What are the considerations for and against buying a HEPA air purifier? In just one minute, let me reveal the most important ones.
The advantage of mechanical filters, like HEPA, is no reduction in air cleaning efficiency over the life of the filter. In fact, a HEPA air purifier will become more efficient as it loads up.
HEPA filters are not slack in initial efficiency either. Air purifiers like the IQAir HealthPro achieve system efficiency of 99.5% in all particles down to 0.003 micron. While that is probably the best performing HEPA air purifier on the planet others come close, like Allerair or Austin Air.
So, HEPA is the filter of choice for anyone who needs the best possible home air filtration and is happy to pay for it. People with severe allergies, asthma or lung diseases like COPD come to mind.
There are two disadvantages to HEPA.
The first is noise. It takes a lot of fan power to push air through a HEPA filter. This produces noise, especially at higher speeds. Units like the afore mentioned IQAir use innovative fan designs and other techniques to lessen noise.
The second consumer concern is filter changes and cost. Eventually HEPA filters load up with particulates, reducing airflow and giving you less clean air. Too much airflow resistance can also damage the motor due to heat buildup.
Most top quality air purifiers can go several years without filter replacement. I've seen Allerair units advertised with filter life as great as eight years. Of course, the conditions under which you use it will make a difference.
I prefer guesswork be removed from filter changes. Again, IQAir leads the way with a pressure activated indicator that tells you when a filter change is due. This removes the expense of unnecessary filter changes and the risk of lowered performance or motor damage in your HEPA air purifier.