Can You Clean Your HEPA Filters?

Can You Clean Your HEPA Filters?

It is the job of the air purifier filter to trap particles and prevent them from circulating throughout a room. Air-cleaning devices are used both in homes as well as offices, classrooms, and commercial spaces. They trap allergens such as dust, pet dander, and pollen. As filters remove particles, they become dirty over time. This leads people to ask the question, Can you clean your HEPA filters? Unless the filter states that it is washable, the answer is no. Instead, replacing HEPA filters gets the best results and leads to cleaner indoor air.

What is HEPA? 

To help you understand why replacing a HEPA filter is necessary once they’ve become dirty, it’s helpful to understand what they are and how they work. A High-Efficiency Particulate Air, or HEPA, is a filter that has met the standard for clean air. Both residential and commercial air purifiers use these filters to help provide clean indoor air. To be called HEPA or True HEPA, these filters must remove at least 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter. “HEPA-type” and “HEPA-like” filters do not meet this standard.

air purifier wall mount Aeramax professional iv
An air purifier with a HEPA filter cleans indoor air.

HEPA filters feature a rating that indicates their level of performance. For example, a filter with an H10-H12 rating keeps between 85 and 99.5 percent of particles 0.1 microns in diameter from circulating. The higher the rating the more particles it traps. A quality air purifier, such as the Aeramax 290 Air Purifier, includes a carbon air filter that removes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and eliminates odors.  

Cleaning a HEPA Filter

Air purifiers clean the air in the rooms in which they are placed. This helps people who suffer from allergies and asthma. These particles include mold, dust, and bacteria, but chemicals too. Air filters also trap viruses and prevent them from circulating around the home and office. It makes sense that a cleaner air filter provides the best results, however, cleaning the surface of a filter isn’t effective. Pollutants, too tiny for the eye to see, remain in the filter, and vacuuming or rinsing won’t get rid of them. This is why changing air filters as directed provides the best results.

Replacing HEPA Filters

Many air purifiers recommend to replace HEPA filters once a year. Some need to be replaced more often. Active carbon filters typically should changed every three to six months. Doing so ensures the best possible air quality at home and work. That said, other considerations ensure the efficiency of these devices. For example, the placement of the air purifier matters to how well the machine performs.

MA-125 Replacement Filters
For clean indoor air, replace HEPA filters every year.

Air Purifier with a HEPA Filter Considerations

Cleaning a HEPA filter does not help it remove allergens. It’s also not enough to replace an air filter once a year. The placement of the device matters too. Where you put the machine helps determine how effective it is in cleaning the air. For best results, keep the device off the floor. This makes a wall-mounted unit a great choice, especially for commercial use. Placing a device on a shelf or counter is a good way to keep it at least three feet off the ground. Don’t place one in a corner or allow furniture to block airflow. Using the device in less humid areas of the building also yields the best results. A portable air purifier can be moved from room to room as needed. 


Choosing the right size is also important. If the device is not in the optimal spot, the HEPA filter can’t clean the air efficiently. An AeraMax DX95 Air Purifier works best in rooms from 300 to 600 square feet. This device is cold/flu ready. It features Aera+ Mode which reduces 99.97% of the influenza virus that passes through it’s filters. Use it during peak cold and flu season to keep your family or coworkers healthy. 

In the office, the AeraMax Professional AM II protects against allergens and pollutants. This device mounts on the wall and cleans the air in rooms up to 300 square feet. It’s perfect for small offices and classrooms — hotel rooms too.


It’s also smart to use these machines as close to the source of pollutants as possible. For the home, that means placing it in a room with a litter box. In an office setting, it’s advisable to place it close to where commercial cleaners are stored. 

Find the Right Device for You

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, clean air is important, but cleaning a HEPA filter won’t protect you. To find the best device for home and work, give us a call at 727-572-4550. We can also advise you on methods to test your home for allergens and chemicals with our easy-to-use DIY test kits.