There are two basic types of HEPA air purifiers, those with replaceable filters, and those with permanent ones. Of the second group, there are the filters that do not need to be taken out and cleaned, and those that can be washed by hand or machine to be longer lasting.
What is a HEPA Air Purifier Filter?
A HEPA air purifier is an air purifier that uses a special filter called a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air, which is a fancy way of saying that they are designed to remove more particles from the air than any other type of filter. All true HEPA filters are able to strain particles as small as 3/10 of a micron in size, which is the smallest particles any filter is able to remove.
HEPA Permanent Filters
If you have problems with cat dander, a permanent filter that can be hand cleaned is probably your best choice. Pull the filter out every 2 to 3 months, or more if needed, and clean it using a fine bristle brush. If the filter is washable, use warm soapy water, but be sure to rinse the filter thoroughly, and allow it at least 24 hours to dry after cleaning.
HEPA Replaceable Filters
Replaceable filters trap airborne particles, and when they are full can be replaced by a brand new filter. This eliminates concerns over recycling the same contaminants and gives the owner a lot of reassurance that the filter is working as it was designed to do.
Which is Better?
When all of the considerations have been made, replacing filters is the healthiest way to go, but it will also prove to be the most expensive method. If budgeting is not a concern, choose a model with replaceable filters. You may also want to puck up plenty of filters in advance, saving you repeated trips to the appliance aisle for new ones.