Do HEPA Air Purifiers Work for COVID-19?
Naturally, whether or not air purifiers work is the first issue in everyone's mind. Before getting into details on whether or not it would capture the COVID-19 virus, you should know that an air purifier alone is not an adequate solution to allergy or indoor pollutant issues. It should always be utilized in combination with proper cleaning, dusting, mopping, and sanitizing.
Operating an air purifier at home can be a great idea anytime to help filter out indoor allergens and pollutants like fumes from cooking and cleaning products. And that's particularly true now when so many people are stuck at home 24/7 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But you may also be questioning if an air purifier can prevent COVID-19 by catching virus particles that could be airborne.
What is a HEPA Filter?
The HEPA filter is a high-efficiency filter that will trap these particles. Air purifiers with HEPA filtration accurately catch particles the size of (and way far smaller than) the virus that causes COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Many people have questioned whether air purifiers can assist in protecting against infection. In theory, the answer is yes, but as of June 2020, it continues to be unclear how much impact the air purifiers could actually have. Back in April, researchers showed concern that the COVID-19 virus may be spreading through the air. In early July, many authorities claimed in a letter to the World Health Organization that the virus travels through the air; since then, the WHO has started to recognize this probability.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is about 0.125 micron in diameter. It falls within the particle-size range that HEPA filters catch with remarkable efficiency: 0.01 micron and above. Media outlets have mistakenly stated that HEPA filters don’t filter under 0.3 micron and could not catch airborne COVID-19. That’s incorrect. A NASA study of HEPA filtration systems shows otherwise. HEPA filters are most efficient—almost 100% at 0.01 micron—at catching ultrafine particles beneath the 0.3-micron HEPA test standard.
But that does not necessarily imply an air purifier will protect you. As of June 16, 2020, the CDC's position is that the coronavirus COVID-19 is principally spread by person-to-person contact and by contact with virus-laden particles ejected through coughing and sneezing. This is where the meaning of airborne gets tricky. We can only go with the most current data. It appears evident that community spread can happen even when individuals are exercising a reasonable level of care—whether in temples or other places of gathering.
Top Air Purifier Brands
Top brands like Austin Air, Airgle, Coway, Rabbit Air, and Airfree use a True HEPA filter enclosed by a sheet of activated carbon and zeolites. The HEPA eliminates airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, mold, viruses, and bacteria. The stimulated carbon then gets rid of chemicals and odor. This mix is unmatched for contaminant removal and ideal for people experiencing allergies or asthma.
Airfree air purifiers are most suitable for those seeking the elimination of microorganisms. They highlight a patented Thermodynamic Sterilizing System which applies heat to kill mold and viruses. There is no need to worry; the weather will not change your room temperature as the air blown out is cold.
So, do air purifiers really work? Yes, they can capture a high percentage of the airborne allergens and irritants that flow through the filters.
Nevertheless, remember that an air purifier is only the first step in removing dust, mold, Volatile Organic Compounds, smoke odor, pet dander, or pollen. However, if you sanitize your surfaces and floors, an air purifier can play a huge part in eliminating the balance. For details about which type of Air Purifier you should look into based on your needs, please see our products page.
We are also frequently questioned about how air purifiers work. You can find out how the various air purifiers clean your air, along with a ton of valuable information on what to look for if you are in the search for one in our air purifier buying guide.
High-quality air purifiers can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses like the one causing COVID-19 in a home or confined space when used correctly.