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HEPA vs Other Air Filters: What’s the Difference?

Whether you’re suffering from allergies or just want to keep your home a little cleaner, air filtration is one way to help improve the overall health of your family. As you shop for air filtration options, you will need to decide if you want HEPA filtration or conventional filtration. Understanding these options, as well as their potential benefits, will help you make an informed decision.

Understanding HEPA Filters

HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air (filter or filtration). A true HEPA product is an air filter that can trap tiny particles down to .3 microns. In order to earn the HEPA rating, they must do so with a 99.97 percent efficiency. This is effective enough to remove most particles from the air.

True HEPA filters cannot be used in conventional forced-air heating and cooling systems without serious equipment modifications. This is because they likely will require a more powerful blower or air handler to maintain airflow through the dense filtration media, and also because they won’t fit into the standard compartment for air filters. Often, HEPA filtration is handled in free-standing air-cleaning units.

Benefit of HEPA Filters

HEPA filters offer the following related benefits:

  • Fewer airborne particles and less dust in your home
  • Better indoor air quality
  • Fewer problems with allergies and asthma

For families with asthma and allergy problems, these benefits easily outweigh the potential cost.

Traditional Air Cleaners

Traditional air filters, except for those at the low end of efficiency ratings, also filter small particles out of the air. While they won’t remove as high a percentage of airborne particulates as HEPA fiters, higher-efficiency standard air filters can still greatly improve indoor air quality while protecting your HVAC equipment.

Benefits of Standard Air Filters

Standard filters offer the following benefits:

  • Usable in the main HVAC system
  • More affordable options
  • No additional filtration system needed unless your home has special air quality requirements

As you make a decision about air filtration for your family, you will need to consider the benefits and drawbacks. For further help finding the right filter option for your home, please contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions, the Orlando area’s source for quality HVAC services since 1969.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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