Many of us retreat to our homes for security and relaxation, only to find that our senses are constantly being attacked by a variety of asthma and allergy-related culprits.
The EPA has repeatedly warned the public of the dangers of poor indoor air quality, and unfortunately, even the most immaculate home can be teeming with pollutants. Virtually every home is affected by indoor particulates, and this is especially true if your home was built in the last 20 years or so, as energy-conservation efforts enacted in the 1970s required homes to be built especially air-tight. Common sources of indoor air pollutants can include dust, carpet, furnishings, household cleaning products, pets, and cigarette smoke. Unfortunately, exposure to these contaminants can result in a range of health problems such as asthma, allergies, respiratory disorders, and even cancer.
One way to combat these airborne irritants is to use a high-quality air purifier to clear the air. Air purifiers can also help remove vapors from carpets and textiles, cleaning products, and other pollution particulates that can jeopardize your health.
Studies have shown that clean air helps you sleep better and breathe easier, and looking for an air purifier may seem confusing at first. One of the most effective ways at controlling particulates is through the use of a high-efficient particulate filter, but finding the right kind of filter can even be difficult. Two popular types of air filters are HEPA and HEGA, and while these two terms may seem interchangeable, they are also quite different, as they are used to filter out different types of pollutants.
HEPA technology has been around since the 1930s and is essentially a type of filter media that allows air to pass through. This type of filter is highly efficient at particle abatement, and is 99.97% effective in capturing particles 0.3 microns or larger (including common pollutants such as dust, hair, dander, and pollen). HEPA technology was originally developed by the Atomic Energy Commission to create clean and safe environments for troops, researchers, and scientists.
Because of a HEPA filter’s ability to remove particles from the air, it is the most common method of air purification. When purchasing an air purifier with HEPA filtration, look for True HEPA filters, as these must pass independent tests and perform at a certain standard to receive the distinction of a True HEPA filter. Also, when deciding on a HEPA air purifier, pay close attention to the filter’s construction. Warm-rolled HEPA filters are best, as these are not prone to cracking, and air purifiers utilizing warm-rolled and pleated HEPA filters also increase filtration efficiency.
On the other hand, HEGA filters serve a different purpose. HEGA stands for High Efficiency Gas Absorption, and this type of filter was developed about a decade ago by the British Army as a defense against chemical warfare. HEGA filters are composed of a carbon cloth and are considered to be many times more efficient than granulated activated carbon at adsorption of gaseous pollutants, chemicals, and odors. Because of their efficiency, light weight, and easy workability, air purifiers with HEGA filters are now becoming more popular, especially in air purifiers geared towards allergy, chemical, gas, and odor control. In fact, some air purifiers even use HEGA filters in combination with HEPA filters to provide complete air purification.
Therefore, by choosing a HEPA or HEGA air purifier, you can rest assured that you will get the same purification technology used by the government and have complete and thorough filtration of particulates, gases, and VOCs.