Most, if not all cleaning professionals will tell you that the most efficient type of filter a vacuum cleaner can have is a high-efficiency particulate air filter or HEPA filter. A HEPA filter can go a long way to protecting indoor air quality and can filter out and capture even the smallest particles, almost 100 percent of the time. They can trap smoke, bacteria, mold, pollen, dust mites and various other microscopic particles. Over time, however, a HEPA filter is going to need to be changed. It is necessary that they are changed for a vacuum to operate at maximum capacity. Below are some indicators that it might be time to change the HEPA filter.

Change every two to three years

If you are using a vacuum with a HEPA filter in a strictly residential setting, the filter should last you around two to three years before you need to replace it. It depends on how much you use it, but regular use based on an average cleaning schedule should keep it doing the job for between 24 to 36 months.

Commercial use

If you are using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter in a commercial setting, the filter should be changed much more frequently than once every two to three years. If it is used in the workplace, and used daily, you should check the filter every six months. If it looks soiled, it should be changed. If not, you can change a HEPA filter in a commercial setting once a year.

If you smell must

It’s good to know how long HEPA filters last, but if you go to use the vacuum and are noticing a musty smell, there is a good chance the HEPA filter is no longer working effectively and now needs to be changed. The smell test may indicate that it is time to replace the filter before the year (for commercial use) and before two to three years (for residential use).

Carbon pre-filters

Some HEPA filtration systems offer the option of having an additional layer of filtration in the form of a carbon pre-filter. Carbon pre-filters are great options for removing odors in the air. Like the HEPA filter, Carbon filters should also be changed annually (Commercial use) or once every two to three years (residential use).

A HEPA filters ability to remove microscopic particles is second to none, and your air quality, ability to breathe, and the overall cleanliness of your home or business is significantly improved. Keep in mind the above tips on when it’s time to change the filter.