Preventing Mould with HEPA Filters


Dampness poses significant risk in both residential and commercial spaces and needs to be taken very seriously. While F7 filters currently dominate the UK industry standard, widespread adoption of HEPA filters could revolutionize indoor climate conditions for everyone, mitigating issues like mould as a result of damp and fostering healthier environments.

In this article, we look at HEPA Filters and how they can help.

What Does HEPA Mean?
HEPA, an acronym for "High Efficiency Particulate Air" or "High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance," refers to a type of pleated mechanical air filter made of interlaced glass fibres that create a porous fibrous web. These filters are engineered to capture a significant portion of airborne particles, including dust, pollen, mould, bacteria, and other pollutants with a remarkable efficiency. The European Norm 1822 classification establishes a standardized testing protocol for categorizing filters into various efficacy tiers. At the top end of the spectrum are the H13 and H14 classes of HEPA filters.

HEPA 13 Filters
HEPA 13 filters have the ability to eliminate 99.95% of particles measuring 0.3μm (microns) in diameter. This level of efficiency makes them exceptionally proficient at capturing small particles including viruses and bacteria and thus are often deemed as medical-grade filters.

Furthermore, HEPA 13 filters aren't limited to capturing microscopic threats; they excel in trapping a wide array of pollutants such as pollen, dust, pet dander, and mould spores. This versatility makes them invaluable for individuals with respiratory conditions, allergies, or those simply seeking fresher indoor air.

HEPA 14 Filters
HEPA 14 filters as an alternative have a capture efficiency of at least 99.995% for particles sized 0.1μm or larger, far surpassing HEPA 13 filters. These filters are often deployed in environments with stringent air quality standards, such as cleanrooms, laboratories, and medical facilities.

Research suggests that mould spores can be as tiny as 4μm, indicating that HEPA 13 or 14 filters both stand as an effective method at combating the growth of mould. However due to the differences in filtration efficacy between them, you are more likely to find H13 filters in domestic air conditioning systems and H14 filters in specialist commercial applications.

Understanding the Differences
But if HEPA 14 filters are so much more effective than HEPA 13, why not just use them for everything?

Whilst both excel in air purification, several key distinctions set them apart.

The heightened density of an H14 filter results in reduced airflow capacity through the filter, consequently limiting the system's capability to purify indoor air across a smaller volume. Likewise, the greater density of H14 filters in contrast to H13 filters leads to a notable increase in electricity consumption and a heightened susceptibility to air purifier leakage. As the filter itself is so dense, air moving through the filter will take the path of least resistance, which can result in a leak where air finds a way to bypass the filter altogether. This potential leakage poses a risk, swiftly diminishing the overall filtration efficacy of an H14 air purifier to 85% or lower.

Ultimately, the choice between HEPA 13 and HEPA 14 filters depends on the specific requirements of the environment. Domestic settings may typically benefit from HEPA 13 filters, while specialized commercial applications with stringent air quality standards may necessitate the use of HEPA 14 filters.

HEPA filters offer unparalleled efficiency in capturing airborne particles, including pollutants, allergens, and even microorganisms, thus enhancing indoor air quality to a remarkable degree. By transitioning towards HEPA filtration systems, we have the potential to create healthier and more comfortable indoor environments for occupants across various settings. This shift not only addresses immediate concerns like mould but also contributes to long-term health and well-being for all.