With COVID-19 still going around, it’s as important as ever to do whatever we can to keep transmissions from occurring. While we all all know about the important of wearing masks and washing our hands while we’re out in public, most people haven’t given enough thought to the chances of transmitting the disease in the home. One of the many ways you can limit the viral load in your home is to use a HEPA air purifier for COVID-19 protection.
While we’ve been highlighting the use of air purifiers as extra protection against the virus for several months, getting one may be even more critical as the winter months approach. Generally speaking, people spend more time indoors in the winter and are less likely to have their windows open to ensure good home ventilation. This combination of stagnant air and indoor congregating is a perfect condition for the virus to spread. Here’s what you need to know about air purifiers for COVID-19 and why you should consider getting one before the winter months set in.
Can Air Purifiers Offer Protection Against COVID-19 Spread?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there’s been an ongoing debate about how effective air purifiers are in limiting the spread of the virus. As the months have gone by, though, this debate has narrowed as new evidence has brought two critical facts to light. First, there is now a growing consensus among experts that the virus can be spread as an aerosol. This means that it can linger in the air and spread beyond the limited distance it can travel when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Secondly, it has become increasingly clear that HEPA air purifiers are capable of filtering out virus-sized particles with reasonable efficiency. In a recent article, we highlighted a study conducted by NASA that found that ordinary HEPA filters could capture virus-sized nanoparticles. This finding is supported by scientists and engineers who have highlighted the ability of these filters to capture even very small particles.
In fact, some experts have even purchased home air purifiers to use for their own personal protection. In a recent interview with NPR, Joseph Allen, an associate professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, revealed that he had purchased a portable air purifier in the early months of the pandemic.
Why Get an Air Purifier Going Into Winter?
As we’ve already discussed, wintertime conditions make it easier for viruses to spread by bringing people together in small, poorly ventilated spaces. An air purifier can help to reduce the chances of this spread by removing viral particles from the air. It should be clearly noted that using an air purifier isn’t a guarantee against the spread of coronavirus in your home. Instead, it should be thought of as one of several layers of protection you can use to reduce the risks.
Are Air Purifiers Useful for Everyone?
As clear as it is that air purifiers can add some extra protection against indoor transmission of COVID-19, there are situations in which you may not benefit from using one. Specifically, if you are able to isolate completely and don’t have any outside contact, you likely don’t need to get an air purifier. For people who live alone and don’t have external contact with others, there is no real risk of indoor transmission because there is no one to get the virus from.
With that said, it’s important to take winter activities into account. If you are going to have family visit for the holidays or even allow friends to drop by, an air purifier becomes useful. Since most people likely won’t maintain total isolation in their homes during the holiday season, there are relatively few people who shouldn’t at least consider getting a good home air purifier as the cooler months approach.
Have more questions about using air purifiers to reduce your risks of spreading COVID-19 in your home? We’re here to help! Feel free to contact us, and we’ll be happy to provide you with answers and product recommendations based on your needs.