13 May What is a HEPA filter in a Vacuum Cleaner?
A HEPA filter in a vacuum cleaner tells you how good it is at keeping very small particles of dust inside the hoover without releasing it back into the air. If your vacuum has a HEPA filter then it will hold onto dust 50 times as thin as a human hair.
In order to pick up the dust and dirt that accumulates in your carpet and all over your home your vacuum cleaner needs to provide suction power and when the dust and dirt gets sucked up a large amount of air is sucked in at the same time.
The dust and dirt needs to stay inside the hoover but the air needs to be released back into the room.
How much dust stays inside the hoover depends on the kind of filtration system that it has and the better the filter the more dust that stays inside the vacuum cleaner and the cleaner your home is.
If you have a cheap hoover with a poor quality filter then you may not know it but a big chunk of all the dust is getting sucked into your hoover and then pushed right back out again to settle back onto the carpet or floor.
None of the big bits of fluff or hair will come out as they are too big and can easily be captured inside the waste container but many dust particles are way too small to be visible to the human eye so you won’t even know when they get released back into the air because the filter on your hoover isn’t good enough to keep them in.
Do all vacuum cleaners have a HEPA filter?
No. HEPA filters quite expensive to manufacture so one of the ways to keep the price down is to put a standard filter in which is quite common on low-cost hoovers.
There is nothing wrong with a regular filter in a hoover but it won’t filter out smaller dust particles and it will just push them back out into the air.
If you want a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter then you should consider sticking to one of the premium brands such as Shark or Dyson who go out of their way to make sure all of the hoovers they sell have excellent levels of filtration.
You can find the best vacuum cleaners with the best filters in these articles:
What is the purpose of a HEPA filter?
A HEPA filter makes sure that tiny particles of dust stay inside your hoover when you are cleaning.
This size of dust particles is measured in microns. 1 micron is one-millionth of a metre, way too small to be visible to the human eye.
To give you an idea, a human hair is about 100 microns thick and many dust particles are 100 times smaller than a human hair.
If your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter then it will keep hold of dust that is less than 1 micron in size.
So in plain English there ain’t very much that’s going to escape back onto your carpet if the filter captures everything that is 10,000 smaller than 1cm.
Do HEPA filters work?
They will definitely keep more dust in your hoover than a regular hoover so if anyone in your home has dust allergies they will benefit from a HEPA filter.
You’ll also have a cleaner home because all the dust your hoover collects will stay in rather than being released back into the air.
What is a HEPA filter made of?
With normal filters air passes through a sheet with holes and larger dust particles get trapped in the holes that are big enough to let air through but too small to let large dust particles and things like hair pass through.
Smaller dust particles do however get through and so you need something better to capture all of the dust and dirt that your hoover sucks up.
If you look at a HEPA filter it looks like some kind of material that has been folded up but is actually glass fibres that catch very fine particles.
This is a more expensive material than normal filters which is why you will mostly have to pay a bit more for a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter but the benefit is significant because you can be safe in the knowledge that it will capture and retain everything it takes in.
How do you clean a HEPA filter?
Cleaning the filter on your vacuum cleaner at least once a month is recommended to ensure that there is no loss of performance and it is still collecting all of the tiny particles that it is made to do.
All you need to do is remove it from the vacuum cleaner and run it under some cold water until you have visibly removed the dust that you can see.
Leave it to dry for 24 hours before putting it back in as it needs to be completely dry or it could damage the hoover.
How long does a HEPA filter last?
As long as you wash it on a regular basis and look after it then it should last you a good 3-4 years after which time you should be able to order another one as a spare part from the manufacturer of your hoover.
Are all HEPA filters the same?
Unfortunately it’s not a regulated market so be wary of any marketing material that states anything such as “HEPA LIKE” or anything like that.
If you want to make sure that you have a genuine HEPA filter then you need to stick to a premium manufacturer like Shark or Dyson or Miele because their reputation and the trust of the brand is not worth breaking for an inferior filter.
Do you need a HEPA filter in your hoover?
If you want the maximum amount of dust that gets picked up by your vacuum cleaner to stay inside the hoover and keep your home as clean as it possibly can be then you should definitely consider a hoover with a HEPA filter.
All filters are not the same and the cheaper ones will not filter out a lot of the dust a filter can only be called a HEPA filter if it keeps hold of 99.97% of all dust particles.
If you are prepared to spend a little more on a hoover with a HEPA filter then it will keep your home cleaner and fresher for longer.
What it boils down to is how much you value a totally dust-free home. Just because you can’t see the dust doesn’t mean it isn’t there and a HEPA filter makes sure you stay dust-free.