How Often Should You Change the HEPA Filter in Air Purifiers?
A High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter can catch harmful pollutants in the air while also trapping and killing bacteria and viruses. As part of an advanced air purification system, a HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns.
What are HEPA Filters used for?
HEPA filters are an essential infection prevention and control precaution in hospitals and other healthcare settings. They can also improve the air quality in schools, universities, offices, and other workplaces.
Over time, the HEPA filter will get clogged with particles and pollutants. This will make it harder for the air purifier to cycle air. So in order to maintain maximum efficiency, you’ll need to change your HEPA filter every so often.
How Long Does a HEPA Filter Last?
It depends on a few things. First, the size of the air purifier you’re using. Second, the setting in which you’re using it. Third, how often you use your air purifier.
If you’re using an air purifier for the home, it’s unlikely that you’ll keep your purifier running 24/7. Plus, your air purifier will be relatively small, and you’ll use it in a relatively small space. So HEPA filters in residential settings should last for a few years before you need to change them.
But if you’re using an air purifier in a commercial or healthcare setting, you’ll be using a much larger and more powerful air purifier to clean the air in a much larger space. You may also have to meet certain strict industry regulations for your industry, including the HSE Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) obligations. As such, you’ll have to change commercial or healthcare HEPA filters much more frequently than you would in the home.
How Often Should You Change Your HEPA Filter?
Consult the air purifier’s manufacturer for the most reliable guide to when you should change your HEPA filter. But as a general guide:
- Air purification in the home. You should change your HEPA filter at least once every two years, but no more than once every three years.
- Air purification in a commercial or healthcare setting. You should change your HEPA filter every six months.
There are some situations when you might need to change your HEPA filter more regularly. If you notice a musty smell, for example, it might indicate that your HEPA filter is faulty, and needs changing. You should also regularly inspect your air purifiers, and if the HEPA filter seems damaged, you should change it immediately.
Can You Clean a HEPA Filter Yourself?
Some online guides claim you can prolong the life of your HEPA filters by cleaning them yourself. They advise rinsing filters in cold water, using a vacuum or an air blower to remove the dust, or even banging the filter to remove clogs of particles.
However, unless the manufacturer explicitly recommends it, you should avoid cleaning HEPA filters yourself. This is because HEPA filters are generally made from delicate materials, so any type of cleaning could easily damage them.
If the manufacturer does say you can clean your HEPA filter, follow their guidelines to the letter to avoid damaging the filter.
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