UV versus HEPA

UV versus HEPA - Air Sniper - Air Filters - Featured Image

With COVID-19 becoming a part of everyday life, your business needs the best air filtration options available. For large-scale buildings and small compact offices, the necessity for clean air is becoming a pressing issue. In particular, the need for continuous solutions that maintain efficiency is emerging as a concern among many building managers, industrial shops and municipalities alike. However, not all air purification is the same. 


Today, we will compare the advantages of two popular systems: ultraviolet (UV) sanitization and the HEPA standard. First, we will look at how each method sanitizes the air, then, the regularity of their upkeep and finally, their effectiveness in terms of room air purification.


How UV & HEPA Sanitize 

While both methods are effective, there is one key difference. Essentially, UV destroys bacteria and HEPA traps bacteria. To explain further, UV air purification uses shortwave ultraviolet light to disrupt DNA, which ultimately kills bacteria and other microorganisms. Conversely, HEPA filters use a fine mesh made of randomly arranged fibres to trap and catch them. 


The Maintenance Requirements of UV & HEPA

In the best environment, HEPA filters need annual replacement. For commercial settings where they will see heavy use, inspecting them every six months is a good rule of thumb; especially if you find them heavily soiled upon inspection. 


With UV technology, however, it is a different story. For 24/7 use, you will only need replacement bulbs every 18 months.


Additionally, most air sanitizers will use additional pre-filters for larger particulate matter. A good example of this is carbon mesh filters. Commonly used in HEPA filters, these can last for several years in the right conditions. 


For Air Sniper’s products, we use a 77-micron mesh (merv-8) pre-filter that never requires replacement. Instead, a regular vacuuming or blowing with compressed air will keep it fresh and effective.  


The Effectiveness of UV & HEPA

The effectiveness of any UV air purification system depends on the dwell time and proximity of the UV bulbs. Our units have been tested and found to remove up to 99.9% of harmful bacteria, such as Influenza A and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Although, not all equipment can say the same.  


For HEPA filters, it is a different story. HEPA is a standard which uses the measure of most penetrating particle size (MPPS), and also differs in different jurisdictions. In the USA, the standard is the removal of 99.97% of airborne particles with a 0.3-micrometre diameter.


The Conclusion

Although both methods are effective, UVC technology outshines HEPA in both the maintenance and effectiveness categories. In fact, Air Sniper doesn’t use HEPA because our pre-filters actually stay cleaner for longer. However, we provide exceptional service and superior products to our clients.


We are the ideal air sanitizing solution for schools, medical professionals, steel shops, food processing facilities and restaurants. Our selection of products offers a choice for all budgets and requirements, and our staff are capable of working with mechanical and engineering teams for new projects. We look forward to hearing from you soon!