at removing air contaminants that they are the filter of choice in most hospitals, airplanes and commercial buildings that produce any harmful chemicals.

How does a HEPA filter work?

In your home, a HEPA filter is installed in your return duct system. When air is drawn into your home’s return ducts, a percentage of it is directed through your HEPA filter using the filter’s own blower. The air actually passes through three different filters in a HEPA system, with each layer designed to remove particles of a different size. After the air has passed through the system it joins back with the rest of the air in your return ducts and makes its way to your HVAC system.

One of the great things about a HEPA filter is that, because it has its own blower, it can filter your home’s air even when your HVAC system isn’t running. This allows for cleaner air in your home all day long.

Considerations before installing a HEPA filter

It’s important to know that installing a HEPA filter will require some reworking of the ductwork in your home. If this is not possible, you’ll have to consider another method of air cleaning. Other air purifying systems, such as UV lights, might be more practical and often perform even better than a HEPA filter.

If you have any questions about what a HEPA filter is, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis heating and cooling company.

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