Information about our Super HEPA Filters
The word HEPA, of course, stands for high-efficiency particulate air.
When AllerAir first introduced its Super-HEPA particle filter a few years ago, it quickly became a sought-after component in specialty units. Used primarily in AllerAir’s MCS air purifiers for those suffering from multiple chemical sensitivities, it soon became an option for other customers as well.
A HEPA filter is a must-have in air purifiers to remove fine particles from the ambient air. That’s because the Super-HEPA surpasses a regular HEPA in many ways, especially when it comes to off-gassing and resilience, as explained in the list below.
The HEPA filters of today were developed over time, starting with the Manhattan Project to remove small radioactive particles. In the 1960s, an affordable pleated HEPA filter was patented and became available to the public.
AllerAir has used medical-grade HEPA filters in its air purifiers from the start and soon began searching for new technologies to provide alternatives. It introduced the Super-HEPA as early as 2011 in its MCS air purifiers.
In view of its advantages, AllerAir recently upgraded particle filters in all of its units to the Super-HEPA.
The Advantages of Super-HEPA?
Advanced particle filtration: The Super-HEPA removes 99.9% of all particles at 0.1 microns in size. A regular HEPA removes 99.97% of all particles at 0.3 microns. Both are trusted particle filters that help provide cleaner air. Particle filters like the Super-HEPA and regular HEPA remain important components of indoor air purifiers. Experts have raised red flags about fine particles that can make their way past a human body’s natural defenses (nose hairs, for example) to reach the lung, where they may embed themselves or enter the blood stream and become a major health hazard. The EPA has linked fine particle exposure to health effects such as premature death in people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, aggravated asthma, decreased lung function, and increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing. Please note, however, that particle filters alone won’t remove airborne chemicals, fumes and VOCs that can also be highly irritating and dangerous. Those pollutants require air filters with granular activated carbon, for example.
Greater resilience: Super-HEPA is made out of a strong and flexible material that is wrapped around the carbon filter. It is easy to handle, change, and “install”, providing great particle protection. By comparison, a regular HEPA is made out of randomly arranged fibers and pleated in a V pattern to increase its surface area, which turns it into a rigid filter in need of its own metal casing for protection. Even with the metal casing, it remains fragile and prone to cracking during transport and handling, which may then reduce the filter’s effectiveness. A regular HEPA also often requires gaskets to ensure a proper seal and airflow.
No off-gassing: Super-HEPA was originally only offered to AllerAir’s most chemically sensitive customers, as it is an inert particle filter that does not release noticeable odors. A regular HEPA, on the other hand, is not made out of inert materials and proved to be an inferior option for those who are very sensitive to chemicals. MCS, or Idiopathic Environmental Intolerance (IEI) is known as a “chronic, recurring disease caused by a person's inability to tolerate an environmental chemical or class of foreign chemicals” (according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences). While the condition remains controversial in medical circles, those suffering from it can still benefit from inert filters - and it doesn’t hurt to add a level of protection for everyone else as well.
Zero polymer: A regular HEPA filter is held in place by a polymer ring on top and bottom, which can off-gas and become bothersome for customers. The Super-HEPA, by contrast, is securely wrapped around the carbon filter and does not need additional materials to keep it in place.
Binder-free: Super-HEPA is made out of a tightly woven and very flexible material that does not require binders to hold it together. A regular HEPA’s fiberglass fiber mat is made with binders, a type of glue, which can also off-gas.
No borosilicate: Unlike regular HEPA filters, Super-HEPA is not made of borosilicate fibers. Borosilicate is a type of glass made from silica sand, soda, ground lime and boric oxide. When borosilicate particles become airborne, they are a health hazard for those breathing them in.
The Super-HEPA filter has a proven track record in AllerAir’s air purifiers. Paired with a deep-bed activated carbon filter to remove airborne chemicals, odors and irritating volatile organic compounds, it delivers outstanding overall protection from indoor air pollution.