Are Whole House HEPA Filters Worth It?

For those with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions, a whole-house air purifier can be a great investment. These systems help reduce symptoms by removing pollutants from the air. Utilizing HEPA filters in both vacuum cleaners and air purifiers can reduce the amount of allergens and airborne pollutants in a home. If you're looking to clean the air in a single room, a portable air purifier is enough.

But if you want to improve indoor air quality throughout your entire house, a whole-house air cleaner or air purification system is the way to go. HEPA filters are effective at removing most allergens, dust, pollen, and mold from the air. However, they won't eliminate viruses or VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Mold can grow inside fibers, so it's essential to replace the filter regularly every 12 to 18 months or when needed. The airborne particles that trigger allergy symptoms are relatively large in size and are easily trapped with a HEPA filter.

But even with a filter in place, a single drafty window can allow millions of particles to enter the home. One example of a whole-house air purifier is the IQAir Perfect 16.This purifier uses HEPA filters and must be professionally installed in the ducts, in the return air duct. It's important to establish a regular maintenance schedule and clean and replace filters and other components to ensure you maintain the healthiest possible air quality in your home. If you're considering buying an appliance with a built-in HEPA filter, it's important to understand what these filters can (and can't) do to help improve the air quality in your home. For basic dust and other particulate contaminants, a simple, regularly replaced oven filter will do the job. Some filters are reusable and washable, but require meticulous maintenance, so they are not usually found in the most effective air purifiers. Experts say that at home, a HEPA filter can be expected to absorb about 80 percent of those particles.

It is almost impossible to objectively evaluate the effectiveness of whole-house air purifiers because there are many variables that affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the purifier. If you use a HEPA filter in your home but are still worried about certain contaminants, you can compensate for it by getting an optional upgrade to the third stage that adds a carbon filter to remove VOCs and other gaseous contaminants. This VOC filter must also be changed every three months.