What is HEPA?

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HEPA is a term that’s used a lot right now. Demand for HEPA is extremely high, which is no surprise considering it can filter viruses, including Covid-19. HEPA can also remove the smallest particles found in wildfire smoke. In today’s world, we need HEPA!!

But what exactly is HEPA? What are its origins? How is it made? And where else, apart from air purifiers, is HEPA used?

HEPA – what does it mean?

HEPA is short for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance. True HEPA is heavily regulated and must meet stringent standards. All True HEPA must be capable of filtering 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger.

Where did it come from?

HEPA was first developed in the 1940’s as part of the ‘Manhattan Project’, the same project that developed the atomic bomb. Scientists needed a filtration system that was capable of removing the airborne toxins emitted during the development and manufacturing process.

How is it made?

HEPA is made by randomly aligning tiny fibres of glass, the fibres themselves are super small, less than 1 micron in size. To give this some perspective, the width of an average human hair is about 70 microns.

Layer upon layer of these glass fibres are compressed, to create a pristine white HEPA paper. The HEPA filters used in our units are pleated, this allows us to fit a large amount of HEPA into the filter, 60 sq. ft. to be precise. Using a large quantity of HEPA in this way gives Austin Air units a much longer filter life.

Where is it used?

The origins of HEPA may be a little dark but since then HEPA has played an important role in the development of new technology. Areas of research such as pharmaceuticals, aerospace engineering and computer chip manufacturing would not have advanced in the same way without the use of HEPA filtration. HEPA is also used in mold remediation, asbestos clean-ups, lead and chemical cleaning, as well as air filtration and vacuum cleaners.

What can it do?

When it comes to air filtration, True Medical Grade HEPA is the gold standard. HEPA removes a wide range of pollutants from the air, including dust, dander, pollen, mold spores, allergens, bacteria and viruses.

What can’t it do?

HEPA is by far the best way to remove certain pollutants from the air. However there are some pollutants it won’t remove, such as gases, odors, chemicals, smoke and VOC’s. That’s why we always use a combination of True Medical Grade HEPA and Carbon in our filters. The HEPA takes care of the allergens, dust, bacteria and viruses. The Carbon blend effectively removes gases, odors, chemicals and VOC’s.

Beware of fake HEPA

When deciding on which brand to buy, watch out for the fakes. True Medical Grade HEPA removes 99.97% of all particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. Beware of other products using ‘HEPA type’ filters, they are not as effective as Medical Grade HEPA and will not give you the protection you need.

Another thing to check is the amount of HEPA used. Austin Air Purifiers use 60 sq. ft. of Medical Grade HEPA, this ensures a very long filter life. Other models may use Medical Grade HEPA, but if they only use a small quantity, you could be changing your filter every few months, a cost you can do without.

Only the best for Austin Air customers

Here at Austin Air we take pride in using only the highest quality filtration media. We use 60 sq. ft of True Medical Grade in our all our standard size filters. This ensures the effective removal of allergens, viruses, bacteria and dust. And our unique carbon blend is designed to remove the gases, chemicals, VOC’s and odors that are often present in modern homes. The result is a filter that provides up to 5 years of protection.

If you’d like to learn more about our range of air purifiers, check out our shop page HERE.