Can Air Purifiers Help Protect Against COVID-19?

When used correctly, air purifiers can help reduce pollutants in the air, including viruses, in the home or in confined spaces. However, on its own, a portable air purifier is not enough to protect people from COVID-19. DIY air purifiers can provide some benefits for reducing concentrations of viruses and other indoor air pollutants, but research is limited and there are several important considerations to keep in mind. The combination of filters used in air purifiers makes them remarkably quiet, cleaning the air with a sound level equivalent to a gentle whisper (23-53 dB). It is important to not touch the air cleaner while it is in use, and when it comes time to change the filter, it is recommended to put on gloves and a surgical mask, if available.

Before rushing out to buy an air purifier, experts suggest that simply opening your home windows to let in fresh air will help dilute indoor pollutants, including virus particles. Using air filters alone cannot guarantee adequate air quality, especially when there are significant sources of pollutants and insufficient ventilation. While AeraMax Professional air purifiers are highly effective at removing various viruses and airborne contaminants from enclosed spaces, NO AIR PURIFIER CAN CURRENTLY CLAIM TO CAPTURE AND ELIMINATE COVID-19, as it is too early to know. Many manufacturers use the Clean Air Supply Rate (CADR) rating system to evaluate air filter performance.

In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota, two HEPA air purifiers that met the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) were used in two rooms - one general room and one intensive care unit (ICU) room. 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 addition of two HEPA air purifiers reduced overall exposure to simulated exhaled aerosol particles by up to 65% without universal masking. In the general room, the team found SARS-CoV-2 particles in the air when the filter was turned off, but not when it was turned on.

Surprisingly, the team didn't find many viral particles in the ICU room air, even when the filter was turned off. The EnviroKlenz air cartridge has been tested for its ability to capture and filter pathogens similar in size to coronavirus. While the FDA has not yet verified these claims, the results suggest that this type of filter could be an effective way to capture and filter virus particles, especially with airborne transmission as the main way in which Covid-19 infections occur. As the name suggests, these filters are very good for taking things out of the air and holding them so they can't circulate again. The Alen BreatheSmart Classic is an example of an air purifier made for large rooms that can clean the air quietly and even faster when used in a small room such as a bedroom. In conclusion, while an air purifier can help reduce concentrations of viruses and other indoor air pollutants, it cannot guarantee adequate protection against COVID-19 on its own.

It is important to remember that simply opening your home windows to let in fresh air will help dilute indoor pollutants as well.

Hannah Sawatzki
Hannah Sawatzki

Hipster-friendly pop culture maven. Hipster-friendly web practitioner. Infuriatingly humble bacon nerd. General social media fan. Hipster-friendly beer enthusiast.