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HEPA 13 Filters vs. Washable Filters: Which is Better?

If you believe air pollution that comes in the form of smoke or toxic gases is the only thing that can ruin air quality, think again! The dust that floats freely in the air, which is a combination of pollen, dust mites, dead skin cells, pet dander, and mold spores, can also cause respiratory problems. The risk is even higher if you or your housemates have health conditions such as asthma or allergies.


We understand that you want your home to be 100% safe, which is why choosing the best kind of HVAC filter is one of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to the quality of the air you breathe. While there are many different types of filters, the two most common choices among homeowners are HEPA 13 and washable filters.


So, the million-dollar question is: Which one is actually better? Let’s find out!

What is a HEPA 13 Filter?

High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are a type of mechanical air filter that works by forcing air through a dense web of fibers or fine mesh to trap tiny, harmful particles. 


HEPA is a standard initially developed by the U.S. Department of Energy during the 1940s to protect people from contaminants that resulted from nuclear testing. Later on, this became more widely applied to the consumer market, and air filters that meet this standard are now generally recommended by the U.S. Department of Health.


HEPA filters have different levels of efficiency that can help to categorize and compare them. HEPA filters with a “grade” of H13 and H14 can trap 99.95% and 99.995% of particles, respectively, as small as 0.3 microns in diameter. Meanwhile, other filters can only capture particles five microns or larger with 80% to 95% efficiency.


In short, HEPA 13 filters are more efficient compared to regular air filters. They can even remove harmful toxins and pathogens from the environment, including viruses, bacteria, and fumes.


This is the reason why, if you’re shopping around for an air purifier, it’s important to check exactly what kind of filter(s) it uses in its system.

Is a HEPA 13 Filter Better Than a Washable One?

HEPA 13 filters are medical-grade filters that are among the most powerful at removing even the tiniest airborne particles and the most effective in protecting your home. However, because they trap so much dirt, toxic substances, and pollutants, you eventually have to replace them to maintain their efficiency.


This is the reason why some people opt for washable filters. While this might mean needing to purchase fewer filters, is the cost savings really worth the loss of effectiveness? There are a few things that we want to consider here.


First of all, while washable filters can handle larger particles made of dust and dirt, they’re not as good at trapping tinier contaminants, viruses, and bacteria. Not to mention that washable filters still need to be properly maintained to be able to function well. 


Additionally, if the filter isn’t 100% dry after you wash it, even a small amount of water that’s left in the filter can lead to mold and mildew growth. Mold spores are allergens, and when they’re sent into the air, they can trigger allergic reactions.


Lastly, considering how toxic the particles in your filter might be, washing it — and therefore potentially exposing yourself to these toxins — isn’t worth the risk, merely for having the option to reuse the filter. 


Simply put, the biggest edge a HEPA 13 filter has over a washable type is its incredible effectiveness in purifying the air. It’s a powerful way to maintain indoor air quality and ensure that it’s safe to breathe, giving it a serious leg-up over washable filters. When it comes time to replace the filter, you don’t have to worry about exposing yourself to the harmful particles it collected.


Using the right filter can mean the difference between toxic air and clean air that’s healthy for you and your family. A washable filter might seem like a nice shortcut, but it’s not going to give you the best experience.

What Makes Sans the Best

With several options on the market, how do you know which air purifier to invest in? There are certain factors you want to look for — most importantly, the inner workings of the purification system.


What makes Sans’ technology unique is that it uses a three-stage filtration system. It all starts with a pre-filter that acts as the first line of defense, followed by a HEPA 13 filter that can trap the tiniest particles (such as bacteria and viruses), and thirdly, an activated carbon filter to neutralize harmful chemicals. It ends with a UV-C light that destroys the filtered pathogens and microorganisms so that they can’t grow on the filters or be released back into the air you breathe.


When you’re ready to replace your filters to keep your device running efficiently, Sans offers you a three-stage replacement filter ready to be delivered to you anytime. 


Not all air purifiers are created the same. Be mindful of how exactly your device protects you to ensure that it’s doing its job correctly.


If you’re ready to take the first step in getting the improved indoor air quality you need and ensure your home’s a healthy and safe space for you and your family, learn more about Sans today.


Did you enjoy this blog? You might like learning about why UV-C light is so important. Head to that blog next!

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