“True” HEPA Air Filter Vs. All The Rest

Filed in Hepa Air Filter Information

With so many air purifying products on the market, it is very easy for companies to make claims and use certain wording or phrasing to confuse the consumer and lead them to believe things about their product that are not necessarily true. We will cover all of these marketing practices in the future, but today we are going to talk about what it means for a product to be considered “True HEPA” and what it means for a product to be labeled “HEPA like.”

To consumers, the acronym “HEPA” is synonymous with quality, and for good reason. A HEPA air filter is the best at purifying the air of the small contaminants that cause humans the most trouble. To be a “True HEPA” filter, specific testing demonstrating its ability to clean particles from the air must be performed. This certification allows the filter to be advertised and sold as a “HEPA” air filter, and they work very well.

HEPA Type or HEPA Like VS. True HEPA

hepa air filter diagramNow comes the marketing confusion. Many companies have products, be it an air purifier, a vacuum, or a replacement filter which they label as “HEPA like” or “HEPA type.” While this rings well in the consumers ear, they are being misguided. If in fact, if you are not looking for a highly efficient and effective way to clean your air, then these filters may work. But I would assume most of us purchasing these types of products are either already suffering from adverse health symptoms or are taking a precautionary measure and are concerned for the well being of ourselves and our families.

These filters are typically much worse at trapping the small particles that are hurting us. They share a similar design to real HEPA filters but do not meet the strict standards of their certified counterpart. I would strongly advise that for the few extra dollars, you go ahead and make the investment in a product that is proven to make a positive impact on your air quality.

To be labeled a true HEPA air filter, it must be capable of trapping a minimum of 99.97% of particles .3 microns in size and larger that pass through the filter. I have seen many hepa-type filters claim to trap “over 90% of particles 2 microns and larger” or similar amounts. The problem is many of the airborne particles inducing your allergy or asthma symptoms are smaller than 2 microns and not only this, these filters are less efficient (90 some odd percent vs 99.97% plus) than a true HEPA filter. As you shop around, you will see some purifiers that utilize HEPA filters that are even better than the standard. Some are capable of trapping particles at 99.97% efficiency and some can trap particles down to .1 microns or even .003 microns! So again, it really depends what you need. If it is odors that are the problem, you probably don’t need a true HEPA filter at all. If you want to reduce settled dust on the coffee table, you could probably get by without it. But if allergies are the issue, there really is no other way to go. On our homepage, you can see various categories of our top rated HEPA air purifiers based on different price ranges and needs. Read some reviews and begin to familiarize yourself with the various other features that can add up to a great purifier.

  • Benny

    Great site.  I learned this years ago after I bought a piece of crap filter and it did nothing for me.  I got some consultation, and will never buy another one that is not “true” HEPA air filter. 

    Thanks for getting the word out to others.

  • Becky W

    we have a new baby, and of course want only the best for her new room.  looking into buying an air filter, and found your site.  very interesting stuff.  i have learned a lot and will have to buy a true hepa air filter when i do get decide on one.

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