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How Often Should You Change HEPA Filters?

One of the most important factors of any purchase, big or small, is how long the product will last. If the item doesn’t last very long, it’s likely either cheap material or food. Whenever you’re looking for something luxurious or important to health, you’ll want it to last longer than a few months. When it comes to HEPA filters and HEPA air purifiers, you’ll find the longevity you’re looking for.

There are many different types of HEPA filters, but the two main kinds are washable and permanent. They both have their pros and cons, but they also need maintenance and upkeep to extend their life. Washing and vacuuming them is key in extending their longevity, but even the permanent ones need to be replaced after a time. Changing them is important if you want a HEPA filter to help with your allergies.

How often should you change a HEPA filter?

There are many suggestions around the web of when you should change them. When it comes to replacing them, there are a lot of different answers. Sometimes it’s best to play it by ear, but there are some good ideas to abide by. There are signs which you should replace even a permanent HEPA filter, but if you’re attentive, you shouldn’t have to for a long time.

Something to keep in mind is that most air purifiers have secondary or pre-filters. These filters are in place to capture the larger particles of dust and dirt while the actual filter has more room to work on the smaller microbes that get through. These smaller pre-filters should be cleaned every month and replaced when they exhaust their use.

Washable HEPA Filters

Washing these HEPA filters should be done every one to two months. Keep in mind that permanent filters are not washable and will be ruined if they get water on them. These filters must be washed often, and if you take care of them, they will last for three to five years. This is if they don’t wear out sooner, however. They should last up to a few years, but some brands are better than others.

These filters are usually smaller and more affordable, making them a reasonable purchase when it comes to HEPA air purifiers. They will work to bring the pollen and dust mites down in your environment, but be sure to read your manual when it comes to cleaning it all off. Your manual will let you know if your filter is washable or not.

Permanent HEPA Filters

The thing about permanent HEPA filters is… well, they’re permanent! They’ll last for years and years if you take care of them well enough. Every two to three months, they should be thoroughly (and carefully) vacuumed. They will only need to be replaced when they’re damaged, which can be relatively expensive. Permanent filters will always be a bigger purchase than a washable one considering they should last a lot longer.

What happens if you don’t change the HEPA filter?

If you don’t take care of your filter, it will start building up a lot of dust and grime. This will cause the filter to malfunction and damage it beyond repair. However, that’s not all that will happen. It will also make it easy for mold to grow, considering it will be moist and clumped together. The mold can spread through the machine and even eject spores that can infect your home.

Turning it off is better than letting it sit without being washed or cleaned. To keep your home free from mold and other microbes that can grow and make you and your family sick, you should clean it often. Otherwise, you’ll have to change it. Making it last long is a worthy money investment and can keep your family healthy and breathing well enough.


You should replace your HEPA filters whenever you need to. When they start showing wear or if they get damaged, they should be replaced. This will happen after three to five years if it’s a washable filter, it will deteriorate faster. A permanent one will last a lot longer, but both of these will need occasional cleaning. This means that you need to wash or vacuum your filters, or they’ll get damaged.

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