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What’s the big deal with Hepa filters?

You’ve probably heard the term “HEPA” — that stands for “high-efficiency particulate air,” meaning these filters trap household dust, pollen, bacteria, allergens and other tiny particles. Here are some other things you might not know about HEPA filters:

High Standards.

In order to achieve HEPA status, a filter must be certified 99.97% efficient in capturing 0.3 micron-size particles. That means they remove most common air contaminants.


A tight seal is very important to a filter’s performance. For a filter to be considered HEPA, all the air must be forced to go through the filter.

Accept no substitutes.

When shopping, make sure you look for the term “HEPA filter.” Filters labeled “HEPA type,” “HEPA media,” “high efficiency” or “sealed allergen” do not meet the 99.97% at 0.3 micron standard for true HEPA filters.

Small and smaller.

How tiny is 0.3 microns? Really tiny. For comparison: