What's so special about HEPA filter air cleaners?
Air filters are a necessary addition to any bedroom for those suffering from allergies or have allergic and even non-allergic asthma condition.
Air filters passes the air in the room through a filter material to catch particles such as bacterial, dust, dirt, pollen, human skin cells and animal dander that floats in the air we breathe.
It is important that those suffering from asthma avoid breathing in air full of these allergy-causing particles!
What is HEPA and what's so special about this type of filter?
HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air. It describes the capacity of the filter material ability to catch 99.97% of all particles in the air larger than 0.2 micron.
Choose a HEPA grade air filter. Do not choose those that are "HEPA-Type" or "HEPA Like". You want the real HEPA grade ones that filter 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.2 micron. This is the standard used in clean rooms of the surgical rooms in the hospital and in the rooms used to manufacturer computer chips. HEPA filter air cleaners are the gold standard.
HEPA Filter Air Cleaners - Air Filtration Rate
Also look at the air filtration rate. In essence, how much air can the machine filter per hour?
CADR or Clean Air Delivery Rate measures the volume of filtered air delivered by an air cleaner. CADR also takes into account how well it can clean the air of pollutants.
Obviously, the higher the better. Buying an undersized air cleaner simply means that it will never be able to truly clean all the air in the room.
Myths and False Information
Won't a whole house air filter installed in my furnace take care of air quality in the house?
Yes, it will significantly remove many airborne particles. BUT it will never be able to clean most of the air in the room.
Firstly, the air flow is much smaller than a typical high-quality air filter. Secondly, the air from the hot air register will take the shortest path to the door so most of the air in the room will never have been disturbed or filtered.
Even if you have an air cleaner in the bedroom, relocate it weekly or daily in different corners of the room, especially if the room is very large.
What about those electrostatic air filter that doesn't need replacement filters?
Electrostatic air filters do two things. First, they charge the dust and particles in the air causing them to stick to a metallic collector plate in the air filter. You take these collector plates out and wipe them clean regularly.
Second, those charged particles that make it pass the collector plate (and most of them will) fall to the ground or stick to various surfaces in the room.
You end up circulating the particles around the room if the collector plates are full of dust and if you don't maintain the air filter regularly. Many passes of air will be required before all of the particles are captured by the collector plates.
We believe that electrostatic air cleaners are not effective (and often useless) for allergies and asthma sufferers. They just don't work anywhere near what a HEPA air cleaners do.
You can't just charge the particles and hope that they stick to the collector plates! Moreover, these charged particles can irritate the airways of some asthma sufferers too! HEPA air cleaners are the best type to get. Period.
Aren't air filter noisy?
Yes they are, especially at the maximum speed. After all, the device is filtering quite a bit of air. You can run them at full speed for several hours during the day and turn it off during the night when you are sleeping. Or you can turn it down to the low setting at night.
However, many people get use to the "white-noise" sound from an air filter running at the quiet setting. Some people even find it easier to fall asleep with the relaxing background sound!
HEPA filter air cleaners maintenance cost?
NO doubt, this is absolute true. Think about it for a moment. Are you one of those people who use a Brita water filter or any type of water filtering system? You have to change those filters. They will wear out and either plug up or no longer remove toxic substances in the water.
You won't think of changing your Brita water filter every other year would you? (I hope not!)
Fortunately, HEPA filters last a long time. Despite what the manufacturers say to change the filter every year, I have found that the filter continues to work for two to three years, many times even longer.
The carbon pre-filter traps most of the larger particles, thus extending the life of the HEPA filter. Many HEPA filters can be vacuumed to further extend their life.
Those suffering from asthma or allergies should get HEPA filter air cleaners. At least put one in the bedroom.
Cleaning the air you breathe is a first step in reducing asthma symptoms and eliminating asthma attacks.For those without any health conditions, air filters keep the air in any room clean and cuts down on dust.
I have been using HEPA air filters for over 17 years. I use HEPA air filters in our bedroom and my office at home. The one in the bedroom is on a timer so it turns on during the day at full speed for several hours. At night, I run it at the lowest speed.