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air filters are the user-maintainable portion of heating and cooling, air
purification and environmental control systems. The filters used determine the
degree to which the air passing through the system is scrubbed of particulate
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, for example, must remove
99.97% of all airborne particles 3 micrometres in diameter or larger at a
minimum. Hospital grade HEPA filters can remove up to 99.995% of particulates.
Originally designed for the secret Manhattan Project in the 1940s to filter
radioactive particules, the HEPA filter is the standard which all other
filters attempt to achieve. They can be extremely expensive, however, if there
is a domestic allergen, bacterial, pollen, dust mites issue in the household,
the HEPA filter is the answer. Be aware: some manufacturers are using the term
with some qualifier as: “HEPA-like” or “HEPA-type” or “99% HEPA” which do not
meet the minimum filtration standards established for HEPA.
The Ultra-Low Penetration Air (ULPA) filters are theoretically able to remove
smaller particles, however, they are unsuitable for domestic use. They are
primarily used in laboratory and engineering clean rooms and are not as
efficient in moving larger quantities of air due to the density of the
The most common filters are the disposable panel filters, typically used for
heat pumps or heating and air conditioning systems. There are washable
alternative panel filters which can provide cost savings after several uses.
These filters block large dirt but do little to filter microscopic particles.
Their primary function is to keep dirt out of the furnace elements and not
environmental air purification.
A more effective filter than the flat panel style is the pleated disposable
filter, which is generally more than adequate for most domestic applications.
They are thicker and more robust than flat panel filters, and may require some
modification to the filter retaining frame. This type of filter is only
effective when the heating/cooling system fans are running. There are also
washable versions of this style of filter.
The most cost effective solution for domestic air filtration using pleated
electrostatic air filters which are washable. Electrostatic filters use media
that impart an electrical charge on particulates making the resulting ions
easy to capture. They generally never need replacement and trap approximately
97% of allergens and nearly 100% of particulate matter including mould,
bacteria, dander, mites, pollen and spores. They usually are an independent
unit, controlled separately from the climate control system, although some are
built to take advantage of the existing heater/air conditioning air ducts.
In any case, if an environmental air purification system enhancement is being
considered, it is a good idea to have several different climate control
engineers evaluate the existing system and recommend alternatives and provide
written estimates. Then perform routine due diligence researching the
companies, products and claims prior to making a purchasing decision.
| Air Filters - probably the largest choice of Air Filters in the UK!|