What’s The Difference Between HEPA and ULPA Air Filters?

It’s been six months since you last changed the air filter in your HVAC system, so like any good homeowner, you head to your local hardware store to purchase a replacement. The air filter is like the nose of the entire HVAC system: it’s designed to prevent harmful particulate from finding it’s way into the furnace (like your lungs) where it could cause problems for the air quality in your home. The type of air filter you choose determines just how many allergens and pollutants get circulated throughout your home.

Now you may be thinking, “Wait, I don’t want ANY allergens and pollutants circulating through my home!” So when you arrive in the air filter aisle at the hardware store, you start evaluating your options based on how deftly they can protect your indoor air quality.

Confronted with many product numbers and acronyms, you finally narrow it down to two options which look like they’ll deliver the best results: HEPA filters and ULPA filters. Not really sure how they stack up against each other? We can help!

Brookaire Company carries a full selection of high-performance air filters online, including HEPA and ULPA varieties. Keep reading to learn the benefits of each, and shop online to buy your air filters at much better prices than the hardware store today!

The Real Difference Between HEPA and ULPA Air Filters

HEPA Air Filters

HEPA is an acronym for “High Efficiency Particulate Air,” meaning that these air filters are especially adept at trapping the small particles that are floating through the air all around us. These particles could be dust, dirt, soot, smoke, skin flakes, pet dander, pollen, and liquid droplets. Some airborne particulate can be seen with the naked eye (like dust or smoke) while much of it can only be detected with a microscope.

“Studies have linked exposure to particle pollution to a number of health problems including respiratory illnesses (such as asthma and bronchitis) and cardiovascular disease. In addition, the chemical components of some particles, particularly combustion products, have been shown to cause cancer. These effects are often more pronounced for vulnerable groups, such as the very young and the elderly,” reports the Australian Department of Environment and Energy.

HEPA filters are specially made to filter out the vast majority of this particulate, which might otherwise end up inside our homes and inhaled into our lungs.

“The US standard (DOE-STD-3020-2005) requires that a HEPA filter be capable of removing 99.97% of contaminant particles 0.3 μm in diameter. Most standards also specify that HEPA filters must feature minimal pressure drop and maximum airflow when in operation,” reports Engineering 360. This means that in addition to keeping your indoor air more pure, HEPA filters can also ensure that your HVAC system runs more efficiently, saving you money.

ULPA Air Filters

ULPA is an acronym for “Ultra-low particulate [or sometimes ‘penetration’] air, meaning that these filters are able to scrub even more particulate from the air than HEPA filters. The US standard requires that ULPA filters be capable of removing 99.999% of particles 0.12 micrometers or greater are removed during use. This means a greater amount of even smaller particulate is trapped before it enters your home! The efficiency ratings for ULPA tend to be better than HEPA as well.

How To Choose Between HEPA and ULPA Air Filtration

Really, you can’t go wrong when buying either of these air filters online. Both will be head and shoulders above your regular, run of the mill air filters in the hardware store. If you have very young or old family members in the house, or if you or a loved one suffers from respiratory issues, the ULPA filter may be your best bet to reduce flare ups. The benefit of HEPA filters is that they are available for more applications, including vacuums, and comes in different shapes. And while you may be shocked by the price tag of HEPA and ULPA filters at your local home improvement store, shopping for air filtration products online at Brookaire is much more affordable!

Check out our selection now. And if you have any questions about our performance filters or the air filter manufacturers we carry, please don’t hesitate to contact us.