Do House Air Filters Really Work?

Research has shown that filtering air can help reduce the amount of harmful particles in indoor spaces, particularly allergens, smoke, and mold. However, air purifiers are most effective when used in combination with proper filtration and home cleaning techniques. Air purifiers are designed to remove contaminants from the air, such as allergens, dust, spores, pollen, and more. Some purifiers can also capture or reduce bacteria, viruses, and odors.

If you answered yes to the above points, an air purifier is a good choice. Air and HVAC filters are designed to filter air and remove contaminants or pollutants from the air passing through them. Cleaning and filtering the air can help reduce pollutants in the air, including particles that contain viruses. An air purifier is basically a fan and a filter, which can be noisy at higher speeds.

While this improves air quality, these particles remain and can recirculate in the air the next time you sweep, sit on the couch, lean on a wall, or walk on the floor. The longer technical guide focuses on air filters for residential use; it does not cover air filters used in large or commercial structures such as office buildings, schools, large apartment buildings, or public buildings. Portable air filters and HVAC filters can reduce indoor air pollution; however, they cannot remove all air pollutants. This type of air purifier uses the energy produced by ultraviolet light to initiate a chemical process to neutralize and destroy particles in the air.

Models that include germicidal UV lamp technology to irradiate bacteria and mold spores into the air stream or filter cost even more; however, there is a lack of research to show that they work. In addition to the purchase price of an air purifier, you also need to consider operating costs and filter replacement costs. HEPA filters support the most research and can filter out extremely small particles. HEPA filters are very effective in removing fungi, mold and other allergens from indoor air.

As air moves through the filter, contaminants and particles are captured, and clean air is expelled into the living space. HVAC systems in large buildings typically filter air before it is distributed throughout the building, so consider upgrading HVAC filters as appropriate for your specific building and HVAC system (consult an HVAC professional). Do-It-Yourself (DIY) air filters are indoor air filters that can be assembled from box fans and square HVAC (or oven) filters. In conclusion, while an air purifier cannot remove all pollutants from your home's indoor environment, it can help reduce some of the threat posed by airborne particles and indoor activities. EPA, ASHRAE and CDC recommend upgrading air filters to the highest possible efficiency that is compatible with the system and verifying filter fit to minimize filter air bypass.