Friday, April 04, 2008

Why Buy a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner?

For the past few years, numerous studies and government organizations have sung the praises of HEPA filters, and this was especially true immediately after the September 11 attacks. Due to the potential for contaminated dusts from the World Trade Center Disaster and other hazardous airborne substances, this has prompted the need for appropriate air filtration systems, and HEPA has been shown to be most effective.

As an acronym for “High Efficiency Particulate Air,” HEPA filters originated in the 1940’s and were introduced to commercial markets shortly thereafter. A True HEPA filter has the ability to remove up to 99.97% of particulates 0.3 microns or larger, including contaminants such as dust, animal dander, smoke, mold, and other allergens. Thus, HEPA filters are most often used in air purifiers and cleaners.

However, in addition to air filtration devices, HEPA filters can now be found in many other appliances such as vacuum cleaners because of their ability to remove allergens from the air in a room. A HEPA vacuum cleaner is a vacuum that utilizes a HEPA filter as the last filtration stage, and because traditional vacuum cleaners tend to kick up large amounts of dust, HEPA vacuum cleaners are especially useful for those suffering from respiratory problems such as allergy and asthma.

With that said, when selecting a HEPA vacuum cleaner, be sure the model utilizes a True HEPA filter, as lesser grade filters with names like “HEPA-like” are not as efficient when it comes to particle abatement. Also, it is equally important to ensure that the vacuum be designed and constructed so that all the air taken in is passed through the HEPA filter before it is exhausted (often referred to as a “HEPA sealed system”).

Lastly, when comparing different HEPA vacuum cleaners, keep in mind that HEPA vacuum cleaners are usually more expensive than conventional vacuums. Also consider factors such as the cost of replacement bags and filters; noise levels; and performance specifications like CFM, water lift; and the power of the motor.

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