When waging the war against coronavirus, having multiple tactics in our arsenal seems to be key in winning the fight. Wearing masks and maintaining social distance can both lower our risk of exposure. But can an air purifier prevent coronavirus as well? We’ll answer some key questions about the effectiveness of air purifiers in preventing virus transmission and reducing risk.
How Can an Air Purifier Prevent Coronavirus or Reduce Risk?
HVAC air purifiers like iWave create ions that break down viruses, mold, and allergens, rendering them harmless. Since coronavirus transmission seems most likely to occur through airborne particles, can an air purifier prevent coronavirus or at least reduce risk? In a pandemic with ever-changing information, we’ll answer this question and others with the facts we currently understand.
Can an Air Purifier Prevent Coronavirus Transmission?
Does an air purifier prevent COVID-19 on its own? At this time, there has not been enough testing outside of a laboratory setting to confirm that they effectively prevent transmission.
However, when used with other measures like masks and social distancing, air purifiers can help lessen our risk of exposure. Most coronavirus transmission happens through the close contact that masks and social distancing mitigate. But HVAC air purifiers have the ability to disable airborne droplets that remain in the air outside of close contact. This capability can benefit buildings from private homes to shopping malls.
As Harvard environmental health researcher John Gardiner Allen states, “No one strategy alone is going to work. But if we layer enough of these on top of each other, we can significantly reduce risks.”
Should I Use an Air Purifier if Someone is Sick?
While they may not be a sure-fire way to avoid illness, do air purifiers help with COVID-19 transmission? If someone in your home is sick with COVID -19, an additional, portable air purifier can help reduce transmission in their room. Here’s how to make the most of a portable air filter when caring for a person with coronavirus:
- Place the air purifier about 3 feet from the person who is sick.
- Run the air purifier 24 hours/day at the highest setting that won’t disrupt the sick person’s sleep.
- Avoid obstructions to the purifier’s airflow, like curtains or furniture.
- Keep the door to the room closed at all times and don’t handle the purifier while it’s in operation.
Can My Standard HVAC System Help Reduce Transmission of the Coronavirus?
Just as an HVAC air purifier can’t reduce coronavirus transmission on its own, a standard HVAC system is also incapable of doing so alone. While the system’s ducts and filters can trap large virus droplets, many of these droplets don’t stay airborne long enough to be captured.
However, to maximize your HVAC system’s potential benefits, follow these recommendations if someone in your home is sick:
- Run the HVAC fan as often as possible. Even without heating or cooling, the fan will enable the system to filter the air.
- Make sure the HVAC filter is correctly installed.
- Consider switching to a HEPA filter or the highest-rated filter your system can accommodate.
A properly-maintained HVAC system can work with other methods, like masks and social distancing, to reduce exposure to the virus. This means that keeping your HVAC filter clean with regular changes and performing consistent duct cleanings may help lessen your exposure.
Can an air purifier prevent coronavirus? Unfortunately, there is no single intervention that prevents transmission of the virus right now. But air purifiers like iWave, regular duct cleanings and maintenance of your HVAC system can help pay a role in reducing risk. Call Dependable Heating and Air to schedule your duct cleaning or learn more about air purification technology.