With an increasing number of people working from home, having clean air in your house is more important than ever. Buying an air purifier is one way that people try to filter their air to kill viruses including Covid-19. However, is this really true?
As a summary:
Many of our customers have asked us if purchasing an air purifier will keep their home clear of germs including Covid-19.
In short, air purifiers can help reduce the risk of transmitting germs but cannot eliminate them. Practising proper social distancing, disinfecting high-touch surfaces, and keeping germs out of your house is a better strategy than only using an air purifier.
A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter can reduce particles down to 0.3 microns or 300 nanometers.
This means that they should be able to filter viruses that range in size from 0.2 microns to 0.4 microns. A coronavirus is about 0.1 microns making it smaller than the size that the purifiers advertise being able to trap.
Research has demonstrated that particles of this size however can be caught by a HEPA filter. These particles move in random directions and are therefore more likely to be caught by the fibres in the HEPA filter. If this happens, they attach to the filter and get stuck there.
When someone sneezes or coughs, the particles can stay in the air for hours. A HEPA filter can help clear these particles out of the air.
Therefore, an air purifier with a HEPA filter might be able to trap airborne viruses such as the Covid-19. However, it might not kill it.
This means that the virus can live on the HEPA filter for days once it is caught. Unless you remove the filter during that time, the virus should die inside the filter.
It is important to remember that air purifiers can only filter particles that are airborne when they move into the filter. Coronavirus and other viruses are often transmitted by direct contact with another person or through a hard surface that someone has touched. If this is the case, an air purifier will not be able to help because the virus is not in the air.
When someone sneezes or coughs, the bigger particles will probably drop onto tables, benchtops, or the floor and not remain in the air. However, the smaller particles that are more likely to stay in the air can be removed with a HEPA filter.
As always, we at Statewide Home Health Care are here to help and can answer any questions about air purifiers or any of our other products to help you stay healthy and safe.
There are several other types of filters that can be found in air purifiers such as photocatalytic and carbon.
While less common, photocatalytic air purifiers can also kill viruses and other types of bacteria. This is done through the electrostatic and oxidisation from the ions in the filter.
Another type of filter that could help trap viruses is the catechin-based filters. Catechin comes from a plant and has anti-bacterial properties.
Filters that use ultraviolet (UV) light are probably not very effective at trapping and killing viruses. While UV light is a good steriliser, the light needs to be on the virus for a few minutes to destroy it which does not usually happen. If the UV light sterilises the filter with germs that have been caught, this can be effective because there is enough time to kill them.
Carbon filters work at trapping smells and other things that pollute the air but will probably not be effective at killing viruses.
To help keep the air in your house clean, you can purchase a number of different TruSens Air Purifiers at Statewide Home Health Care. You can choose the right TruSens air purifier based on the size of the room you need it for.
The options are:
As discussed, air purifiers cannot help with viruses found on someone’s skin or furniture. However, they might be able to trap or even kill some viruses in your home. They can be a useful supplement in keeping your home's air virus-free.
Therefore, we recommend them as part of a bigger strategy to stay healthy which includes frequent hand washing and cleaning commonly used surfaces.
But viruses are also found on the skin, in bodily fluids, or are left on hard surfaces after human contact. Your first and best options are still the same as before: avoid crowded spaces, minimise unnecessary contact, clean any hard surfaces that people often touch, and regularly wash or sanitise your hands.
As part of our goal to help you make your home the safest it can be, we are giving away one TruSense Air purifier to one winner this month. Good luck!
Your Home. Your Health. We Care.