The Molekule air filter promises to redefine the air purification process and knock HEPA filters back to the 50s where they belong, but is it really all that better than HEPA? Is HEPA even all that bad?
Molekule’s air purifier can be purchased for $799 or in monthly installments of $45 for 18 months. The buyer is then automatically enrolled in a twice yearly filter replacement subscription program. The filters are $65. Conversely, a single room HEPA air purifier runs $30-150, on average, though Dyson sells some very pretty HEPA filters that cost $300-$500.
What exactly are Molekule’s claims, and why do they ask for $700 more than the average HEPA purifier?
Molekule claims that HEPA’s filters collect particle matter and therefore can’t catch things like airborne particles or viruses.
A HEPA filter, in order to be certified HEPA, must be able to trap at least 99.97% of pollutants that are .03 micrometers in size or greater. Biomedical engineers wear HEPA filters as masks in order to protect themselves against viral diseases. In addition, many HEPA filter systems incorporate carbon filtration as well as UV lighting in order to absorb and sanitize gases and smaller particles. This claim does not hold.
Though Molekule likely does a great job filtering the air, and possibly even marginally better than HEPA (though this is not proven), it doesn’t seem that HEPA is anything but effective.
HEPA filters should be re-examined because they are old technology, and thus outdated
Nothing about this claim carries weight. The theory of gravity is also very old, and still considered scientific law. The wheel is ancient too, but try as we might, no one has successfully reinvented that. Hospitals, air craft carriers, the army, and homes still use HEPA. This argument is a fallacy based on the idea that there is always something better out there and that science has an expiration date. It does not.
Molekule says that mold and spores can grow on HEPA filters if they get wet.
While this is true, it is also very unlikely. This is a risk only if your filter gets wet and is not replaced. HEPA filters also require fans, so it would have to be pretty damp to stay moist enough for long enough to develop spores. There is nothing on Molekule’s website that explains how their PECO filter protects against this danger either.
The Molekule is very pretty and certainly does what it is supposed to. Is it worth the $799 + $65 filter subscription? Absolutely not.