Are HEPA Air Filters Worth It?

HEPA filters are an excellent way to reduce particles such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores in your home. If you are concerned about these types of particles, updating your air filters with a HEPA filter can help keep your family protected.


is good for removing larger particles, such as pet dander, pollen, and dust mites. Unfortunately, mold, VOCs, viruses, bacteria, and small particles smaller than 0.3 microns cannot be safely removed from the air with a HEPA-based air purifier. Air purifiers using HEPA filters can capture coronavirus-sized particles.

However, its real effectiveness in preventing someone from contracting the virus is still unknown since the transmission speed may be faster than the air purifier can capture the particles. Therefore, it is still recommended to follow CDC recommendations on the best methods to reduce the risk of transmission and avoid exposure to the virus. First of all, there is no such thing as an “air purifier” or, as the name implies, an air cleaner that purifies the air. Some units equipped with ultraviolet (UV) light kill viruses and bacteria, but even this doesn't purify all the air you breathe. The best thing any air filter can do is to remove small particles that pass through the filter. Using a HEPA filter in your home can remove most airborne particles that could worsen allergies.

But airborne particles aren't the only ones in your home. There's so much more to your carpets, bedding and curtains, and it rests on countertops and tables. Therefore, it is important to keep these areas clean. It is also important, where possible, to eliminate the source of allergens and irritants.

For example, the only effective way to keep tobacco smoke out of your home is to not smoke. As indoor air quality becomes a concern for consumers, manufacturers produce “remedies” for us to buy them or, at the very least, buy them. Homes with carpets are a storehouse of allergens; every time someone walks or vacuums the carpet, particles fill the air. If you are concerned about other sources of indoor air pollution such as VOCs, viruses and bacteria HEPA may not be right for you. It may seem strange that the Department of Energy created an air filtration standard but HEPA was first developed in the 1940s for use in facilities containing nuclear materials. Despite this fact HEPA-based products were marketed for a long time with the intention of protecting against viruses. Because they filter airborne particles such as dander and pollen air purifiers may work better for people with animal allergies who have a dog or cat or who leave doors and windows open. The problem is that many homeowners use thin inexpensive filters that cost a few dollars and do little to filter the air.

Dust mites mold spores pollen and pet dander in the air inside your home can cause problems if your family has allergies or asthma. Models that include germicidal UV lamp technology to irradiate bacteria and mold spores into the air stream or filter cost even more; however once again there is a lack of research to show that they work. The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has now regulated that products based on HEPA filters can no longer make that claim. For homes without central HVAC or if you have pets indoors a HEPA room air purifier may be beneficial. An air purifier can act as a supplement to a filter and other strategies to help remove small particles pollutants and toxins from the air by using filters and chemicals. Other particles that accumulate and fill the filter begin to act as nutrients and allow mold spores to grow in and through the filter membrane and eventually release new spores into the air. Research shows that filtering air can help remove harmful particles from indoor spaces especially allergens smoke and mold. But in cases where nothing can be done air purifiers can help remove small particles pollutants and toxins from the air by using filters and chemicals.