Which Filter Removes the Most Particles from the Air?

4.0 based on 24 ratings

Updated on Dec 09, 2011

Grade Level: 6th to 8th; Type: Physical Sience


This project will examine which style of central-air system filter traps the most particles from the air.

Research Questions:

  • Which brand/style of central heating air filter is best at trapping airborne particles?
  • Do HEPA filters trap more particles than regular filters?
  • Does filter texture affect the amount of particles trapped?

Allergies are a common occurrence in many households. Dust, mold, and pet dander can contribute to many allergy symptoms. Some air filters claim to remove more of these airborne particles than others. Which filters truly trap the most particles in the air?


  • Various textures and brands of air filters, including HEPA (all same size)
  • Central heating/air unit
  • Packaging tape
  • Box cutter
  • Scale

Experimental Procedure

  1. Cut the filters in half.
  2. Weigh each half using the scale and record their weights.
  3. Tape one half from each of two different brands/textures together to create one whole filter.
  4. Place the adapted filter in the unit for one week.
  5. Remove the filter and separate the halves.
  6. Weigh the filters once more.
  7. Calculate and record the weight difference from the first weighing.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 using other types of filters, if desired.
  9. Analyze your data. What is the relationship between the increase in weight after being placed in the unit and the amount of particles trapped? Did the filters with the greatest weight increase trap more airborne particles? Which filters are better at removing allergens from the air?

Terms/Concepts: HEPA, allergens, airborne particles, filtration

Reference: All Science Fair Projects

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