How Much Does a HEPA Filter Restrict Airflow?

HEPA filters are the gold standard of air filtration, removing more than 99% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. While suitable for standalone air purifiers and for private uses, this level of filtration in the average household system dramatically reduces airflow. A HEPA filter installed in an oven would restrict air flow to the point where no air would escape through the vents. However, traditional air filters in the higher range of MERV ratings (12-1) approach HEPA filtration levels, with the exception of virus removal.

Activated carbon filters can also remove most pungent odors, such as kitchen scents or tobacco smoke. It is important to note that there is no established standard for “HEPA type” and “HEPA type” products, so these filters do not meet HEPA standards. Disinfectant Filtration System (DFS) technology uses a high-energy network, creating a microbiostatic condition that prevents anything from living or growing inside the filter. Another filter that people often encounter is an “ultra-low particulate air” ULPA filter (filter), which is commonly confused with a HEPA filter. These terms are misleading and it is likely that these devices cannot remove particles as small as a “true HEPA filter”.

Not just the filter medium: units in use without a box are individually tested to meet and exceed industrial HEPA standards. The MERV scale is used to evaluate the effectiveness of air filters, with air filters that are considered to be extremely efficient ranging from 17 to 20 on the scale. Dirty air filters significantly reduce airflow, making it difficult for the HVAC system to function properly. There are a few different styles that work together with your HVAC system, HEPA filtration systems, air filtration systems, and multimedia air filters. HEPA filters are the standard of reference in hospitals and clinics because they remove not only inorganic dust, but also microorganisms such as mold spores, bacteria, pollen, dust mites and many viruses. If you were trying to install a HEPA filter in your oven, you'll probably have trouble getting enough air from the vents due to the dense filtration material used in HEPA filters and the high air pressure needed to force air through the filter. In conclusion, while HEPA filters are incredibly effective at removing particles from the air, they can restrict airflow significantly when installed in an oven or HVAC system.

It is important to be aware of this when selecting an air filter for your home or business.