True Hepa Vs. Hepa Type Filter: What’s The Difference?

It is important to note that a HEPA-type filter is not identical to a True HEPA filter. There are differences in cost, density, and filtering performance, even though both are mechanical filters.

This article will outline the primary distinctions between the two HEPA filters and discuss what you may anticipate. Find out the difference between HEPA and HEPA-type air purifiers and how to choose the right one for your home.


What Is a True HEPA filter?


A true HEPA filter is a mechanical filter that collects 99.97 percent of particles in the air as tiny as 0.3 microns, like pet dander, dust mites, mold, pollen, germs, and viruses.

These particles may be removed from the air by a true HEPA filter. It is often accepted that particles with a size of 0.3 um can penetrate filters faster than smaller particles.

The MERV rating for a genuine HEPA filter is between 17 and 20. It is possible to locate it in a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, a vacuum pump, an air conditioner, or an air purifier. It is impossible to clean True HEPA filters; instead, they must be replaced regularly.


What Is a HEPA-type filter?


A HEPA-type filter is a mechanical filter capable of removing 99% of particles with a diameter of 2 microns or larger. Both of these filters have a pattern that resembles pleats. However, they are not constructed from the same materials. Most HEPA filters are built of fiberglass, whereas True HEPA filters are comprised of a combination of cellulose (20%) and polyester (80%).

True HEPA filters have a denser construction than HEPA-style filters, another distinction between the two types. It should be no surprise that genuine HEPA filters are superior to HEPA-like filters when collecting ultrafine particles.


HEPA vs. HEPA-like Filters Similarities:


  • The HEPA standard underpins both of these.
  • Same filter construction design.
  • Both of these processes, inertial ingestion, sieving, dispersion, and interception, are used to capture the particles being passed through them.
  • Both are effective in capturing relatively big particles.
  • Neither filter effectively eliminates smoke particles, volatile organic compounds, or pet scents.


HEPA vs. HEPA-like Filter Differences:


True HEPA filters are defined as:


  • As opposed to fiberglass, HEPA filters are made of cellulose and polyester.
  • Not washable, in contrast to HEPA-type filters, which can be washed or vacuumed.
  • Compared to HEPA-style filters, which are often found in more affordable alternatives, these filters are more costly and are typically only utilized in high-end equipment.
  • In comparison to HEPA-like filtration, it offers a more extensive level of filtration.


How Can I Determine Which Type of HEPA Filter Is Installed in an Air Purifier?


Screening through the specification provided in the manual or on the site of an air purifier is the most effective technique to determine the type of HEPA filter installed in that device. You might also look at the HEPA-labeled score, which should be written on the packaging.

Regardless of the filter’s naming system, the device must have a filtering efficiency of 99.97% on pollutants as fine as 0.3 microns to be considered a True HEPA filter. The HEPA-type system would filter out anything with an even lower quality.

What kind of materials make up a HEPA filter?


The High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter is a fibrous filter created by interlacing tiny glass fibers with a diameter of less than 1 micron. To make a filter mat, the delicate glass threads are intertwined with one another and then crushed in a variety of ways.

Since the filter is made of several folded layers of fibrous material, its efficiency and surface area are greatly improved by this design. In general, a HEPA filter will contain something in the neighborhood of 2,500 layers of glass threads.


Various Applications of HEPA Filters:


HEPA filters are used in hospitals and other medical institutions to reduce the number of allergens, bacteria, and different types of pollutants in the air. Additionally, they find use in the automobile and aviation sectors (think of cars and planes). Other examples include the tech world, technology, and pharmaceutical sectors.


How Does a HEPA Filter Actually Function?


When air is drawn in the direction of the HEPA filter, high-density filter fibers begin to capture impurities removed in one of four processes: direct impact, diffusion, sieving, or interception.

When particles move in a straight line, collide with one another, and become entangled with a fiber, a process known as direct impact occurs. The diffusion process occurs when tiny particles travel in an unstable manner, collide with thread, and get attached to the fiber.

The sieving occurs when the particles are too big to fit through the pores in the sieve and instead become entangled in the surrounding fibers. The interception occurs when the airflow reroutes the particles around the threads, yet, these particles will eventually adhere to the fibers’ sidewalls.

After dangerous particles have been captured and removed from the air, only clean air will be released back into the environment. There will be a gradual improvement in the severity of allergic symptoms such as sinusitis, coughing, wheezing, headaches, and difficulty breathing.


Where might one make use of a HEPA filter?


When there is a need to limit airborne contaminants, residential and commercial applications frequently use HEPA filters. As a result of the consistent development that has taken place over the years, HEPA filters are now utilized in nursing homes, hospitals, and other medical and healthcare institutions.

It is frequently utilized in production facilities that produce fast-moving consumer goods, consumer packaged goods, disc drives, and medicines. Additionally, HEPA filters are used in several sophisticated industries, including the aerospace, semiconductor, automotive, and nuclear power industries.


What Is Cleaned Out by HEPA Filters?


The removal of solid particles is one of the many areas in which HEPA filters excel. They are the most effective technology for removing smoke particles, allergens such as pet dander, mold spores, dust particles, pollen from trees and grasses, germs and viruses (particularly those with UV-C filtration), and even mold spores.

However, despite this exceptionally efficient filter collecting tobacco smoke particles, it does not eliminate the odor. HEPA filters have garnered praise for their capacity to remove smaller PM2.5 particles and the more substantial PM10 particulates from the air.


Which Manufacturers Produce Filters of the HEPA Type?


In today’s market, several air purifiers manufacture both True HEPA and Hepa-type devices. A manufacturer may produce various True HEPA versions for customers that won’t settle for anything less than the very finest.

The same manufacturer may also produce a handful of HEPA-like versions to cater to price-conscious clients who like HEPA-standard filtration.


Bottom Line


When compared against one another, there are many more aspects to consider; nonetheless, these are the fundamentals. True Hepa filters will better catch more airborne particles and contaminants than other filters, but they also come with a heftier price tag. The essential consideration is how cost-effective the filter is.

If you suffer from severe allergies or asthma, it is highly recommended that you investigate the possibility of purchasing a True Hepa filter for your house. In any other case, the Hepa Type should be enough to remove the vast majority of potentially hazardous air particles from your living environment.

I'm Julia, an air purification expert and certified Indoor Air Quality Professional. With a Master's in Environmental Science and a decade of research at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, I've dedicated myself to understanding air pollutants and their health impacts. At 'PureAirly', my mission is to leverage my expertise in air purifiers and guide you towards cleaner, healthier air.

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