Will Air Purifiers Kill COVID-19?

With the recent development in the COVID-19 pandemic, Air Purifiers have become a mainstream product and flooded the marketplace with different products and misinformation. We are going to go over different Air Purification systems, Air scrubbers, and ultra-violet, germicidal Air purifiers. Each product makes its own claims and our experts at Fixmyfurnace.com will touch on what each product type actually does and allow you to make the right decision on which one is best for you.

Air purifiers

By definition, an air purifier is a device that removes contaminating particles such as dust, pollen, and dander from the air.

Particulate purifiers

These air purifiers work by drawing air from home or room through a filter or series of filters which then capture any particles as the air passes through. Particulate purifiers which include HEPA filters are specifically designed to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns, So any particle larger than 0.3 microns will crash into the filters and only particles smaller than that, will be allowed to pass through. Considering most allergens are larger than that, this is a great option and may also stop odors from smoke. The downside with this option is that most viruses and bacteria are smaller than 0.3 microns. The COVID-19 virus, for example, is 0.125 microns in diameter. This means that the virus is small enough to pass through the filter material and may not be the best option for fighting against it.

Ionizing purifiers

These purifiers work by utilizing high voltage ionizing wire and pass an electrical charge (usually negative) to particles or molecules passing through it. These charged particles are known as ions. The ions will then attach themselves to particles in the air.

The difference between these two mentioned above is that one will filter the air and help rid the area of dust and debris by collecting it in its filters, while the ionizing purifier alone does not use any fabric filtration. That being said, there are products out there that combine both, ionization and filtration made by several manufacturers from Honeywell, carrier, and Aprilaire to name a few. The In-duct systems are designed to be installed directly to your furnace or air conditioning system and are very effective against ridding a home of air-born allergens. Portable is another, cheaper option for purification in a single area or room. Neither of the above examples would work very well, however at fighting COVID-19.

Germicidal purifiers

Germicidal purifiers utilize an ultra-violet light source, natural silver, and sterilizing heat to aid in killing mold, bacteria, and viruses. 

Ultra-violet light is able to kill airborne bacteria, viruses, mold, germs, and allergens. It does this by exposing contaminated air passing through the natural ultra-violet light. The DNA structure of the pathogens is then broken down, eliminating their reproductive capabilities. As a result, germs and allergens such as mold cannot reproduce causing them to quickly die off. 

All of the above-mentioned products require the contaminants (mold, bacteria, viruses, allergens) to pass through the product and/or ducts in order to get the purification effects. The last option in this discussion is a relatively new product that continuously infuses the air with hydro-peroxides allowing it to kill microbes on surfaces, not only in the air.

Air scrubbers

Air scrubbers work by making use of a hydrogen-peroxide-infused catalyst. These purifiers have proven to kill 99% of microbes within 3 feet of an active, portable unit. With the In-duct systems (mounted directly to your HVAC system) you can then purify your whole home. By infusing the air in your home with hydro-Peroxide molecules, you get the added benefit of killing microbes on surfaces as well. No other purifier can do this. While this is not a substitute for an ultra-violet light source, there are products out there that combine both. These are by far the best ‘bang for your buck’ according to our experts at Fixmyfurnace.com. 

By using an air scrubber combining the virus, mold, and bacteria-killing power of an ultra-violet light source and a hydrogen-peroxide infused catalyst in your HVAC system ducts, you are also utilizing your particle-catching furnace air filter. If you replace your standard furnace air filter with a HEPA air filter, you will have greatly improved your air quality and reduced your likelihood of becoming sick. 

There are many products out there in the air purification market, so do your research, look at reviews from actual customer purchases and get what is right for you. The COVID-19 pandemic has opened up many peoples’ eyes to the importance of air quality. 

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