HEPA Filters

23Dec 2015

Black keyboard closeup with word FAQ

High-Efficiency Particulate Air or sometimes High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance, (HEPA) is an issuing standard for air filters that are certified, manufactured, tested and labeled according to the filter standards by HEPA. There are several categories of HEPA classification and the minimum category requires filters to capture 99.97 percent of 0.3 microns present in the air. Being the gold standard of air filtration, it often raises some FAQs about the HEPA filtration, no matter whether you need AC filters in San Antonio or San Jose! Read on to get some of the essential information about HEPA filters.

1. What makes HEPA filters so highly efficient?

HEPA filters use super fine fiber that helps to capture even the tiniest of impurities that can pass through other filters. Originally designed in 1940s and used to prevent airborne radioactive contaminants from spreading during the Manhattan Project. HEPA filters need to be tested and certified to meet the requirements of an HEPA filter and prove that it is efficient to remove 99.97 percent of particles of 0.3-micron diameter that pass through the filter.

2. Are HEPA Media Filters and HEPA filters the same?

No. A filter manufactured with HEPA filter media doesn’t imply that it meets HEPA efficiency requirements. A tiny leak in the media may compromise the efficiency of the filter and it may fall below HEPA standards. A filter meets HEPA filters only after it has been thoroughly tested following the industry standards to ensure the performance and efficiency of the filter.

3. Are HEPA filters apt for isolated wards in hospitals?

The highly infectious wards in hospitals demand better air purification controls and as per the current Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, HEPA filters make the cut. HEPA filters capture contaminants that are present in isolation rooms including pathogens and microbial spores.

4. Does the performance of HEPA filter lower with time?

No. Unlike the electrostatically charged air filters, the efficiency of HEPA filters is not affected as they become dirty. The efficiency of HEPA filters increases as they get dirty. While that surprises most people, it is true.

5. How often should HEPA filters be replaced?

The frequency of replacing air filters depends on factors such as the size of airborne condiments, the concentration level of airborne contaminants, the level of humidity in the area. No matter whether you are looking for commercial AC filters in San Antonio or for that matter in any part of the US, HEPA filters may or may not come with an indication system that notifies users when it’s time to replace the filter, depending on the model you buy.

So, those were some of the common questions that people have about HEPA filters. We hope we were able to put an end to at least a few of your queries about HEPA filters. If you wish to learn more or need professional consultation on HEPA filters, our experts will be happy to help.

04Sep 2015

HEPA FiltrationGiven the soaring levels of airborne pollutants and the proven relationship between the ‘sick building syndrome’ and the rapidly increasing number of respiratory disorders being reported in all parts of the world, it is essential for organizations to ensure high-quality indoor air, especially if they are in a domain as competitive as healthcare. Though most healthcare entities have a commercial air purifier in place, not many are concerned enough to invest in HEPA certified air filters, shunning the option as an avoidable operating spend. In this brief post, we will focus on what makes these filters not only a necessity but also a worthwhile investment for healthcare establishments.

How HEPA Filters Work?

When it comes to healthcare establishments, the choice of an air filtration system depends on various factors, such as the use of the building, its location, specific air quality issues, and the operation of the HVAC system installed in it. Super specialization centers (cancer/TB/chemotherapy, etc), for instance, ensure that the air filtration used addresses all the specific risks involved in their operations. The filters used in specialized units must satisfy the efficiency standards laid out by the United States’ Department of Energy (DOE). HEPA filters are designed to fulfill all the needs of such facilities.

Following are four basic filtration mechanisms through which HEPA captures airborne particulates present in health care facilities:

Inertial Impaction:
Inertia captures large and heavy particles suspended in the air inside the healthcare facility. These particles are heavier than the fluid encompassing them. The fluid enters the fiber space whereas the heavy particles continue to flow in straight line and collide with media and get trapped.

Diffusion:
Diffusion works well for small pollutants in the air. As small particles are not surrounded with viscous fluid they easily travel through the flow stream and collide with the fiber and thus contained.

Interception:
Interception traps mid-range pollutants that are not large enough for inertia and small enough for diffusion. These mid-size particles traverse through the flow stream and as it bends through the fiber space, the particles are intercepted as soon as they touch the fiber.

Sieving:
Sieving is one of the basic mechanisms used in air filters, that is used to capture very large particles by capturing them between the fiber spaces of the filter.

Why you Need HEPA Filters

HEPA filters, as mentioned before, help eliminate various harmful microorganisms from the air. Some of the microorganisms that are known to reside in places such as the female ward, male ward, pediatric ward, intensive care unit, labor ward, maternity ward, theater, microbiology laboratory, and others,in government and private hospitals include but are not restricted to microbial isolates characterized and identified included six bacterial and five fungal isolates, namely;

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Staphylococcus
  • Epidermidis
  • Escherichia coli
  • Bacillus spp
  • Proteus mirabilis
  • Streptooccus spp
  • Aspergillus spp
  • Penicillim spp
  • Mucor spp
  • Candida spp
  • Verticillium spp

Getting the right Hepa filters for your hospital or clinic is however, not a substitute for ensuring that surfaces are always clean and disinfected all the time. Apart from the good reputation that such an investment makes, you are able to bring down the spread of infections among patients and staff and ensure speedy remedies to patients’ health problems without compounding issues. Be familiar with the pollutants that obtain, implement a functional waste disposal system including hazardous waste disposal, educate staff on waste disposal, and ensure that you have a separate holding area.

How to Use HEPA Filters?

HEPA filters comprise a mesh made of dense glass fiber that are quite effective when it comes to trapping air pollutants. Given the density of pollutants inside specialized healthcare centers, however, hospitals need comprehensive filtration solutions. In order to extend the life of these expensive filters and ensure maximum filtration, it is advisable to use lower efficiency filters as ‘pre-filters’ along with HEPA filters, to capture some of the airborne particulates before the air reaches the final stage of filtration. This, in turn, also extends the life of HEPA filters.

Should you wish to learn more about the possibilities and benefits of HEPA filters in a commercial air purifier, feel free to discuss your requirements and operating dynamics with our product specialists.