Limitations of HEPA Air Filters

Advanced HVAC filtration is essential for removing ultra-fine airborne particles, which can aggravate respiratory conditions. HEPA filters are among the most commonly used high-efficiency filtration products, though they’re not infallible. Bounds Heating & Air, your HVAC repair expert, outlines some of the limitations of HEPA air filters.


Allergens enter the home through open doors and windows. While HEPA filters do help purify the air, they can’t guarantee the removal of all allergens, including viruses. This is due to the fact that many viruses are small enough to pass right through HEPA filters.


Most bacteria particulates will become trapped in a HEPA filter. As bacteria die, however, they decompose and release endotoxins. Like viruses, these toxic substances are small enough to pass through a HEPA filter. Consult Bounds Heating & Air, your trusted air conditioning repair contractor, for ways to negate this issue.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Aerosol hair spray, upholstery cleaner, ammonia, and many other products with chemicals contain VOCs. These toxins can irritate eyes and respiratory passages and even lead to cancer. They’re smaller than 0.3 microns, so a HEPA filter won’t stop them. Try to avoid these common household products if you can.


A HEPA filter traps airborne mold spores that can grow throughout the filter, but a moldy filter can still release spores on the other side as air passes through. To avoid this, replace filters as often as recommended by the manufacturer. Turn to Bounds Heating & Air, a trusted HVAC maintenance contractor, for filter replacement and maintenance.

DOE Standards

The Department of Energy (DOE) sets requirements for HEPA filters. They should be able to remove 99.7 percent of airborne particles 0.3 microns and larger. HEPA filters that pass DOE standards carry labels like “Absolute HEPA” or “True HEPA.” Those that don’t meet DOE standards are often labeled as “HEPA-type,” “HEPA-like,” or “HEPA-style.” Pay attention to these labels and what they stand for.

Bounds Heating & Air provides indoor air quality products and services for all applications. Our team offers a wide variety of HVAC services to residents of Gainesville and surrounding communities in Florida. Call us at (352) 290-3370 for a FREE estimate!