Do Air Purifiers Provide Protection From COVID-19?
Ever wondered if air purifiers can provide protection against COVID-19?
If you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ve probably started thinking about your air quality.
But where to start?
Through this article, you’ll discover:
As SARS-CoV-2, aka COVID-19 or Coronavirus, continues to be a hot topic, various countries are finding new ways to take precautions against it.
As things currently stand, there are over 100,000 active cases, and 628,000 people have died since the pandemic made its way to the US.
Apart from hand sanitizing, social distancing, vaccination, and wearing a mask, what can we do to protect ourselves from this deadly virus, as it shows no sign of slowing down? One option is to use an air purifier in your home and office.
We’ll help you discover:
- The types of air purifiers available.
- How they can assist in protecting you from COVID-19.
- What to look out for when shopping for a device.
We’ve combed the market, reviewing countless devices, so we’re in the perfect position to give you all the information you need to know.
Let’s have a detailed look at how these devices work and if they can help keep us safe from COVID-19.
Continue reading to find out now!
What Are the Different Types of Air Purifiers?
While air purifiers are not enough to protect people against the spread of COVID-19, when used along with CDC’s and public health agencies preventative recommendations, including social distancing and mask-wearing, filtration can be part of a plan to help reduce airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors.
There are countless types of cleaners available on the market. But, we can categorize them into two major groups, filter, and sanitizers.
Filter Purifiers usually utilize a filter to help improve air quality by capturing dust, allergens, and other particles in the air. They are often used for people who have allergies or asthma as they aid in reducing symptoms.
However, COVID-191 is not an allergen, so evidence shows that it’s doubtful these devices would be effective against this virus.
Sanitizers, on the other hand, are a group of products specifically designed to kill bacteria and viruses and remove odors from various types of surfaces, including carpets and upholstery.
Since sanitizers claim to protect against any airborne infection, they are proving to potentially be an effective additional measure in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Let’s take a look at how this is possible.
How Do HEPA Filters & UV Light Air Purifiers Work?
To help you understand how air purifiers could work in preventing the rapid spread of COVID-19, let’s unpack details of the different types of products on the market.
HEPA Filters and UV Light air purifiers are quite similar, and both work in a way designed to kill bacteria.
HEPA Filters, true to their name, typically use filters with microscopic pores which trap allergens like dust, pollen, or pet dander, so they’re unable to re-enter the air we breathe.
COVID-19 doesn’t live for long outside the human body, but if it gets into your home’s filtration system, HEPA2 filters will be able to help you avoid inhaling any harmful particles that the virus may produce.
UV Light Air Purifiers use a specialized bulb that emits ultraviolet light waves (UVA) at an intensity that has been proven effective in the war against various kinds of germs and bacteria. It’ll effectively eliminate any COVID-19 particles, and the only thing they produce is clean, purified air, which you can safely breathe in.
What About Ionizers? How Do They Work?
Ionizers are another type of product that should be considered in the war against Covid-19. They use a small electrical charge to create negative ions, which attach themselves to particles in the atmosphere.
This causes them to become heavier and eventually fall out of the air, carrying with them any germs or bacteria3 they might have encountered along their path.
While this type of cleaner could be highly effective against COVID-19, it’s not sufficient for long-term protection as it can only temporarily remove dusters from the air. This is without getting rid of other types of pollutants, like mould spores or chemicals found indoors.
What About Ozone Generators? How Do They Work?
Ozone4 generators use a process known as “ozone therapy” to produce ozone which can kill bacteria and germs in the air.
Could this modern technology effectively eliminate Covid-19 from the air you breathe?
They typically use UV light bulbs and an ionizer or fan, to create ozone molecules that are then released into the surrounding area, effective against various types of harmful micro-organisms.
While it effectively eliminates COVID-19, it’s not safe for prolonged exposure because, according to many studies, people who spend too much time near these devices risk developing symptoms, including throat irritation and coughing up blood.
It’s vital to consult your doctor if such symptoms develop.
Are All of These Types of Devices Safe to Use?
All of the above types of air purifiers are safe to use in moderation.
If you follow the instructions included with each device and don’t have any serious health conditions, you should be able to use them without risk.
Still, you should always check to see if your device is approved for use by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA5 has a list of all the approved cleaners on their website so that you can add it to your browser’s bookmarks for future reference. It’s a good idea to do this with any device you’re considering purchasing.
It’s always a good idea to read reviews for any device you’re thinking of buying. It’s vital to be aware that not every cleaner will have the COVID-19 virus listed as one of its target germs.
Are Any of These Air Purifiers Effective Against COVID-19?
While the Coronavirus was already found in humans in 1965, this newest variant, COVID-19, is the latest kid on the block.
Therefore, since COVID-19 is a new kind of airborne ailment, research is still limited.
However, preliminary research suggests that it might be worth your time and money if you’re looking into this type of cleaner. It’s essential to note that there are no guarantees.
However, SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted if you’re exposed to infectious respiratory fluids, so clean air can help you avoid inhaling these harmful germs.
Under What Circumstances Should People Use an Air Purifier During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
It’s a good idea to use an air purifier during the COVID-19 pandemic if you have any respiratory problems such as asthma or allergies.
While anyone can contract SARS-CoV-2 if exposed to infectious respiratory fluids, those with comorbidities or individuals over 65 are more likely to feel the effects or suffer gravely from the illness.
An air purifier is also a wise choice for people who spend a lot of time in crowded places or anywhere that could be considered “high risk,” such as schools, hospitals, office buildings, and public transportation hubs.
Reports indicate that all these locations are superspreader hubs for COVID-19.
If you’re someone who stays at home most of the time, then an air purifier might be unnecessary.
Social distancing has been proved to be an excellent measure to halt the spread of Coronavirus.
However, experts still recommend additional preventative measures as the virus can enter your home on your clothing or groceries.
Take a moment to think about how many times those items are touched before making their way into your home. If you don’t have the money to invest, then still give your new products a good clean.
What Should You Look For When Shopping for an Air Purifier?
If you’re in the market for an air purifier, then your first step should be to make sure it’s on the list of approved devices by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Secondly, you’ll want to look at reviews from people who have already used the device to get a first-hand experience.
If many mixed reviews or complaints seem consistent across multiple users, then take heed because those might give you some insight into how well (or not) this type of device performs. If it’s not effective, then you’ve wasted your time and money.
Finally, when looking at reviews, try to read some written by people in the same situation as yourself and see how they felt about the device.
For example, if someone with asthma is writing a review on an air purifier meant primarily for asthmatics, this will probably be more useful information than reading what somebody without allergies has to say about it.
What Are Some Other Things People Can Do to Improve the Overall Indoor Air Quality at Home?
Now, more than ever, hygiene must be a vital consideration. Keep your home as clean as possible, especially surfaces that COVID-19 can live on, like sinks and doorknobs.
You’ll also want to make sure you don’t have any standing water or other moisture in places where the virus could grow and spread, as this will just exacerbate the problem.
People with respiratory problems should use a filter mask for protection. However, if they aren’t available, then there are steps you can take to protect yourself from airborne viruses.
These include wearing a surgical face mask or using alcohol wipes before touching anything the virus might contaminate.
Common Questions About Air Purifiers & Covid 19
Are Air Purifiers Worth Buying to Protect One’s Home Against COVID-19?
Yes, air purifiers are worth the investment because they can help keep your home free from viruses and other airborne illnesses that threaten the health of everyone living inside.
Even if they don’t provide total protection against COVID-19 in every situation, it’s still a good idea to install one for general long-term use even when you’re not specifically worried about this particular virus.
What Kind of Air Purifier Should I Get To Protect Myself From COVID-19?
Air purifiers with HEPA filters, UV light, and ionizers are all acceptable air purifiers that can help protect you against COVID-19.
It’s best to avoid Ozone Air Purifiers as even in healthy people, inhaling ozone can induce coughing, throat discomfort, shortness of breath, and other problems. Ozone can cause lung harm, which is why local weather agencies issue ozone advisories on occasion.
With over 210 million deaths worldwide, SARS-CoV-2 is no joke. As the virus continues to mutate and spread across the US, investing in an air purifier is likely worth the time and money.
Air cleaners can remove up to 99% of common airborne allergens, including dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mould spores, smoke particles, and more.
They’ll not only potentially help protect you from Covid-19, but if you’re living with asthma, COPD or any respiratory issues, they’re a great way to improve your lifestyle.
Cleaner air with the help of air purifiers means you could find it easier to combat exposure to COVID-19. What are you waiting for?
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