How to Select a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

A HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration vacuum solution is a crucial tool to minimize the results of allergens and other indoor air pollutants, whether they aggravate existing conditions or to prevent physical health problems. Best vacuum for carpet

Because HEPA filtering is so desirable, the word HEPA can be used to market lots of vacuum cleaners, and it is often applied in a highly deceptive way that can make it difficult to choose a vacuum cleaner that provides the levels of filtration you’re buying it for to start with. 

The DUST filtration specification contains two numbers that designate a very high level of filtration of very fine particles. The first quantity represents the filtration efficiency as a percentage and the second number is the particle size maintained. For HEPA, filtration efficiency must be 99. 97% and particles retained must be as small as 0. 3 micrometers (formerly microns).

The phrase “as small as” is important as it means that if all the particles were 0. 3 microns in size, the filter would still capture and maintain 99. 97% of them (usually referred to as “filtration efficiency”). The term “down to 0. 3 micrometers in size” will not refer to the same filtration performance, as it can refer to a combination of particle sizes for the explained efficiency.

The ability to filter very small particles is a very important specification because small particles may easily reach the deepest recesses of the lungs and, in line with the U. S. EPA, could cause a variety of extremely negative health effects, such as irritated asthma, acute respiratory symptoms including aggravated coughing and painful or difficult respiration, eye, nose, and neck irritation, respiratory infections and chronic bronchitis, decreased chest function, shortness of breathing and lung cancer.

And for allergy sufferers, one of the most effective allergens, which is thought to be in charge of a significant percentage of allergy symptoms worldwide, is found in dust mite feces, which are generally 10 to 24 micrometers in size and even smaller when disturbed.

To give you some idea of how small these fine allergens are, a human curly hair is around 100 micrometers thick. HEPA filtration is designed to capture 99. 97% of particles a third of one micrometer in size.

HEPA filtration is an important and valuable feature to have as part of your vacuum. So how can you be certain that you’re getting true HEPA filtration? Let’s start with certified HEPA filtration.

The HEPA Filtration Standards

The best HEPA filtration systems are certified to meet stringent standards, including the American Norm 1822 (also termed as EN 1822) for purification performance, and are determined with a recognition number. Authorized HEPA filters are also called True or Absolute DUST filters. European companies often refer to them as S-Class filters.

Originally developed for rating filtration systems for maintaining extremely clean environments in pharmaceutical, computer manufacturing, as well as other clean-critical facilities, documentation using this standard makes certain you that the filtration will perform as a true HEPA filter.

The EN 1822 is a two-part test. The first part of the test identifies the particle size that most easily goes trhough the HEPA filter, to establish the “Most Going through Particle Size” or MPPS.