Are HEPA Filters the Best Choice for Home Air Purification?

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, curtains, and other surfaces that can accumulate dust and other allergens. Therefore, it is important to keep these areas clean.

HEPA filters are effective at removing large enough particles such as pet dander, pollen, and dust mites. Other particles can be trapped, but they are still a matter of concern in the filter. HEPA filters will effectively remove most allergens, dust, pollen, and mold from the air. However, they will not 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. For homes without central HVAC systems, or if you have pets indoors, a HEPA room air purifier may be beneficial. It is still important to take care of deposited dust deposits and keep pets out of the bedroom. The room air purifier must be suitable for cleaning the air in the room in which it is being used.

Don't expect a single air filter to clean an entire house and remember: only particles that pass through the air filter will be captured. Before installing an air cleaner with a high MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value), make sure your heating or cooling equipment can handle it properly first. HEPA filters are effective in part because there are multiple filtration methods that actively reduce the amount of contaminants circulating back into the air. If there are no prevalent health problems, air filters do not necessarily have to be HEPA level, but doing any type of upgrade will be beneficial for quality purposes.

This is mainly because air filters with greater efficiency remove not only inorganic dust suspended in the air, but also microscopic organisms that can cause serious damage. While the recommended replacement rate varies from appliance to appliance and depends on how much air is drawn through the filter (and how dirty the air is), you can expect to change HEPA filters at least twice as much as you would for non-HEPA filters. Not all air purifiers clean the air equally; some, for example, those with HEPA filters are more efficient than others; some are designed for large or small rooms; and others can be hazardous to health. Filters such as ULPA (Ultra Low Penetration Air) used in certain industrial or scientific environments or in cleanrooms are not suitable for the domestic environment.

MERV-13 air filters are generally the best filter upgrade for residential use for typical HVAC systems. A filter with a MERV rating of 13 to 16 is considered a high-range MERV filter and can remove up to 75 percent of all airborne particles 0.3 microns or greater from the air. A HEPA filter should be understood only to be part of the solution to improve indoor air quality. One of the most popular products available in the continuous search for cleaner air, especially for allergy sufferers, is the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter found in several air cleaning products.

The condition of your air cleaner significantly influences the state of your interior comfort and the performance of the entire HVAC system. Residential and home HVAC systems will most likely need to be modernized with new ducts and new equipment, perhaps even an improved HVAC system that is powerful enough to work with and blow through a dense HEPA air filter. These filters are capable of capturing many pollutants from the air, including mold spores, bacteria and virus particles. 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.

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