Why HEPA Filters are Rarely Used in Homes

When it comes to buying an air purifier for your home or commercial building, it's important to consider all the factors before making a decision. One of the main reasons why HEPA filters are rarely used in air conditioning systems is that they are extremely restrictive in terms of airflow. This means that the system must be extremely powerful and use additional fans to be able to properly extract air through the filter and circulate it throughout the room or building. By purchasing a HEPA air purifier that contains additional filters, such as a carbon filter and a pre-filter, the unit will remove the maximum amount of airborne contaminants. Clogged filters will reduce machine efficiency, so they should be regularly inspected once a month, cleaned (as described above), or replaced with new filters.

VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are household items, such as hairspray and ammonia, that are too small for a HEPA filter to remove. According to the EPA's Home Air Filter Guide, the use of HEPA air filters in portable air purifiers and air conditioning systems can help reduce symptoms of allergies and asthma. A whole-house HEPA air purifier connects to the main trunk of a home's HVAC intake duct and filters out harmful contaminants every time the boiler or air conditioner is running. Installing HEPA filters in the home can immediately reduce the amount of airborne particles that are responsible for triggering these allergy-related symptoms. The key mechanism of this unit is to extract a certain amount of air from the main duct, transport it through the assembled HEPA filter and return the filtered air to the duct without impeding air flow. Fortunately, the airborne particles that trigger allergy symptoms are relatively large in size and are easily trapped by a HEPA filter.

While they may be good filters, they have not been tested or certified to meet DOE standards for HEPA filters. Yes, by using HEPA filters in both vacuums and air purifiers, the user can reduce the amount of allergens and airborne contaminants in the home. In the 1960s, HEPA filters were used in hospitals to help stop the spread of germs and particles in the air, and soon after, they began to appear in appliances, such as vacuums, air purifiers, and whole-house air filtration systems. With the goal of controlling COVID-19 and reducing airborne transmission rates, air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters can play an important role when used in homes and public environments, such as waiting rooms. The Department of Energy (DOE) specifies that HEPA filters used by DOE contractors must be able to remove 99.7 percent of airborne particles of 0.3 microns or larger, but there are no federal or national regulations for the consumer industry. A HEPA filter labeled “true HEPA” or “absolute HEPA” has been tested and meets high efficiency criteria. For this purpose, air purifiers with an activated carbon filter are used together with HEPA that absorbs VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

With higher humidity levels and higher temperatures, bacteria and mold can even accumulate on particulate filter media such as HEPA.