Air Quality Life

Why do I need to replace my HyperHEPA filters?
Why do I need to replace my HyperHEPA filters?
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Why do I need to replace my HyperHEPA filters?

HyperHEPA filters are the most effective air filters available. Learn why replacing them is the key to keeping your system at top performance.

At A Glance

  1. IQAir HyperHEPA filters need to be replaced about once every four years (based on running your system at speed 3 for 10 hours a day). This figure changes based on which filter you’re replacing and what system you have.
  2. Dirty filters can make your system’s motor work harder to squeeze air through increasingly smaller spaces, using more electricity and overworking your system components.
  3. Regularly changing your filters helps maintain peak airflow for maximum cubic foot per minute (CFM) coverage.

Why you need to replace your filters

Wondering how often you should change your IQAir filters?

The short answer is that your IQAir HyperHEPA filters should be replaced about once every four years for maximum performance and efficiency. 

But there are a few factors you need to take into consideration that impact just how often you need to replace your IQAir system filters. 

First things first: How long do you run your system?

Your exact filter life depends first and foremost on how often you run your system throughout the year. 

Here’s the typical breakdown for how often you need to replace each filter in your HealthPro® Plus system if, theoretically, you run the system for 10 hours each day on speed 3:

  • PreMax™ Coarse Particle Filter: 18 months
  • HyperHEPA Particle Filter: ~4 years
  • V5-Cell™ Gas & Odor Filter: ~2 years

If you’ve got a GC™ MultiGas system for gases and odors, the figures are a little bit different:

  • GC HyperHEPA Pre-Filter: ~1 year
  • GC Gas & Odor Cartridge Filters: ~2.5 years
  • GC Post-Filter Sleeves: ~2.5 years

You probably noticed that the GC MultiGas features a HyperHEPA pre-filter. So why is the filter life so drastically different? It’s simple:

  • The GC HyperHEPA pre-filter is the first phase of the filtration system, meaning that it’s filtering out all the particles and pollutants of different sizes, including the coarse pollen, dust, and mold particles that are entering the system as well as all fine and ultrafine particles down to 0.003 microns;
  • The HealthPro Plus HyperHEPA filter is the last phase of the filtration system, only filtering air that’s already traveled through the PreMax pre-filter and V5-Cell filter, which extend its lifespan because it’s only capturing the fine and ultrafine particles.

Anyway, no need to worry about marking the exact replacement date on your calendar: your system will let you know right when you need to replace your filter with a filter life monitor that turns red when it’s time for replacement. 

Your system will let you know right when you need to replace your filter with a filter life monitor that turns red when it’s time to replace your filter.

And remember, too, that most other filters become less efficient as they become loaded. IQAir technology is different—our filters become even more efficient over time, with minimal reductions in overall airflow, due to the build-up of filtered matter on the HyperHEPA fibers increasing the surface area of the HyperHEPA media. So you don’t need to fret that your filter is losing its performance as pollutants accumulate.

Now let’s get into the details: what exactly happens as you draw closer to needing to replace your filter, and why is it so important to change them regularly?

1. Dirty filters can raise your electricity bill and damage your system.

The more junk clogging your filter, the harder it is for air to get through. That’s the basic idea behind the concept of pressure drop. 

The more junk clogging your filter, the harder it is for air to get through.

Pressure drop refers to how much resistance the flow of dirty air encounters as it passes through filter media (in this case, HyperHEPA fibers) that make up your filter. The more densely packed the material is, and the more pollutant matter collects on the filter, the greater the pressure drop as air passes through the filter because there’s increasing resistance that constricts airflow. 

And this can translate into higher energy costs: higher pressure drop means that your system must work harder and use more electricity to move air through the filtration media. And as a filter fills up with dirt, dust, mold spores, dander, and numerous other particles, the pressure drop increases as there’s less space for air to pass through. This means that the longer you wait to replace a dirty filter, the more you may end up paying on your electricity bill.

The longer you wait to replace a dirty filter, the more you can end up paying on your electricity bill.

IQAir system are designed to be energy-efficient. Every element of an IQAir purifier, from the centrifugal fan to the 3D UltraSeal housing design, is meant to simultaneously make IQAir purifiers nearly 100% efficient in cleaning pollutants in the air while also minimizing electricity usage – so much so that our purifiers only use about the same amount of wattage as a light bulb (anywhere from 27 to 215 watts, depending on the fan speed).

But the system must use more and more energy to squeeze air through a dirty filter, increasing your electricity use day by day until you replace your filter. 

Long-term use of oversaturated filters can cause stress on the system fan and motor, reducing the life of your air purifier.

Furthermore, long-term use of oversaturated filters can cause stress on the system fan and motor. The extra stress on these components can damage them and ultimately lead to a premature breakdown of system components due to over-amping the purifier motor, which reduces the life of your purifier.

2. Less clean air comes out of a system with dirty filters.

When filters are clogged with pollutants, air purifiers can’t produce as much clean air, making it hard for the purifier to keep up with new pollutants consistently being introduced into the air.

And many air purifiers live and die by these principles, measured by both their cubic feet per minute (CFM) and Air Changes per Hour (ACH) ratings. 

CFM (or just airflow) refers to the volume of air your purifier can move through the system as well as how quickly it moves through the system. ACH refers to the how much air can be cleaned in a given space within an hour. These acronyms are basically industry terms for how well and how quickly your purifier pulls dirty air into the system, filters it, and pushes back out as purified air. 

This accomplishes two things: 

  1. particulate matter is continuously removed, even as new pollutants get introduced into your air from various indoor and outdoor sources.
  2. clean air is continuously supplied back into the air. 

When your filters are clean, air can flow through the filter media unrestricted, allowing maximum CFM and ACH. 

When your filters get dirty, less clean air can be pushed out through the clogged filter media, lowering both your CFM and ACH ratings. 

When your filters get dirty, less clean air can be pushed out through the clogged filter media, lowering both your CFM and ACH ratings.

And if the ACH decreases, you may not be keeping up with the introduction of new particulates in the room, and your indoor air will remain dirty even when your purifier is on.

The Takeaway

Regular filter replacement ensures that you get the most out of your air purifier and guarantee high long-term performance.
 

Air Quality Life is brought to you by IQAir, a global air quality information and technology leader since 1963. With actionable insights based on the latest air quality research and information, we seek to advance awareness about the impact of air pollution on health.

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