At first it was toilet paper and bleach.
Will air purifiers be the next target on a pandemic-triggered shopping spree?
Only time will tell, but people are now looking for air purifiers, also called air purifiers, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.
This makes sense because the disease is caused by an airborne virus. In a closed setting, this virus can spread beyond a social distance of 6 feet, according to updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The virus can also linger for some time after an infected person leaves the room. “In these cases, the transmission took place in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces, where activities were often carried out that made breathing difficult, such as walking around the corner. B. Singing or exercising. Such environments and activities can contribute to the formation of virus-carrying particles, ”reported the CDC.
Therefore, a household cleaner looks more and more like a smart purchase – especially in the coming winter when people close their windows and doors tightly to keep out cold air and stay warm.
What air purifiers do and what not
The Environmental Protection Agency said Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors, where the air quality may not be healthy. The concentrations of some pollutants, such as particles (solid particles and liquid droplets in the air), smoke, pesticides, and even animal hair, are typically two to five times higher indoors than outdoors. Air purifiers help filter these unwanted particles and more out of the air.
And now we can add COVID-19 to the list.
Air purifiers are not a one-step solution in any air purification situation and do not guarantee that your air is 100% virus-free. But they can reduce the amount of viruses in the air.
"The more air exchange and the cleaner the air, the lower the risk," said the infectious disease doctor, Dr. Gregory A. Poland, in an article on the Mayo Clinic News Network. "Let's be sure that the air is in our house when we have people at our home, that's as safe as it gets. That means a HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Air) filter."
In a recently published NPR article, Joseph G. Allen, DSc, Associate Professor of Exposure Assessment Science at Harvard T.H. The Chan School of Public Health said air purifiers are a simple "plug and play" solution and a relatively easy way to circulate clean air. Dr. Allen also leads the school's healthy buildings program.
However, using an air purifier is just a protective layer. Even if you use an air purifier, you need to continue preventive measures: wear masks around people you do not live with, keep them 6 feet away if possible, and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
The good news, according to Dr. Poland that you don't have to spend a lot of money to get a fairly efficient cleaner. A portable cleaner that you can move from room to room with a high quality high efficiency particulate air filter will do. "The filter doesn't kill the virus, it exchanges cleaner air faster to get rid of the virus," he said.
But how do you know if the air filter or air purifier you are buying is doing anything? And how do you make sure it works the way it should?
Richard Corsi, PhD, dean of Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at Portland State University in Oregon, told NPR that consumers “(l) should look for a device with a HEPA filter and a clean air supply rate (CADR) of 300 cubic feet per minute (not hour) or better – and not much else. “In other words, the average consumer looking to clear the air of potential virus contamination doesn't need any extra bells and whistles.
The HEPA filter is also important, said Dr. Poland. "With a HEPA filter, (the virus) is electrostatically attached to the filter itself so that it cannot circulate in the air. This is why it is so important to change the filters and change them correctly."
Be sure to purchase the correct size air purifier. If you buy one that is too small for your room, it won't be enough. If you buy one that is too large, you may have spent more money than necessary. There are several different air purifier websites online that will teach you how to calculate the size that you should consider.
In order for an air purifier to do its job, it must be properly positioned to ensure that the vent is blowing air away from people, not towards them. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on where to place it in the room.