HEPA filters for everyone? Yes and no.
HEPA is a time-tested technology on the market. Many air filters and air purifiers are equipped with HEPA filters. At the latest since the Corona crisis, they are on everyone's mind. Currently, there is even a petition demanding HEPA filters for daycare centers and schools. But beware: it's not that simple. HEPA filters can be dangerous under certain circumstances. We explain why ... and what the solution is.
HEPA - A proven filter with weaknesses
HEPA filters (High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters) have been used in a wide variety of air purifiers for decades. They separate everything that can be dangerous to us in the air we breathe. This technology has proven its worth, especially in filter systems of medical and laboratory rooms as well as in clean rooms, which have to be completely germ-free. And how exactly does such a filter work?
- HEPA filters are suspended matter filters that can filter almost 100% of the smallest particles from the air with the help of special glass fiber mats, usually laid out in a wave shape.
- We are talking about particles barely larger than 0.1 micrometer (µm), i.e. barely larger than 0.0001 millimeter (mm). These include fine dust, bacteria, viruses, aerosols, asbestos, but also pollen, fungal spores and mite excrement.
- A distinction is made between HEPA classes H13 and H14: with H13, at least 99.95% of all particles are separated, with H14 it is at least 99.995%.
Air purifier filter replacement: hidden maintenance costs not the only danger
So far so good. But the danger is lurking when it comes to changing the filter. In large facilities, where filter changes are carried out by qualified technical personnel, HEPA filters are part of everyday life. Changing the filter becomes problematic for devices used at home or mobile devices in schools and offices. Here, money has to be spent regularly to have the filter changed by professionals. Changing the filter on your own would be far too dangerous! These are the reasons:
- Studies show that viruses can remain active inside the filter for quite some time.
- When the filter is replaced, the contaminated filter mats can release infectious material.
- Another danger is the harmful decomposition products of filtered-out bacteria: These so-called endotoxins can no longer be retained by HEPA filters and are released into the room air: unfiltered!
The solution: A combination of HEPA filter + photocatalysis
A new and innovative filter technology solves the problem of HEPA filters: with the help of patented photocatalysis technology, as used by the AiroDoctorⓇ air purifier, the filtered pollutants are being destroyed and safely neutralized. This is because photocatalysis, a chemical reaction with optimized UV-A light on titanium dioxide, destroys the shells of viruses and bacteria. In this way, dangerous pathogens are rendered permanently harmless!
→ These are the advantages of the AiroDoctor:
- The filter change can be carried out without danger, even without qualified personnel.
- No endotoxins are released into the room air.
- No harmful by-products are produced during photocatalysis.
→ This is how photocatalysis works: