High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters is a potential tool used to remove fine particles and improve indoor air quality. This study aims to analyze the real-world efficacy of portable HEPA air cleaners in a household environment. Laser light dispersion PM2.5 sensors are used to continuously monitor the indoor and outdoor PM2.5 level before and after HEPA air cleaner filtration. Overall, HEPA air cleaners significantly reduce the indoor PM2.5 level (33.5 ± 10.3 vs. 17.2 ± 10.7 µg/m3, mean difference (MD) = -16.3 µg/m3, p < 0.001) and indoor/outdoor PM2.5% (76.3 ± 16.8 vs. 38.6 ± 19.8%, MD = -37.7%, p < 0.001). The efficacy to reduce PM2.5 is strongest in three machines with medium-flow setting group (indoor PM2.5 MD: -26.5 µg/m3, indoor/outdoor PM2.5 percentage MD: -56.4%). Multiple linear regression demonstrates that outdoor PM2.5, machine number, airflow speed, and window ventilation are significant factors associated with indoor PM2.5 concentrations (R = 0.879) and percentage of the indoor/outdoor PM2.5 ratio (R = 0.808). HEPA air cleaners can effectively improve indoor PM2.5 air pollution. Adequate air cleaner machine numbers, appropriate airflow, and window ventilation limitations are important to achieve the best efficacy of the HEPA air cleaner.
Keywords: HEPA; PM2.5; air cleaner; air pollution.