How to Select a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

A HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration vacuum cleaner is an important tool to minimize the effects of allergens and other indoor air pollutants, whether they aggravate existing conditions or to prevent future health problems.

Because HEPA filtration is so desirable, the term HEPA is used to market a wide variety of vacuum cleaners, and it is often applied in a highly misleading way that can make it difficult to choose a vacuum cleaner that will provide the levels of filtration you’re buying it for in the first place.

The HEPA filtration specification consists of two numbers that designate a very high level of filtration of very fine particles. The first number represents the filtration efficiency as a percentage and the second number is the particle size retained. For HEPA, filtration efficiency must be 99.97% and particles retained must be as small as 0.3 micrometers (formerly microns).

The phrase “as small as” is important because it means that if all the particles were 0.3 microns in size, the filter would still capture and retain 99.97% of them (usually referred to as “filtration efficiency”). The term “down to 0.3 micrometers in size” does not refer to the same filtration performance, as it may refer to a mixture of particle sizes for the stated efficiency.

The ability to filter very small particles is a very important specification because small particles can easily reach the deepest recesses of the lungs and, according to the U.S. EPA, may cause a wide range of extremely negative health effects, such as aggravated asthma, acute respiratory symptoms including aggravated coughing and painful or difficult breathing, eye, nose, and throat irritation, respiratory infections and chronic bronchitis, decreased lung function, shortness of breath and lung cancer.

And for allergy sufferers, one of the most potent allergens, which is thought to be responsible for a significant percentage of allergies worldwide, is found in dust mite feces, which are generally 10 to 24 micrometers in size and even smaller when disturbed. visit:-

To give you some idea of how small these fine particles are, a human hair is approximately 100 micrometers thick. HEPA filtration is designed to capture 99.97% of particles one-third of one micrometer in size.

HEPA filtration is an important and valuable feature to have as part of your vacuum cleaner. So how can you be sure that you are getting true HEPA filtration? Let’s start with certified HEPA filters.