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UPLA is an acronym that stands for Ultra Low Penetration Air and is a level of filtration significantly more efficient than HEPA and is used in clean rooms, labs, hazardous materials clean up and other environments where the highest levels of filtration must be utilized. An ULPA filter must remove 99.999% of all particles as small as .12 microns in size from the air that passes through it.

The phrase "as small as" is important because it designates that if all the particles were .12 microns in size, the filter would still have a 99.999% filtration efficiency. The term "down to .12 microns in size" does not refer to the same filtration performance as it may refer to a mixture of particle sizes for the stated efficiency.

ULPA filters may be certified, which means that they are tested and then identified with a certification number that provides assurance that the ULPA filter is actually providing the levels of filtration being claimed. In conditions where ULPA filtration would be required it is very important that the design of the vacuum cleaner be airtight with no leakage before the filter.


Ultrasonic humidifiers create an ultrasonic frequency to generate a cool fog of very fine water droplets to add humidity to room air.

Ultraviolet Light

This is a type of light that starts at the upper end of the visible light spectrum and ends at X-rays. There is a wide range of commercial uses for Ultraviolet (UV) Light but in the air and water purification industry it is widely used as a disinfectant, being an effective virucide and bactericide.

Upright Vacuum

An easy way to define an upright vacuum cleaner is that it is the type that you push rather than pull behind you. There are a wide variety of different upright designs for many different cleaning situations. Uprights generally have a revolving brush roll to provide agitation and may have one motor that provides the suction and also turns the agitator or it may have two motors, one to provide suction and one to drive the brush. Uprights have traditionally been the favorite type of vacuum cleaner in the U.S. with canisters being more popular in Europe. Recent innovations like on-board attachments and integrated extension hoses and advanced filtration systems have made uprights much more versatile and therefore now able to offer many of the features of canisters.

Upstream HEPA Filter

A design in which the HEPA filter is placed before, or upstream of the motor.

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