What Can't HEPA Filters Remove From the Air? - A Comprehensive Guide

HEPA filters are widely used in air purification systems, but they don't get rid of most viruses because they're simply too small.

HEPA filter

technology can't remove VOCs or volatile organic compounds either, since they are also too small. Even so, combining HEPA filter technology with other technologies can help remove these substances from the air. A HEPA filter component as part of an air purification system is a great way to remove particles such as pet dander, pollen, smoke, and dust.VOCs, ozone, and fine particulate matter can't be completely removed from the air with a HEPA filter alone.

Activated carbon is almost always included as part of the HEPA filters sold today, which can help eliminate VOCs and ozone, but it has its own limitations. The truth is that HEPA filters don't work like that. At least, not for tiny particles like viruses and bacteria. These particles are so small that chemical forces adhere them to the HEPA filter.

These forces are called van der Walls forces. It's the same chemical magic that causes geckos to stick to surfaces. Currently, HEPA filters are considered to be the best filters for removing particulates from the air, such as mold spores, dust, dandruff, and pollen.However, they do not eliminate odors or some types of volatile organic compounds. By purchasing a HEPA air purifier that contains additional filters, such as a carbon filter and a prefilter, the unit will remove the maximum amount of contaminants from the air.

While they can be good filters, they haven't been tested or certified to meet the DOE standards for HEPA filters.Since allergens enter the home through open doors and windows, a single drafty window can let millions of suspended particles in. HEPA filters do not guarantee the removal of all allergens. The Department of Energy (DOE) specifies that the HEPA filters used by DOE contractors must be able to remove 99.7 percent of airborne particulates of 0.3 microns or more, but there are no federal or national regulations for the consumer industry.For those concerned about larger particles, such as dust, pollen, and animal dander, an air filter with a HEPA component will help reduce them in the air. The three most common appliances that use HEPA filters are whole-house filtration systems designed to treat complete air conditioning systems, portable air purifiers, and vacuums.A HEPA filter should only be understood as part of the solution to improve indoor air quality.

VOCs are household items, such as hairspray and ammonia, that are too small for a HEPA filter to remove. Users should not assume that an air purifier equipped with a HEPA filter will fully protect them from infection.To understand how HEPA filters work, think of them as a dense forest of entangled fibers pressed into a sheet. To reduce the spread of mold, replace the HEPA filter at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer. A HEPA filter labeled “True HEPA” or “Absolute HEPA” has been tested and meets high efficiency criteria.

It is important to note that frequent replacement of filters is essential since allergens and other toxic materials accumulate in the filter.If you want to clean the air in your home and want to know if a HEPA filter is the right choice for you then read on. HEPA filters were first used in hospitals and nuclear power plants to protect people from harmful particles and airborne diseases. Unless the filter is turned over these quantities are much lower than those normally passed through a 99.97% filter.

Ida Trodden
Ida Trodden

Devoted beer geek. Passionate twitter nerd. Proud introvert. Evil twitter maven. Friendly web junkie. Certified pop culture ninja.

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