Do HEPA Filters Remove Viruses?
Air quality has always been a priority for homeowners and businesses. Recent months have revealed one of the major reasons that’s been the case: public health. In addition to face masks and other personal protection measures, consumers are turning to air purifiers and filters as potential safeguards against contaminants. That said, do air purifiers remove germs? There are more factors at play than you might think.
The guide below will outline some benefits of HEPA filters and explain what they can and can’t do in terms of fighting disease.
What Are HEPA Filters?
You’ve probably come across or even changed a HEPA filter without fully understanding what it is. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance) is a designation given to filters that can capture size 0.3-micron particles — the size associated with most pathogens, and the size that pre-HEPA was nearly impossible to capture. In fact, a fully functional HEPA filter should effectively capture 99.97% of those particles.
Do HEPA filters remove viruses? Again, the effectiveness of a HEPA filter depends on how it’s used with components such as air purifiers, UV lights and others. We’ll dig a little deeper into that in the next sections.
How Are HEPA Filters Used in Consumer and Commercial Air Purifiers?
To understand the importance of HEPA, it helps to know why these filters were developed. Although the official designation wasn’t established until the 1980s, concept development began as early as World War II, as scientists grappled with how to protect against potential gas attacks. Like many other wartime breakthroughs, this technology eventually made its way to the general public and consumers in the form of air filtration and purification.
It’s important to note that not all air purifiers utilize HEPA technology. Some air purifiers are designed to capture smoke and fumes, which doesn’t necessarily require the use of HEPA. Those types of filters are not made for capturing 0.3-micron particles (which are considered to be among the most troublesome for humans).
Because HEPA filters are only components of an air purification system, they can be incorporated alongside other types of filters. For example, a HEPA filter can work side by side with activated carbon filters for maximum efficiency. Importantly for general health, HEPA filters can be coupled with UV lights for a boost.
Are Air Purifiers With HEPA Filters and UV Lights Effective?
This combination is considered to be incredibly effective at cleaning air and is one of the more popular consumer options. Does UV light kill viruses? If so, wouldn’t that mean my UV air purifier can prevent diseases from spreading?
While it’s known that UV radiation can kill microbes, it’s not as simple as a quick scan of low-intensity lights to eradicate a population of bacteria or viruses. It’s safe to say that properly equipped air filters can reduce the number of viruses that pass through the system. Though UV lights alone likely won’t get the job done, as high dosages and longer exposure times are needed to destroy viruses. While you can’t kill all viruses on contact using small UV lights, you can trap the particles in a well-designed HEPA filter.
The Benefits of Quality HEPA Filters
In short, do air purifiers remove viruses? With the right components, you can certainly improve air quality and reduce contaminants. Yet while filtering viruses isn’t as simple as a single filter, the experts at Mendel Plumbing and Heating are here to help maximize your air purification system.
Why Mendel Plumbing and Heating?
We offer comprehensive solutions for heating, air conditioning and plumbing that promote comfort and safety. Contact us today to learn more about HEPA filters and the residential and commercial services we provide.