by Karen Bates
(last updated May 9, 2011)
Many people are concerned about air quality—not just outside, but indoors as well. Because of problems caused by reactions to indoor air pollutants, it can be important to do what you can to improve the air you breathe.
You might wonder where you should start when it comes to cleaning indoor air. There are various things you can look at to help fix the problem and reduce harmful particles in the air. Among other things, the filters you use in your home can have a huge impact on the cleanliness of the air.
Filters are used in different ways indoors. For instance, you can find filters on heat and air conditioning systems, air cleaners and purifiers, and even vacuum cleaners. There are different types of filters that you can use to take care of these things. One of the best-known filter types is the HEPA filter.
HEPA, or high efficiency particulate air, filters are often used to reduce the amount of particles that get into the air indoors. Where some filters might allow tiny particles to get through and back out into the air your breath, HEPA filters are especially good at capturing the smallest of pollutants.
There are two basic kinds of HEPA filters. First is a true HEPA filter, which passes specific criteria and is held to a high standard for capturing particles. To be labeled a true HEPA filter, the filter must be capable of capturing 99.7% of particles that are 0.3 micrometers in size. The filters themselves normally consist of fiberglass fibers that particles attach themselves to as air passes through.
There is also the HEPA-type filter. These are a lot like HEPA filters but do not meet the same expectations as a true HEPA filter. Although the HEPA type filters may be effective, they won't be quite as good as the true ones. True HEPA filters are likely to cost more due to their higher quality, but the cost can be worth it especially if there are people in your household who are very sensitive to allergy-inducing particles.
HEPA filters can help keep your home free of air contaminants and may help improve the health of those living in your home.
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