Do Air Purifiers Filter Covid-19? An Expert's Guide

Air purifiers and HVAC filters can reduce the amount of indoor air pollutants, including viruses, that are spread through the air. However, on their own, these devices are not enough to protect people from the virus that causes COVID-19. To understand how HEPA filters and air purifiers with UV light work, it is important to know what HEPA stands for. HEPA stands for “high-efficiency particle arrest” and these filters are designed to trap particles as small as 0.3 microns. A study conducted in 2020 showed that the use of HEPA air purifiers in a conference room significantly reduced the exposure of nearby participants and one speaker to airborne particles produced by a simulated infected participant.

During the SARS outbreak in 2003, the Hong Kong Hospital Authority recommended that hospitals use portable air purifiers with HEPA filters to help reduce transmission to health workers if isolation rooms were not available. Portable HEPA air filters can reduce exposure to simulated SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in indoor environments, especially when combined with universal masking. Without HEPA air filters, universal masking reduced the average combined aerosol concentration by 72%. However, with a four-stage filtration system that uses a HEPA filter, a pre-filter for large particles and a carbon filter for odors, the highlight is the plasma filter.

These filters can capture at least 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns, which includes most airborne pathogens. When looking for the best air purifiers for viruses, it is important to look for one that includes a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. The EPA's “Home Air Purifier Guide” provides information on how to install and operate a portable air purifier. When the filters were turned off, the air in both rooms contained detectable amounts of other pathogens that cause infections in hospitals, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Streptococcus pyogenes.

The air purifier should also be compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and an energy-saving air quality monitor should adjust the fan speed to match the air quality in your room. Blueair specializes in cleaning the space of pet hair and dander, and its exceptionally quiet performance combined with an intuitive automatic mode means you'll barely notice when it's working but you will be able to tell from the improved air quality in your home.

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