Air purifiers can be costly, there’s no doubt about it.
You spend big money upfront to get a good unit, then you’re spending even more money every 9 months to replace the filters! It never ends.
There are a couple of improvements air purifier manufacturers have been implementing to lighten the load for us. For example, making air purifiers energy efficient so it costs us less to run. Or including reusable, washable pre-filters to increase the lifespan of HEPA & Carbon filters.
These improvements help us get more out of our air purifiers for less.
But isn’t there another way?
That’s where Permanent HEPA filters come in.
The most costly air purifier filter that needs replacing is without a doubt the HEPA filter.
Due to its extremely effective high particle filtration, HEPA filters can be costly. And replacing them every 9-12 months? It all adds up, and it’s not a pretty thing to look at.
Permanent HEPA filters help reduce this money-draining problem we all have with HEPA filters.
This mini-intro guide to permanent HEPA filters will help you understand what exactly a permanent HEPA filter is, and what you can do to keep them working in tip-top shape!
Are Permanent HEPA Filters Good?
Permanent HEPA filters are exactly what the name would have you think they are – permanent versions of HEPA filters. They’re just as effective as normal HEPA filters are, (removes 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns) but without the expensive annual purchase!
While permanent HEPA filters will theoretically work forever, that doesn’t mean they don’t need cleaning! Typically most permanent HEPA filters need cleaning every month to every 3 months.
In this next section, you’ll learn how to clean & take care of your permanent HEPA filter.
How To Clean a Permanent HEPA Filter
As I mentioned above, permanent HEPA filters need cleaning every 30 to 90 days to maintain their high performance. Usually, by checking your air purifier’s manual you’ll find out how often you need to clean it. Consider cleaning it more often if you find the air purifier is removing a lot of airborne particles.
To clean a Permanent HEPA filter, lightly go over the filter with a vacuum equipped with a brush or crevice attachment. Repeat on the other side. This ensures you’re getting into and cleaning all the little cracks in the filter.
It’s important that you go over the filter very delicately with your vacuum so that you don’t damage it. HEPA filters are made with fiberglass, a very fragile material that can break quite easily.
IMPORTANT: Unless specified in your air purifier’s manual, do not get your permanent HEPA filter wet. Getting it wet will ruin the filter completely and you’ll have to buy a replacement.
Should I Replace My Permanent HEPA Filter?
Permanent HEPA filters last very long but just like anything else, they start to wear down over time.
The good news is unless you’ve damaged your permanent HEPA filter, you probably won’t have to replace it for a while. (You’ll still need to clean it though!)
So is there ever a point where you should replace your permanent HEPA filter?
The answer is yes. After 8-10 years (if your air purifier & filter have gotten that far) you might want to consider picking up a new permanent HEPA filter. After this point, your permanent HEPA filter may not be as effective as it once was due to wear and tear. By routinely cleaning your permanent HEPA filter you’ll help to extend its working life, a small task will go a long way!
Permanent HEPA Filter vs. Replaceable HEPA Filter
When it comes down to choosing between a permanent HEPA filter or a replaceable HEPA filter, there are two major factors you’ll have to consider.
1. Cost & Budgeting
If you’re on a budget and can’t justify spending approximately $100 every year on filters, then a permanent HEPA filter would definitely be your best bet. Instead of spending money you’ll just have to spend a little more time cleaning out your permanent HEPA filter every now and then.
While the difference is marginal and not that noticeable, replaceable HEPA filters will do a better job at trapping particles as times goes on. As I mentioned in the last section, all things stop being as effective due to wear and tear. If you’re replacing your HEPA filter yearly, you won’t have to deal with this problem.
Beware of Permanent HEPA-Type Filters!
I wanted to add this section because I’ve noticed some companies taking advantage of this and it’s unfair to potential buyers (like you).
Watch out for air purifiers that say their filters are HEPA-type. Most of the time, these HEPA-type filters are permanent and that’s when they start to confuse customers.
When a company says their filter is HEPA-type all they’re doing is stealing some of the credibility a True HEPA filter has by saying their filter is almost like a True HEPA one, without doing any of the certification testings.
It’s an easy claim to make that has no factual backing and it’s deceiving.
I’m not saying HEPA-type filters are bad but if you’re looking for an air purifier with a True HEPA filter, and you buy one with a HEPA-type filter thinking they’re the same thing – you’ll end up disappointed. Just be on the lookout and don’t fall for it!
When it comes to HEPA filters, investing a little more money upfront to buy a permanent one is a smart move that pays off in the long run.
The money you’ll save not buying replacement filters every 9 months is well worth the small bump in price for a permanent HEPA filter.