When it comes to buying an air conditioner, there’s plenty to consider, from the size of the unit to the extra features and filtration systems in place. ‘HEPA’ filters in air conditioners are a must for those who find their allergies or asthma triggered by dust or other pollutants. So, to give you an overview of what a HEPA filter is, and which air con brands offer the filtration system, we’ve compiled guide on everything you need to know.
What is a HEPA air conditioner?
The acronym HEPA stands for ‘High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting’, with HEPA filters generally including air purification technology inbuilt to air conditioners to improve air filtration and quality. As a minimum, an air purifier function comes with a multi-layered HEPA filter designed to remove viruses and bacteria from the air, while a more advanced system would also feature anti-mould filter treatment and possibly an ionizer system, which is said to break up smoke particles and remove bad odours.
Why do I need a HEPA air filter?
According to ACSI Airconditioning Warehouse, to help ensure your air conditioner traps as many airborne pollutants as possible, you might like to invest in a HEPA filter, as it can trap up to 99.7% of particles. However, HEPA filters are also known to restrict airflow, which may cause an issue on those hot days.
There are other filters out there such as electrostatic filters, which can trap up to 90% of particles while only minimally restricting the air flow, so it will be up to your needs when deciding which filter is best for you.
How do HEPA air filters work?
HEPA filters act as air purifiers that help improve the air quality inside your home. So, through different filtration technologies, they purify the air and eliminate bacteria, airborne particles and odours.
How often should I replace a HEPA filter?
Air purifiers come with either washable or permanent filters, but regardless of which type you have, it should be replaced or cleaned regularly. How often you should replace it will ultimately depend on the air quality in and around your house, how often you use your air conditioner, as well as other factors. However, generally HEPA filters are recommended to be replaced every 12 to 18 months.
Where to buy HEPA filter air conditioners in Australia
Many brands, such as Daikin, Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric, have air conditioners that feature HEPA air purifier technology.
Daikin US7 Air Conditioner
The Daikin US7 split system air conditioner features air purification capabilities, which have made it a Sensitive Choice approved product by the National Asthma Council of Australia. The unit is said to deliver the “ultimate comfort” with its humidifying, dehumidifying, ventilating and air purification features.
Its 2-Stage filtration system is said to remove carbon monoxides via a thermal catalyst in the outdoor unit, plus remove formaldehyde and allergens from the air via the indoor unit’s flash streamer. Other features include a Fresh Air Mode and a Self-Cleaning Filter for easy maintenance.
This unit has also earned a 7-star ‘Super Efficiency’ energy rating and is available in 2.5kW, 3.5kW and 5kW capacities, so depending on your household size, you can choose accordingly.
Toshiba N3KV Inverter Hi-Wall Split System
Toshiba’s N3 series of split system air conditioner units are also claimed to offer a high level of comfort with an IAQ Filter System, which is an ionizer air purifier. It consists of three layers of high-density filters that effectively remove up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, according to Toshiba. Additionally, it’s said to absorb and decompose odours and prevent mould formation.
To clean the filters, Toshiba recommends washing the dirt out with running water. There is also a self-cleaning function designed to reduce the humidity that causes mould to form inside the unit.
Its hybrid inverter is said to integrate two distinct compressor control modules to help provide constant natural comfort, which is achieved with maximum energy efficiency. This range is available in 2kW-7kW capacities.
Mitsubishi Electric MSZ-FA Series
The Mitsubishi Electric MSZ-FA-VA series of air conditioners feature the brand’s Plasma Duo filter system, comprised of the Plasma Deodorising Filter and the Plasma Air Purifying Filter. The system is claimed to provide “state-of-the-art air purification and deodorisation filters that remove unwanted odours and impurities in the air”.
The deodorising filter is claimed to remove chemical substances such as ammonia, methyl mercaptan, trimethylamine and hydrogen sulphide at the nano-level (1/1,000,000 of a millimetre) while the air purifying filter removes any substances like fine house dust, pollen, bacteria and viruses. In addition, negative ions are generated for their relaxing and soothing effects.
Other features include a quick clean design and a quiet operation, with some models operating at a low of 21 decibels. The range features 2.5kW-3.5kW capacities.
Should I buy an air conditioner with a HEPA filter?
Air conditioner manufacturers are making it more and more difficult to differentiate between brands, offering similar performance, technology and benefits. So, brands need to make themselves stand out with unique features. Air conditioners with air purifier technology, including HEPA filters, seem to offer almost a 2-in-1 appliance – an air purifier and an air conditioner.
Although efficient filters additionally limit duct airflow, there’s still a great benefit to HEPA filters. If cleaner environments and healthier air is important to you, then you might like to consider a new air conditioner with a HEPA filter, especially if you or someone in your household suffers from allergies or other respiratory related ailments. For more on air conditioners, check out our reviews and ratings via the link below.
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