What is a HEPA filter?HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. HEPA filters on vacuum cleaners remove 99.97 percent of allergens, like dust, mold spores, pet dander and smoke, from carpets. HEPA air conditioning filters remove that same fine particles from the air in you home.
But some vacuums call themselves “hospital-grade HEPA,” “HEPA-like” or “Gore-Tex microfilters.” None of these are “true” HEPA appliances. They’re less expensive than the real deal, and they don’t work as well.
A true HEPA filter has two tell-tale marks: a serial number and efficiency ratings, printed right on the filter. The rating should state that at .3 microns, the device performs at 99.97 percent or better.
Before you buy a HEPA vacuum, ask your sales consultant to show you how to change the collection bag so dust and contaminants won’t spill out of it when you change it. And ask for instructions for changing the filter as well.
As you compare various brands of vacuums, consider:
- How much heavy housecleaning you do.
- Motor speed.
- Size of the collection bag or tank.
- Cost of replacement filters and bags.
- Noise level. Price of the vacuum.
- Prices start at around $130 and go well into the hundreds of dollars.