There are many reasons for buying an Air Purifier and we hope you find this practical guide to HEPA Air Purifiers a big help when deciding if a HEPA Air Purifier is for you.
To help even further we have looked at some of the Best selling HEPA Air Purifiers on the market and written detailed reviews for those which pass our criteria of High Customer Satisfaction and attractive Pricing.
We hope you find this guide useful.
HEPA Air Purifier Reviews
|Philips AC3256/30 Air Purifier/Anti-Allergen(Editors’ Choice)||White||10 Kg||47.4 x 34 x 79.8||High||4.0|
|Breathe Fresh Air 3 in 1 Air Cleaning system purifier||Metallic||2.8 Kg||19 x 16.5 x 28||Mid||3.8|
|Levoit Air Purifier Filtration with True HEPA Filter||White||3 Kg||24.6 x 24.9 x 37.1||Mid||3.7|
|HEPA Air Purifier – Air Ioniser, Air Cleaning||Metallic||798 g||33.5 x 10.6 x 8.1||Low||3.6|
|Silentnight 38060 HEPA Air Purifier||White||2 Kg||34.8 x 20.8 x 20.3||Mid||3.5|
What is a HEPA Air Purifier?
Many consumers have heard of HEPA filters in the context of vacuum cleaners. These type of vacuum cleaners are often recommended for anyone who has pets or who suffers from allergies. However, HEPA filters are also commonly found as part of an air purifier, designed to remove allergens and pollutants from the air in the home or an office building. The majority of purifiers do in fact contain a HEPA filter.
How do HEPA Air Purifiers work?
HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. The filter consists of a fine mesh that, when air passes through it at speed, catches particles such as dust, pet hair and cigarette smoke. These filters were originally designed to be used in the nuclear industry, indicating just how effective they can be. Obviously the typical home isn’t anywhere near that dangerous, but is still exposed to a combination of various pollutants and chemicals that can cause a number of health problems.
Prevention is of course better than cure, in as much as it is possible to avoid any of the many causes of pollution in the modern world.
Smokers should avoid lighting up indoors, going outside if they must smoke.
Anyone with a pet allergy may need to avoid living in a household with animals, or choose a pet that does not provoke their symptoms. However, there is no denying that sharing your home and life with a pet is a very rewarding experience, so purchasing a HEPA air purifier may help to manage the symptoms of the allergy.
It may be worthwhile seeking the advice of your doctor on whether a HEPA filter is likely to be beneficial in your case. Many do recommend them for allergy sufferers or people with respiratory illnesses.
The HEPA filter will need to be cleaned to remove the particles, and replaced every 2-4 years. It will not be able to remove all harmful particles in the air, so should be used in conjunction with a regular cleaning program for maximum effectiveness.
What should you consider when buying a HEPA Air Purifier?
- Price: cheaper models may not be that efficient, though if your budget is limited they will at least remove some pollutants from the air. However, they are not likely to be of much use if you want to buy a HEPA filter because you have health problems or allergies. Taking that into consideration, it is not necessary to go for a top-of-the-range model either.
- The area you wish to cover: it is often best to buy an air purifier that covers a wider area than you need it for, so that it will operate at maximum efficiency.
- Reviews: you will be investing quite a lot of money into an air purifier, so check out reviews and articles. Often the usefulness of a machine comes down to the practicalities of running it – things that can’t be labelled on the packaging, such as how distracting the noise levels are. Information from previous purchasers can be very valuable in helping you to either shortlist a model or rule it out altogether.
- Running costs: look for a low-energy consumption model if you want to keep bills down; as air purifiers will often be left running round the clock, this could mean a difference in hundreds of pounds if you choose an energy-hungry unit. Consider factors like wattage, or ask how much the unit will cost to run.
- Warranty: how long is the warranty provided with the unit? A short warranty may be an indication that the unit is likely to break down easily.
It is also important to check that you are buying a genuine HEPA filter. These will be categorized according to one of two methods:
- Level of efficiency: the filter can remove either 99.97%, 99%, or 95% of particles.
- Graded ‘A’ to ‘E’, where ‘A’ is the least efficient, and ‘E’ the most efficient. You should be aware that ‘E’ rated models are designed for military-grade use, so unlikely to be sold for use in a domestic setting!
HEPA Air Purifiers can be a good choice if:
- You want a model that is easy to maintain: HEPA filters are long-lasting, unlike some other models where the filter will need to be replaced every few months. This can be annoying, especially if replacement filters are not easily available locally. Therefore a HEPA model is low-maintenance. All that is required is to vacuum the filter regularly to clean it.
- You have an allergy: the symptoms of allergies caused by a reaction to animals, pollen or dust can be miserable. HEPA filters claim to remove as much as 99% of the pollutants in the air.
- Your home is prone to mould, or you tend to dry laundry inside a lot: this is, unfortunately, often a necessity in the British climate, and the moisture given off by the drying clothes creates a damp atmosphere that can encourage mould to grow. Other filters are not able to trap mould.
Issues to bear in mind
- HEPA filters are fragile and can be easily damaged.
- They can be very loud, so may not be helpful if you want to run the unit while you are asleep, or in a workplace where concentration is required.
- They can be expensive to run.
- Some models require the filter to be replaced more frequently, and this can be costly.
- They require annual testing.
- They cannot clean large homes or more than one room.
- You cannot clean the filter manually other than by vacuuming it.
- Where a model contains different types of filter, each one will last a different period of time and therefore will not all require replacing together.
Are HEPA Air Purifiers Safe?
The problem with HEPA air purifiers is that they work by trapping particles. Unfortunately not all harmful contaminants are large enough to be caught in this way. So HEPA filters will not trap viruses or bacteria – which are the cause of many ailments – or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).
VOC’s are produced by building materials, cleaning products and many other materials found in the home and workplace. VOC’s are potentially very hazardous to our health, as they can be carcinogenic.
So it cannot be assumed that HEPA air purifiers will remove all harmful matter. They do, however, remove most of what they are designed to remove.
HEPA filters are also preferable for anyone with respiratory diseases or allergies. This is because unlike ionisers or ozone producers, they are not pumping out any ozone – which may be an irritant to anyone with these problems.
Selecting a model with non-toxic paint as well as a metal casing also avoids any risk of out-gassing, a process which results in the emission of harmful gases when a reaction occurs inside the unit. Another solution to this is to pick a model where the gas filter is placed after the pre-filter and HEPA filter.
How does a HEPA Air Filter Work?