Ever since the current pandemic began, HEPA filters have become an increasingly popular topic for discussion – a way to protect against COVID-19 beyond face masks, social distancing and regular sanitising. Here’s why:
HEPA is the English acronym for ‘High-Efficiency Particulate Air’. It’s known as an absolute, or true, filter and can filter out and capture very small particles from the air while continuing to allow air to pass through effortlessly.
HEPA filters use multiple interlaced fibres to create a ‘maze’ that traps particles, prevent them from being recirculated into the air we breathe. These filters are used in aeroplanes, across healthcare environments, inside refrigerators, masks and – of course – vacuums.
Your vacuum may to a good job of removing visible dust and debris, but it’s the tiny particles, ones as little as 0.3 microns in diameter and invisible to the human eye that are the most harmful. Most vacuums will simply miss theses microscopic particles or – worse still – blast them back into the air.
The risks of this are obvious. Now for the question of the year: are HEPA filters capable of blocking particles as small as the COVID-19 virus?
A single COVID-19 particle is about 0.125 microns in size, but the virus particles cannot travel on their own. They must attach themselves to something else – generally respiratory droplets – before being transmitted. These respiratory particles are usually at least 1 micron in size, and it is here where the HEPA filter can do its job, trapping the contaminated respiratory droplets and preventing them being recirculated back into the air around us.
Take the Victor V-9 HEPA Tub Vacuum, for example. With a filtration efficacy of 99.9965% – eight times better than the HEPA13 healthcare standard – less than 0.1% of particles can escape the filter. At a time staying safe couldn’t be more important, there’s never been a better time to invest.
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