The realization that my Air Purifier was a poor financial purchase didn't happen until 7 months later when I went to buy a replacement filter. This $220.00 machine was now asking me to spend another $120 to replace the filter. The filter was gray and clearly dirty from the auto pollution, pollen and dust in my home air, so I was clearly happy with the results, just not with the financial bath I was about to take.
The HEPA filter itself is a cloth-based filter which captures and permanently holds particles. Most can collect molecules down to 99.97 percent. It is recommended most by Allergists because nothing else does as good a job. Electrostatic and ionic plate air purifiers (like Oreck) are not anywhere close to doing a good job on dust and pollen. They simply do not collect particles as well.
In Japan consumers are smarter - they look for additional filters included with any air purifier purchase. Because most Americans don't think about "down the road' costs the air purifier makers can charge whatever they want. They often make more money on filters over 2 years than they do on the original air purifier sale itself. The same realization holds true for Auto Makers and inkjet Printer manufacturers: The real money happens in the backend.
"TrueHEPA" - A term used to imply that some brands are not the real thing. If it says HEPA (and not any variation) then it is. The exception is terms like "hepa-like" or "Washable" filters. These are less-effective than the "real thing".
"Hyper" - Different companies often try to make their filter sound better or more unique. Some have bacterial agents to kill germs and viruses. However this just kills the viruses and germs on the filter itself, not in the room.
"Sealed" - Marketers also use the term "sealed" to infer that some machines leak air out the sides of the filter making it less effective. Having reviewed, particle - tested, and owned hundreds of air purifiers (over 40 years worth) I have never seen this happen in any High Efficiency Particulate Air Purifier on the market.
You will find a small number of washable versions, but I don't recommend them. Here's why:
The reason why "washable HEPA-filters " have not caught on, and in this case it does not have to do with grreed. The washable ones are simply not as effective as the cloth versions. These foam types must be more porous (per foams makeup) letting more dust and particles thorough. Foam also does not have the same surface tension to hold particles as the cloth versions have. Unfortunately for us, and the environment.
Particle tests and comparison charts on this website will show you different models and the most popular filters inside each machine. To compare filter replacement prices see the comparison chart here or via the link below.