How does a HEPA Air Purifier Work?

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HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) air purifiers are an important solution for people who want to improve the quality of air in their office or home.

However, there are many misconceptions about the HEPA standard, about what the HEPA air purifiers can do and what they cannot do.

So, you must understand what HEPA standard means and how the HEPA filter deals with the air pollutants in your home.

How does a HEPA Air Purifier Work?
How does a HEPA Air Purifier Work?

Introduction to HEPA Air Filters

The HEPA standard was established by the United States Department of Energy, something that might look strange. HEPA was established in the 1940s as a standard for the facilities containing nuclear materials.

Shielding was used to contain the radiation but the moisture and dust particles became irradiated. They spread radioactive contamination through the air corridors and ducts.

To prevent that, the Energy Department developed the HEPA filters to keep the radioactive particles within the facilities. Since then, people have used them in various industries and home applications.

By the early 1960s, HEPA air filters entered the  market as the filters for air conditioning units, stand-alone air purifiers and filters for vacuum cleaners.

Today, HEPA air purifiers can capture many types of air pollutants to provide you with clean and fresh air. They capture allergens, dust, dust mites, pollen, mildew, pet dander, and mildew spores. So, if you are among the people who suffer from hay fever or asthma, they are worth consideration.

How do HEPA Air Purifiers Work?

HEPA filters remove over 99.97 percent of particles from the air. The trapped particles are usually 0.3 microns or larger. Due to its ability to trap 0.3 microns, a very small size, the air purifier can trap some bacteria, mold spores, pollen, and smoke and dust particles easily.

HEPA air purifier manufacturers build them with advanced fiber technology. They place fiber in the system in a way that every big particle is trapped at the surface of the HEPA filter and the tiny particles are trapped as they move through the system.

With the deep filtration technology, the filter can capture almost every airborne particles to provide the house or office occupants with clean air.

The manufacturers arrange the filter glass fibers in a way that the air can pass through them while the large contaminants like mold, dust and allergens are captured. The air filters employ various principles to capture the pollutant particles.

Mostly, the particles are trapped after coming into contact with the HEPA air filter, based on the adhesion principle while the clean air is left to circulate.

In other cases, the contaminants are trapped after partially encountering the HEPA glass filters or after the strong airflow in the purifier press them against the filter. Moreover, some already trapped particles might attract airborne particles.

Thanks to the various methods, particles are stopped before they pass through the system. Most HEPA filters can only trap airborne particles with a diameter above 0.3 microns.

Because of the high efficiency and deep filtration of the HEPA filters, you will need to replace them regularly. If the contamination in your room or office is low, the filters can last for 12 months but if it is huge or your air purifier is mobile – used in many rooms – you will have to replace the filter more often.

HEPA filters will cost you money and they are not used in some countries. Advanced technologies are expensive and not everyone can afford to replace the filters more often.

Different Types of HEPA Air Filters

Each brand offers a unique system. However, most brands offer True HEPA system, which is a good choice for people willing to spend an additional amount on the air filter and enjoy cleaner and better air in their room.

A true HEPA filter is more like the standard in the modern world of air purifiers. However, some brands have gone one step ahead and are offering more efficient systems.

HyperHEPA from IQAIR is among the systems. The HEPA filter features nanofiber and it, therefore, removes particles with 0.03 microns. That is almost everything that exists in the air.

Other brands have also released their unique and trademarked filtration systems. HEPASilent, BioGS HEPA are some of the few brands offering advanced filtration systems, which can remove the particles true HEPA filters cannot remove.

If you need clean air in your home, a HEPA air filter is a must-have. Air filters without the HEPA technology might be a good choice for your office or any other place you want to remove bad odours and produce a clean fresh air. If you want to enjoy the health benefits of clean and fresh air, you will need a HEPA air purifier.

Air purifiers featuring HEPA air filters researched and designed by the brand’s scientists are better than those featuring the standardized true HEPA filter are.

That is because the scientists work for a longer time and use a lot of money to ensure that their air filter is not unique but it is better than those already in the market are.

Some of the brands using special filters include RabbitAir, IQAIR and Blueair. Whichever you choose, remember to read more about the filtration system on the offered user manual.

Brands offering exclusive filters invest resources to produce air filters that might include pre-filters to collect the large particles and reduce the number of times you may need to replace the air filter.

Active carbon filters are known to remove large particles that pollute HEPA. With the pre-filter, a HEPA filter will only capture the small particles that no other filter can catch.


Now, you know what a HEPA air purifier is and you know how it works. Remember that for a HEPA purifier to work, it must have a HEPA filter, so when buying a purifier you have to ensure that it has one.

HEPA filters are not built equally and so you should decide on whether you need an expensive or cheap one. Some of the expensive brands come with advanced HEPA filtration methods that remove almost everything from the air.

The standard True HEPA filters will remove a large percentage of particles from the air providing you with clean air to breathe.

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