In the current climate, many people are looking for ways to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus. One option that has been gaining traction is the use of air purifiers. But do air purifiers really help protect against COVID-19?The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that while air purifiers can help reduce airborne pollutants indoors, they are not the only way to freshen the air in your home or office. Air purifiers do not destroy the virus, as does ultraviolet light, but they can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 particles.
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are a type of filter found in many vacuums and air purifiers on the market. These filters are made of fibrous pleated material and are designed to remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and any other particles in the air with a size of 0.3 microns or more. Harvard-CU's online Boulder Portable Air Purifier Calculator for Schools tool can give you a rough estimate for rooms of different sizes in your home. This tool was created by Allen and Miller to help teachers choose effective classroom air filters.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) air filters are indoor air filters that can be assembled from box fans and square HVAC (or oven) filters. These filters can be an affordable option for those looking to improve their indoor air quality without breaking the bank. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends placing a portable air purifier in your home to help reduce virus particles from accumulating in the air. Portable air purifiers can limit the spread of the virus through long-range airborne particles by capturing most of those particles in a HEPA filter and cleaning the air at a rate of up to six times per hour. So, should you buy an air purifier for COVID-19? While there is no definitive answer, it is important to note that air purifiers can help reduce airborne pollutants indoors and limit the spread of COVID-19 particles. However, it is important to remember that they are not a substitute for other preventive measures such as social distancing and wearing a face mask.