COVID-19 is still a real and present health threat in Cedar Rapids. To ensure safety and good health, homeowners are taking many precautions to prevent contracting this virus and protecting their loved ones.
Many homeowners have asked us in recent months whether a whole-house air purifier can protect their families from COVID-19. In our most recent blog, we’ll discuss how air purifiers work and how effective they are at stopping the coronavirus.
How Air Purifiers Work
Air purifiers work to remove pollutants from an air supply. Whole-home air purifiers are installed alongside a home’s HVAC equipment to treat the entire volume of indoor air that circulates through the ductwork. Different air purifier models use various methods for air purification, including high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, electrostatic charge, and ultraviolet light.
- The SARS-Cov-2 virus that causes COVID-19 infections is extremely small, at 0.125 microns in size. However, it is thought that the virus spreads when it’s attached to respiratory particles that are a bit larger in size, around 1 micron. Whether an air purifier provides protection from COVID-19 depends on the efficiency of any filter the system uses. The filter must be able to capture airborne particles down to 1 micron. Filters with MERV 13 to MERV 16 ratings show efficiency in removing particles of this size from the home’s air supply, so it is likely that an air purifier can provide some protection from COVID-19 if these filters are in use.
- Ultraviolet light air purifiers offer protection from the coronavirus by killing virus particles floating through the air. As air passes through the air purifier, the UV light energy neutralizes the particles, which renders them incapable of infecting someone. The neutralized virus particles stay in the air supply, but they are no longer a danger to those indoors.
What Viruses Do Air Purifiers Kill?
What types of viruses a certain air purifier model will treat varies from one product to another. While many products on the market today have not yet been specifically tested for their use against the COVID-19 virus, certain air purifiers have been shown to be effective at treating similar viruses. It is reasonable to think that such an air purifier can protect people from COVID-19 due to its efficacy against viruses with similar traits to SARS-CoV-2.
Should I Use an Air Purifier?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people should use air purifiers as part of a more comprehensive strategy, not as a single solution, for protection against COVID-19. Air purifiers cannot prevent COVID-19 infections on their own but are thought to be useful in reducing airborne transmission and infection risks when used alongside social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand washing.
If someone in your household has COVID-19, air purifiers are likely to offer some protection against transmission of the virus to other family members. Some experts suggest running portable air purifiers or air cleaners near rooms that are occupied by the sick person so that viral particles are more likely to be intercepted by the device and neutralized so they cannot be passed to another person.
Air Quality Improvement in Cedar Rapids
Novak Heating and Cooling aims to keep your family safe, healthy, and comfortable with the finest indoor air quality solutions available. If you are interested in using air purifiers to protect your family from COVID-19, we are happy to help you find the best device for your needs. For air purifier installation, contact us today.