Do HEPA Filters Work for Removing Mold Spores?

A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter absorbs some of the smallest impurities and pollutants in the atmosphere, a quality which makes them highly useful against mold spores.

HEPA Air Purifiers

Not all HEPA filters are the same, however, and not all of them serve the exact same purpose when it comes to mold elimination.

A HEPA air purifier is a portable or wall-mounted device that specifically targets airborne pollutants such as mold spores. HEPA air purifiers can prove especially useful during large mold-removal efforts that involve the use of disinfectants, because the purifier prevents airborne spores from settling onto new surfaces and starting new colonies. On its own, however, a HEPA air purifier has limitations, as it cannot completely remove mold colonies that have settled on household surfaces.

HEPA Steam Cleaners

A HEPA steam cleaner uses heat to neutralize mold spores that have settled on household surfaces and then uses a powerful filtration system to remove the spores themselves. Since these devices remove the moisture that mold needs to survive, they help not only to remove current spores but also to prevent new spores from germinating. You can use a HEPA steam cleaner on any household surface except for those sensitive to heat, such as certain fabrics (silk and polyester, for example) and upholstery.

HEPA Vacuum Cleaners

A HEPA vacuum cleaner works most effectively on moldy carpets and floors, but you can use hose extensions to remove spores on other surfaces as well. When disinfecting and drying any moldy surface, whether a carpet, wall or upholstery (just to name a few), you need to remove the spores from your home to ensure that they do not become active. A HEPA vacuum cleaner can serve this function much better than a conventional vacuum cleaner.

Additional Information

For best results, replace the HEPA filter in any appliance as often as recommended by the manufacturer. A dirty filter has limited effectiveness and can inhibit your ability to fully remove mold spores from the air or from an affected household surface. If you have a large mold colony growing on any surface within your home, call a mold removal expert. Colonies require specialized tools, chemicals and knowledge for proper removal.