Winter has arrived, and with it comes many viruses that cause illnesses. Influenza, coronaviruses and rhinoviruses that cause the common cold travel through respiratory droplets in the air and infect people. If you’re concerned about germs spreading in your Kennesaw, GA, home, you might consider purchasing a portable or whole-home air purification system. Here’s what you need to know about the effectiveness of air purifiers and their ability to kill, inactivate or remove viruses from your home’s air.
Types of Air Purifiers
There are several types of air purifiers, but not all of them are designed to kill a virus. There are two main types of air purifiers, including portable and whole-house air purifiers. A portable air purifier is designed to purify the air in a space that measures less than 400-square feet. A whole-home air purifier works with your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. It purifies the heated or cooled air before the air passes through the ducts and enters the living spaces.
Air Purifier Technology
There are five different types of air purifier technology. One is high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration. Air purifiers with HEPA filters aren’t able to kill viruses. However, the HEPA filter traps viruses, so they can’t float through the air and infect a person. HEPA filters trap particles measuring 0.3 microns or larger in size. Activated carbon technology can also be used in an air purifier. The carbon fibers form a chemical bond with particles, which sequesters them and prevents them from circulating. Negative ion technology can be used in air purifiers. This causes particles to stick together or onto surfaces. It doesn’t kill viruses. Ozone generation may be used in air purifiers along with negative ion technology. The ozone disrupts chemical bonds in particles. The only technology in air purifiers with the capability of killing viruses is UV-C technology. This consists of a lamp with a light that emits UV-C wavelengths. These wavelengths kill all types of viruses, bacteria, mildew and spores. They also break apart pollen, dust and other particles.
How Air Purifiers Kill or Trap Viruses
Air purifiers with a UV-C lamp cast wavelengths of light energy over the heated or cooled air that passes through the air handler. Any particles that pass through the beam of UV-C light are killed or inactivated. This means that a virus passing through the light won’t be able to infect a person and cause an illness. Air purifiers that use activated carbon or HEPA filters only trap viruses. Those viruses and other particles can get loose, such as when you remove the filter to change it. Negative ion and ozone generation air purification systems make particles stick together, and they work best with an air filter with a high enough minimum efficiency reported value (MERV) rating to trap the larger, sticky particles.
Types of Viruses Removed or Killed by Air Purifiers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that many types of viruses are trapped or killed by air purifiers. These systems do an excellent job of removing highly contagious viruses, such as measles, from a home’s air. They also reduce the transmission of all types of influenza viruses. During the SARS outbreak of 2003, the CDC recommended using air purifiers with HEPA filters to remove the SARS-associated coronavirus. The novel SARS coronavirus variant, which causes the disease COVID-19, can also be trapped by a HEPA filter when the virus particles are part of a respiratory droplet. The coronavirus can be killed by a UV-C air purifier.
Choose the Right Air Purification System
If members of your household become ill, quarantining them in their bedroom and using an air purifier in the room should dramatically lower the amount of infectious virus particles in your home’s air. For an easier solution, consider a whole-home air purifier. They fit into your home’s heating and cooling system. We install them in the air handler or ducts. They purify all of the air in your home, no matter how big your home is or how it’s configured.
Controlled Climate Services is Kennesaw’s trusted installer of air purifiers. We’re also here to provide you with high-quality heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair, replacement and installation services. Our indoor air quality solutions are designed to improve your health, comfort and well-being. For more details about how air purifiers get rid of viruses and other germs in your home’s air, get in touch with us at Controlled Climate Services today.