Air Quality Life

Why you shouldn’t buy fake filters
Why you shouldn’t buy fake filters
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Why you shouldn’t buy fake filters

Whether you call them discount or aftermarket, fake IQAir filters are inferior to certified IQAir system filters in almost every way imaginable. Here's three (damn good) reasons you should avoid these fake filters.

Nobody likes fake. In this economy of cheap knock-offs attempting to pass as the real deal, more and more of us are spending the extra time diving for authenticity in a sea of imitators.

So why would you settle for fake IQAir filters?

Whether you call them discount or aftermarket, fake IQAir filters are inferior to certified IQAir system filters in almost every way imaginable. So while you think you might be saving money or getting a good deal on shipping costs, the long-term costs to your purification system and your health may be far higher than you think.

Here are three reasons you should avoid these fake filters.

1. Fake filters are (at least!) 41% less effective than real IQAir filters.

You read that right – fake IQAir filters are about only half as effective as the real deal, if even that. More concretely, this means that, while a typical IQAir HyperHEPA filter removes around 99.5% of particle pollutants from the air, a knock-off filter may, at best, only remove 58% of these particles. 

Why the huge difference? Whereas IQAir consistently ensures that it sources the best and safest synthetic and inorganic fibers for its HyperHEPA filters, the fiber material used in fake filters isn’t regulated or consistently sourced, so it could be literally anything because no one’s keeping fake filter sellers accountable for their materials.

In any case, you may think that half as many pollutants filtered from the air may still seem better than none. But particle filtration isn’t a simple numbers game. 

When a real IQAir filter removes nearly all pollutants, your body is being protected from nearly all potential harm caused by these pollutants because the concentrations of particles are lowered drastically to near absence. But if even half of these pollutants get through, you’re still being exposed to quite a high concentration of pollutants – instead of being fully protected by your purifier, you’re simply delaying the inevitable effects of harmful particle pollutants.

Oh yeah, and you’re also being cheated out of your money. When you buy a “discount” or 3rd-party filter, you’re probably not paying 41% less for these fake filters, so you’re not really saving any money at all – you’re paying more money for less value.

2. Fake filters have 50% less filtration material than real filters (sometimes for the same price).

IQAir filters are lauded for their extremely dense HyperHEPA design. While many so-called HEPA filters are only required to capture particles down to 0.3 microns, HyperHEPA filters capture every single pollutant particle down to 0.003 microns. 

This includes ultrafine particles (UFPs), which are not only much smaller than the typical particles captured by HEPA filters but also a majority of the total composition of air pollution itself: over 90% of air pollutants are UFPs like diesel soot, tobacco smoke, and viruses. 

And unlike larger particles above 0.3 microns, which primarily affect your respiratory tract, UFPs can affect almost any organ in your body because they’re small enough to pass through your lungs and get into your bloodstream, increasing your risk of conditions like heart disease.

Furthermore, because its filtration material is so dense, a true IQAir HyperHEPA filter lasts up to four years because there’s simply so damn much filter material for particles to stick to. A fake filter with half as much material may stop filtering your air long, long, long before that because it simply runs out of material for particles to stick to.

So when you buy a truly authentic IQAir filter, you know for a fact that you’ll be protected from all possible pollutants in your air for the maximum amount of time advertised—but if you settle for a fake filter, you’re likely getting only 50% or less of this IQAir HyperHEPA fiber material, which means 50% less filtration efficiency.

So just to summarize:

  1. Fake filters lose efficiency quickly. There’s far less fiber filtration material to capture particles in the air. 
  2. Fake filters don’t capture most of the particles from the air they filter. The air has so much more space to pass through since there’s half as much filter material—this means you’re still exposed to the dangers of air pollution.

3. Fake filters lower your system’s energy efficiency and lifespan.

We've touched on filter efficiency, but let’s get into some more of the gritty details about why a fake filter can cost you even more money by sucking up more electricity and causing your system to run too hard and lose some years of its life.

First of all, IQAir systems are designed to use minimal energy while pushing a large volume of air through several dense filters. 

In the case of the HealthPro Plus, for example, air must pass through an IQAir HyperHEPA pre-filter, a densely-packed activated carbon gas and odor filter, and an extremely dense HyperHEPA particle filter. The denser the filter, the more resistance, or drag, occurs as air passes through them. 

Typically, purifiers must work harder and use more electricity the denser their filters are. But in the case of IQAir systems, the entire purifier has been designed to specifically account for the high resistance of our dense particle and gas filters.

So you might ask: if fake filters typically have much less fiber material, wouldn’t it require less energy for the system to send air through them since they create less drag?


Fake filter or not, the six speeds on a typical IQAir system are not calibrated to handle the decreased resistance of a fake filter, so the system will still push the same amount of air through the system based on what speed you’ve set it to—and as a result, the system overcompensates for the absence of filter material by rushing extra air through a greater amount of empty space. This can overwork your system and decrease its overall lifespan while also costing you the same, if not more, in your energy bill.

The Takeaway

It’s simple: DON’T buy an IQAir filter from anyone BUT IQAir or your local authorized IQAir dealer. This ensures that you're getting a genuine IQAir filter and not a cheap knock-off with a fake label or from another manufacturer of aftermarket imitations that just happen to fit an IQAir system.

It’s easy to fall into the bargain-hunting trap for something seemingly as costly as a replacement filter for your system, but IQAir purification is an investment that gives you a lifetime return: good health and true peace of mind.


IQAir is a Swiss-based air quality technology company that since 1963 empowers individuals, organizations and communities to breathe cleaner air through information, collaboration and technology solutions.

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