The Science Behind HEPA Filtration

As we frequently (and proudly) say: XLERATOR® Hand Dryers with HEPA filtration systems remove 99.999% of viruses from the airstream, as evidenced by independent testing from LMS Technologies. As impressive at that statistic is, it may not be immediately clear exactly how this technology can help you stay safe and clean. In this blog, we’re explaining the science behind HEPA filtration, and how our products utilize it to promote improved hand hygiene.

What Is HEPA and How Does It Work?

High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are important to any clean-air system, as they filter out the overwhelming majority of unwanted air particles, including dust, dirt, pollen, mold, bacteria and even some viruses. This is accomplished through using pleated, layered sheets that consist of randomly arranged fiberglass fibers.

The random arrangement creates a narrow and complicated pathway to catch particles larger than 0.3 micrometers (μm). Particles smaller than 0.3μm collide with gas molecules between the layers causing them to diffuse and become more likely to collide with the filter. The reason 0.3μm is a reference point is because particles around that size present the greatest health concern for humans and are the most likely to pass through a filter. So, when a HEPA filter is advertised to remove 99.97% of all particles, it is referring to those measuring 0.3μm—which are the most difficult to handle.

While this technology seems complex, it has been around for a long time. HEPA filters were first used in the mid-twentieth century as part of the Manhattan Project, to block the spread of radioactive particles. Throughout the decades the system has only improved and has since been adopted into various technologies including our line of high-speed hand dryers.

A side by side of how restroom germs may spread with or without HEPA FiltrationBenefits of The XLERATOR® With HEPA Filtration

Not all HEPA filters are the same, so it’s important to be able to measure the performance of your filter. This is accomplished through Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV), which report a filter’s ability to capture particles between 0.3 and 10 microns. Filters are rated on a scale between 1–16, with the higher numbers representing superior performance. All Excel Dryer HEPA filters have a MERV rating of 14.

In addition to the inherent hygienic benefits of HEPA, the filtration system in our dryers is the only one in the industry that features a removable, washable pre-filter that extends filter life and eases restroom maintenance. The pre-filter is made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel to trap larger particles and features an easily detachable clip system, allowing it to be removed without the use of tools and reattached with a simple snap-fit.

These HEPA filtration systems can be purchased as an option with our XLERATOR, XLERATOReco® and ThinAir® Hand Dryers and come standard with the XLERATORsync®—a component of the D|13 Sink System available through D|13 Group.

How Can We Help You?

All air filtration systems require periodic cleaning and filter replacement to function properly. To ensure that a HEPA filter is working efficiently, it should be inspected and changed at least once every six months. Are you looking to replace or upgrade the filtration system in your existing dryer, or are you interested in a new dryer with a HEPA filtration system? You can contact us today to learn more about our products and the benefits they offer.