Do HEPA Filters Help Protect Against COVID-19?

When used correctly, air and HVAC filters can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, in a small building or space. HEPA stands for “high-efficiency particulate air” and is a type of filter that can trap and remove microscopic particles, such as COVID-19 viruses, from the air. In that sense, a HEPA air filter can protect against COVID-19 from spreading to someone from an infected person. However, as noted by the EPA, it takes a multi-pronged approach to combating COVID and other viruses.

People expel droplets of respiratory fluid, saliva, and possibly virus into the air when breathing, coughing, and talking. Even if the water in the droplet evaporates, the droplets contain salts, proteins, and other material in addition to any viruses, which means that the remaining particles are usually a few microns in size, making them quite easy to catch with a HEPA filter. Some air purifiers have built-in HEPA filters and have additional filtering capacity to improve the quality of the air distributed in a room, unlike those without HEPA filters. A research study conducted to determine the effectiveness of air purifiers with HEPA filters showed significant improvement in allergic rhinitis symptoms among participants.

You can also get high-quality HEPA air filters from large home improvement stores, but the selection is likely to be limited. If health problems are the main reason you want to get HEPA air filters, then you should buy them from a highly reputable source. HEPA filters aim to improve air quality by including a mesh screen and a high-density filter to trap particles in the air. Many media outlets have incorrectly stated that HEPA filters do not filter below 0.3 microns and therefore cannot capture airborne coronaviruses.

The team chose high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which expel air through a fine mesh that traps extremely small particles. Addition of two HEPA air purifiers that met the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) (reduced overall exposure to simulated exhaled aerosol particles by up to 65% without universal masking). We know from previous research that air filters with a sufficiently high degree of filtration can reduce the amount of viral contaminants in the air. Hospitals have turned to portable air filters as an attractive solution when their isolation facilities are full, but it's important to know if such filters are effective or if they simply provide a false sense of security. In conclusion, HEPA filters can help reduce airborne contaminants such as COVID-19 viruses in a small building or space. However, it takes a multi-pronged approach to combating COVID and other viruses.

High-quality HEPA air filters should be purchased from a reputable source for best results.