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Vacuum cleaners are very useful machines that are in many homes. Over the years, the filters that trap dirt and particles have evolved at an astonishing rate. From 18 century to now, vacuum filters have changed a lot. The filters nowadays are very efficient, and work astonishingly well, as compared to the first models. There is also a larger variety of filters, from electrostatic to HEPA filters. These all trap particles very well, and help keep your home as clean as possible.  

The first vacuum cleaner filter was made by Hoover, in 1908, and was a part of the first electric motor operating vacuum. It was a cloth dust filter bag, and was far less efficient than the advanced HEPA filters we have now. The first HEPA filters were created in 1940, and were used to filter out radioactive dust contaminants that were a byproduct of atomic bomb tests. Back then, the HEPA filters were made to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns, at high efficiency ratings of 99.7%. Even to this day, we still use this standard for HEPA air filters and vacuums, for asbestos and lead abatement.  Although they can be used for heavy duty cleaning of hazardous particles, people also use then in standard vacuums, to eliminate allergens and dust in their homes.  

There are many different kinds of filters, including but not limited to electrostatic and HEPA filters. There is a difference between the two, and when purchasing a vacuum it is advised to pick one out that matches your cleaning needs. A HEPA filter is best for a home that has smokers, pets, and people with allergies, as it is especially good at catching particles of .0.3 microns or larger. Electrostatic filters filter larger particles, and use static electricity to draw them in. An electrostatic filter needs to be changed more often than a HEPA one, because the particles it captures can cover up the electrically charged ones, and make it less effective. Even though it captures dander and dust, an electrostatic vacuum filter would not do as good of a job of eliminating smaller size airborne irritants as a HEPA filter, which can capture smoke, chemicals, and molds, along with larger particles.  

It is very important to have a filter on your vacuum, whether it is HEPA, electrostatic, or any other variety. Filters are important because they help lower emissions, eliminate allergens, and help make your home a safer place if you or someone in your household has asthma. Vacuum cleaner filters prevent dust from getting back into the air while vacuuming, which is a huge benefit. They have come a long way since the first vacuum filter, and now they are efficient as ever, to help you tackle all cleaning jobs with the purest air possible.