What is the difference between a HEPA vacuum and a standard vacuum? A HEPA vacuum works the same way as a standard vacuum does: it draws air and contaminants into a dust bag or canister. The only difference between the two is that a HEPA vacuum uses a HEPA filter to filter the exhaust air. HEPA vacuums will also have a fully sealed system to ensure that the air will only pass through the filter. HEPA filters are specifically designed to be used in HEPA vacuums. A HEPA filter can be retrofitted to work with a standard vacuum cleaner; however, this design will not filter the exhaust air as effectively.
A HEPA filter is a filter medium that contains randomly arranged fibers to trap particles. HEPA filters also need to filter at least 99.97% of 0.3 µm particles according to the United States Department of Energy. A conventional filter may not tested by the government.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not test or certify HEPA vacuums, but they have developed standards for HEPA vacuums. According to the 40 CFR 745.83, a HEPA vacuum places a HEPA filter as the last filtration stage to filter the exhaust air. These vacuums are also designed so that all the air drawn into the machine is expelled through the HEPA filter.
A HEPA vacuum coupled with a HEPA filter will trap most asbestos, pollen, and other fine particles, improving overall air quality.
For a listing of Multi-Clean carpet care products, please visit Multi-Clean’s Carpet Care webpage.
For a listing of HEPA approved vacuums and filters, please visit the Minuteman International webpage.