What Vacuums with HEPA Filters Do and Don't Do

HEPA Filter Vacuum

You can use your vacuum with HEPA filters to eliminate
dust and dirt that accumulates in your household.

Most of the time, you utilize your vacuum cleaner to eliminate dust and dirt that accumulates in your household. But if you are dealing with severe allergy problems or a house that is potentially contaminated with lead dust or mold, you might require to step up your vacuuming strategy and take a look at a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.

A HEPA filter vacuum is not automatically going to solve all your in-home contamination problems, though. A HEPA rated filter in a vacuum that is not correctly sealed to prevent particles from escaping could do more harm than good by spreading the contaminants through the house. And some contaminants are too difficult to remove even with a HEPA vacuum cleaner. Let us take a close look at what a HEPA vacuum cleaner can do, what it cannot do, and what other choices you can make to remedy severe contamination issues in your home.

What is HEPA?

A HEPA filter is a high-efficiency particulate air filter designed to eliminate 99.97 percent of all particles that are 0.3 microns in size that pass through it. The HEPA standard is set by the U.S. government's Department of Energy and was developed for use in nuclear amenities in the 1940s. HEPA vacuum filters can collect some pollutants, though, they cannot capture everything. For example, particles smaller than 0.3 microns can escape through a HEPA filter, as can the gaseous molecules of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and some viruses and bacteria.

Is a Vacuum Cleaner with a HEPA Filter Worth It?

Canister Vacuum with HEPA Filter

Avoid using your HEPA Filter Vacuum to vacuum up asbestos
dust or fibers yourself because it is dangerous.

Evidence shows that a HEPA vacuum with appropriately designed seals does a better job of collecting contaminants than the average non-HEPA vacuum. This will be specifically beneficial for allergy sufferers, as a HEPA vacuum traps dust, dust mites, and pet dander better than non-HEPA vacuums. Obviously, you have to weigh the benefit against the cost, both of the vacuum itself and replacing the filters.

A HEPA vacuum can also be part of a remediation plan for other home contaminants, like lead dust or mold. Still, a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter will not solve all your contamination problems by itself. Follow the correct steps to remove these harmful materials from your home, using a HEPA vacuum only when appropriate.

It's significant to note that you should not use a HEPA vacuum, or any other vacuum, for asbestos abatement. Asbestos is a very dangerous material that causes cancer. It should only be removed by experts trained to do so. Do not attempt to vacuum up asbestos dust or fibers yourself. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that asbestos in good condition be left alone. In contrast, asbestos that is deteriorating or in a high-traffic area should be encapsulated or removed by an expert. Sanding, sweeping, drilling, or vacuuming asbestos or near asbestos can send asbestos fibers into the air, which, when inhaled, can result in lung cancer.

Keeping your home clean and free of contaminants is always a multi-step process. Appropriate cleaning, removal of contamination sources, and the use of an air purifier that effectively removes the types of particles you want to get rid of are necessary steps to keep the air in your home clean and safe. A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter can be a crucial tool for reducing allergens and some remediation of harmful contaminants.

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