HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air, which is a standard of filtration. A vacuum cleaner that has been equipped with a HEPA filter is referred to as a HEPA vacuum cleaner. The HEPA filters trap microscopic dust inside the vacuum instead of releasing them back into the air.
Various vacuums have different filters, and for some people, any filter in a vacuum is okay. However, why do you need a HEPA vacuum cleaner? Vacuums equipped with HEPA filters are much more effective when it comes to eliminating contaminants from the environment.
If you or any of your family members suffer from asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues, a HEPA vacuum cleaner will be the best for your household.
This article delves deeply into the reasons why you need a HEPA vacuum cleaner and related matters. Continue reading to get more insight on the subject.
In this post we will cover:
- What are the best requirements for HEPA Vacuum?
- The Do’s and Don’ts of HEPA Filter Vacuuming
- Can a HEPA vacuum cleaner handle mycotoxins?
- Why is HEPA filtration important?
- Do HEPA vacuums help with allergies?
- How should you maintain your HEPA filter vacuum?
Why do you need a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner for Mold & Allergies?
Cleaning with a HEPA filter vacuum is one of the best ways to eliminate dirt, dust, mitten, mold spores, allergens, and pet dander from your house. The vacuum is capable of eliminating microscopic allergens that would have been left behind by a traditional vacuum.
A HEPA vacuum cleaner contributes to a healthy environment in your home, even for individuals without asthma or allergies. The HEPA filter in the vacuum captures most pathogens, microbial spores, bacteria, and soil particles, trapping them inside the machine.
Studies have increasingly shown that traditional vacuums without HEPA filters can aggravate symptoms of asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions by redistributing large amounts of allergens that have settled on the floor back into the air.
A quality HEPA vacuum cleaner, on the other hand, can help you solve this problem by controlling pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and other irritants. The vacuum will remove dirt and allergens from surfaces in your home while improving your indoor air quality.
The people who stand to benefit most from a HEPA vacuum cleaner are those suffering from asthma, allergies, or other respiratory illnesses. A HEPA filter vacuum will ensure that the particles that are likely to trigger the symptoms are trapped inside the machine.
When a HEPA vacuum cleaner is included as part of a holistic approach to healthcare for those with respiratory issues, then such conditions can be kept under control.
If you have pets in your home, you will definitely have to deal with pet hair and dander. However, when you have a HEPA vacuum cleaner, you will have no issues trapping the pet hair and dander since the filter of the vacuum is well adept at capturing them.
Allergens can settle deep into fiber carpets for homes with carpets, and they will constantly be kicked in the air whenever the carpets are walked on. A vacuum that lacks a HEPA filter may release particles into the air as large as 50 microns, but a HEPA vacuum will trap particles as small as 0.3 microns.
If there is air leakage around the dustbag, filter, and the body of your vacuum, then your HEPA vacuum cleaner will not be of much help to you in getting rid of microscopic particles. Therefore, ensure that your vacuum has a sealed filtration system.
The bottom line is that you do not need to have allergies, respiratory issues, or pets in your home to have a HEPA vacuum cleaner. If you want to keep harmful contaminants away and have a healthy home, a HEPA vacuum cleaner will be helpful in doing so.
What are the best requirements for HEPA Vacuum?
There are several requirements that a HEPA vacuum cleaner must have to be considered the best. These include the following:
A sealed chassis: having a sealed chassis means there is no air leakage. A gasket plays a vital role in preventing air leakage from the vacuum cleaner. When air leaks, it will pass through the filtration system as it comes from the vacuum’s housing compartment.
That air is not good as it will send contaminants into the air as you use it to clean, which will be detrimental for those suffering from allergies and other respiratory issues.
Certification: it means that your HEPA vacuum has an official seal of approval from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). The certification means that the HEPA vacuum cleaner has passed the organization’s tests. However, this is not a must.
No dust or smell: a HEPA vacuum of high quality does not produce a “vacuum smell” or dust. Therefore, make sure that no smell or dust comes from your HEPA vacuum cleaner whenever it is used.
Convenience and versatility: the HEPA vacuum cleaner should be convenient to use and versatile in its cleaning capabilities. The vacuum must be able to eliminate dirt, mold spores, and allergens from various surfaces. It should come with tools that can reach any spot in your home.
Quality pre-filters: pre-filters are layers of additional filters that protect the main HEPA filter. The pre-filters extend the life of the HEPA filter so that their replacement will be less frequent. A pre-filter increases the quality of a HEPA vacuum.
The Do’s and Don’ts of HEPA Filter Vacuuming
The Do’s: choose the right HEPA vacuum since not all HEPA filter vacuums are created the same. Even if a vacuum features a HEPA filter, it may leak, reducing its allergen removal efficiency.
Therefore, look for models labeled as “True HEPA” or “Sealed HEPA” because no air escapes from their filters. Such models ensure that all the air sucked up passes through the filter, releasing clean air back into your home environment.
Secondly, ensure that the filter is replaced as often as required because the effectiveness of the HEPA vacuum depends on the effectiveness of its filter.
Do not allow the filter to accumulate a thick layer of dirt, dust, and debris since it will lower the effectiveness of the filter.
The don’ts: do not use your vacuum cleaner without the HEPA because it will spread allergens and dust around into the air instead of removing them. That will trigger or aggravate allergies if there is someone in your family who suffers from them.
Secondly, do not forget to check the MERV rating, which gauges the effectiveness of a HEPA vacuum cleaner. The ratings range from 1 to 20, with 20 being the most effective and 1 being the least effective at removing microscopic particles.
A vacuum cleaner is undoubtedly the best cleaning tool when it comes to cleaning your home. However, you should not just use any vacuum, but one with better dirt and dust retention. It should also have a complete seal technology to prevent any air leakage.
A HEPA vacuum cleaner is the best one when it comes to dust and dirt retention since it traps 99.9 percent of the particles collected inside the vacuum. In so doing, it exhausts clean air into the home environment.
The HEPA vacuum is quite an asset for those suffering from asthma, allergies, and other respiratory ailments since it makes the home environment more breathable for them. However, you do not have to suffer from any of the problems to use a HEPA vacuum.
Are there different HEPA vacuums for carpet, wood flooring, and tile?
There are different types of HEPA vacuums and some are even specific to the surface to clean it with. These can include HEPA vacuums for carpets only, tile floors exclusively, and wood flooring.
Surface-specific HEPA vacuums are great if you only have one type of flooring in your home, such as tile, wood, or carpet flooring. However, when your home is a mix of two or more different flooring, a surface-specific HEPA vacuum cleaner will not be helpful.
It is true that there are HEPA vacuums for carpet, wood flooring, and tile, but the reality is that a single-surface vacuum is detrimental to you. That is because if you have different types of flooring in your home, you will have to get a vacuum cleaner for each.
Just get a multi-surface HEPA vacuum cleaner.
Can a HEPA vacuum cleaner handle mycotoxins?
HEPA vacuums are effective at removing mold spores from the air and filtering them using the HEPA filter. However, when it comes to mycotoxins, the HEPA vacuums are not effective at filtering the mycotoxins that are produced by toxic molds.
A central vacuum system may help to remove some of the mycotoxins if the air is released outside your home. Mycotoxins are tricky to eliminate even with a HEPA vacuum cleaner and further action will need to be taken to get rid of them.
Why is HEPA filtration important?
A HEPA filtration is essential in a vacuum cleaner because it has a multilayered sealed system and multilayered bags that are hygienic. For those who suffer from asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues, HEPA filtration is vital.
When you use a vacuum to clean, air will flow, depositing debris into the dust bag or collection bin through the powerhead. The air will continue to flow through the exhausted vent out of the vacuum.
Without good filtration, such as HEPA, allergens and fine dust will flow out of the vacuum with the air. That includes debris as large as 50 microns escaping back into your home environment. However, HEPA filtration will release cleaner air.
Vacuums without HEPA filtration can release additional allergens into your home environment, triggering the symptoms and making them worse. Such vacuums do not have the ability to capture fine particles which trigger allergic reactions.
Air will be able to leak from the vacuum cleaner and back into the air. Allergens will also leak from the vacuum through the housing when the vacuum is used.
Do HEPA vacuums help with allergies?
A HEPA vacuum cleaner will help solve your allergy issues. However, for you to get the best results, ensure that the dust compartment of the vacuum is emptied on a regular basis. You will also have to thoroughly vacuum your home when cleaning, including furniture, rugs, and curtains.
Even if it has a HEPA filter, a vacuum cleaner with a turbo or power head beats a lot of dust particles into the air on rugs and carpets. That can be problematic for an individual with an allergy issue. In such a case, leave the cleaning to a person who is allergy-free.
Alternatively, you can do the cleaning yourself but ensure that the windows in your home are open, put on a mask, and when you are done cleaning, leave the room for at least 30 minutes.
However, those suffering from allergies should not exclusively look to HEPA vacuum cleaners to provide them with solutions for their allergy issues. The vacuum should be part of an overall comprehensive healthcare program.
How should you maintain your HEPA filter vacuum?
1. Check the machine regularly: a HEPA filter can last for many years in a vacuum cleaner, but you have to check it often to ensure that there is no extensive damage or irreversible stains. However, if you notice any of the two issues, replace the filter.
2. Keep the filter dry: if the filter is washable, ensure that it is dry completely before putting it back in the vacuum cleaner. When you use a wet filter, it will damage the motor of your vacuum or breed mold inside the machine.
3. Check for odors: your vacuum should not stink when being used, apart from the freshly vacuumed smell. If a musty smell emanates from the vacuum while being used, it means the HEPA filter may need cleaning and if it is reusable, wash it.
4. Tidy up before vacuuming: before you start vacuuming, dust the different surfaces in your home, such as furniture, to enable your unit to capture more dirt. Dusting will loosen dirt, causing it to settle on the floor.
5. Pre-filter inspection: If your HEPA vacuum has pre-filters, inspect and maintain them every three months. Obstructed or clogged pre-filters will restrict the efficacy of the HEPA filter.
Linda Joan is a market researcher and publisher at Experts in Vacuum who has had an interest in topics related to vacuum cleaners since she was in university, out of curiosity and passion. She is now a full-time writer based in New York, New York.