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HEPA Purifiers

May 23, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

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HEPA purifiers are extremely more efficient than other types of filters. As a principle, filters only earn the HEPA designation if they limit particulate passage (through the filter) to 3 or fewer particles out of every 10,000.  HEPA filters can be used on both basic central filtration units and on portable systems.

The Filter

Fact is the filter, created of tiny fused glass shreds, is the unique technological creation responsible for the amazing filtering power of HEPA systems. These filters can block an astounding 97.97% of particulates 0.3 microns or larger. The filter works with a motor that forces air through the filter at high pressures.


The mechanics of the unit, including powerful fans, motors, and filters make HEPA filters an expensive choice for a home residence. HEPA purifiers are more commonly found in businesses that:

  1. Need to clear excess particulate matter (such as bacteria, pharmaceutical dust, lead paint, or asbestos fibers)
  2. Can handle the drain on electricity the machine creates

Choosing a HEPA

The efficiency of a HEPA unit is determined by air displacement effectiveness. Some advertisements may tout claims of massive horsepower or wattage but, these factors do not greatly influence product performance.

  • Air displacement is the amount of cubic feet per minute (CFM) that air moves.
  • Units with higher air-displacement remove the greatest amount of small particles.

A small room HEPA purifier may have an air displacement equal to 80 CFM while, a unit intended for use in a large factory or business could displace up to 500 - 80,000 CFM.

Last but not least, ULPA filters (or ultra-HEPA) clean the air of 99.999% of particulates with diameters measuring 0.3 microns or larger. Only look into an ULPA unit if cost is of no concern.

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