Can Air Purifiers Capture COVID19?

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused a major nuisance around the world. People are thinking of ways to save themselves from the virus but are often mislead by inaccurate information on the internet. Well, we can say almost certainly that air purifiers are capable of capturing coronavirus. Here’s how:

Here’s evidence of air purifiers being able to capture coronavirus:

What is an air purifier?

An air purifier is a chasis most importantly containing a filter and a fan, the rest is gimmicks. The fan may vary, but filters used are mostly HEPA Filters. As seen on Wikipedia, These filters come in various grades, namely H11, H12, H13 which filter out finer and finer particles more efficiently in increasing order. 

What all can an air purifier filter out?

Typical air purifiers which use HEPA filters can capture particles up to size 0.3 microns which includes PM2.5, PM10, pet dander, bacteria, most viruses, dust etc.

What is the size of coronavirus?

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, commonly called coronavirus measured between 0.06 to 0.14 microns, with the average of 0.125 microns as calculated by this study.

How does the virus travel in air?

The position taken both by the CDC and by other global health agencies is that the coronavirus is primarily transmitted by person-to-person contact and by contact with virus-laden droplets expelled through coughing and sneezing. Although coughs and sneezes certainly suggest “airborne” to most people, the droplets travel only about 6 feet before dropping out of the air and settling on surfaces. This is one reason health agencies worldwide are recommending 6-foot/2-meter “social distancing,” as well as related efforts such as frequent hand washing and disinfection of surfaces, as the primary means of protecting yourself.

So, if the coronavirus is 0.125 microns, how can HEPA Filters capture them?

Well, we have strong evidence:

1. Various Mechanisms:

We all think HEPA filter act like a net or mesh, however, HEPA filters have 3 mechanisms to filter out particles, namely diffusion, impaction and interception. These 3 mechanisms make it capable of capturing particles as small as 0.1 microns. Diffusion is surprisingly effective at capturing tiny virus-sized particles. 

2. NASA’s Findings:

According to NASA and the experiments they conducted,  HEPA filters capture “virtually 100% of particulates of size 0.01 microns.”  These are ultra fine nanoparticles much smaller in diameter than the coronavirus. The graph below in NASA’s publication shows that filtering efficiency increases for larger or smaller particle than 0.3 microns due to the various mechanisms of capturing by HEPA Filters like diffusion. The same result was also shown in the next study of usage of HEPA Filters in airlines.

3. Airlines’ usage of HEPA for protection against viruses:

Moreover, airlines also use HEPA filters to capture viruses on flights.  They claim that HEPA filters have an efficiency of filtering out 99.97% of particles to size 0.3 microns, with the removal efficiency being greater for particles both larger and smaller than 0.3 micros. They have to make sure that the bacteria/virus generated by coughing or sneezing by passengers and use recurring mode of ventilation through HEPA filters to effectively remove those particles.

4. University Of Minnesota’s Experiment:

More evidently, researchers at the University of Minnesota performed an experiment with high-grade HEPA filters. They shot particles of silver from 3 to 20 nanometers at the filters (5 to 30 times smaller than coronavirus particles). The results showed that filters captured 99.99% of particles smaller than 5 nanometers, way smaller than the coronavirus particles. Thus, there is very strong evidence that HEPA filter, especially high grade filter like H-13 can filter out the coronavirus particles.

How are Breathify air purifiers better than others in the industry?

Breathify air purifiers follow a simple Moto – simplicity with high performance. Breathify uses thicker and high grade H-13 Glass Fibre HEPA filters, the highest grade in the industry which capture the viruses better through more surface area fr diffusion and tinier pores. Other air purifiers in the industry use H11 or H12 grade which are not as effective as shown above.

Breathify H-13 HEPA Filters

Conclusion:

From the above theory and sources, we can almost certainly conclude that air purifiers can capture air purifiers in the droplets in the air. However, until this becomes the the CDC’s official position, we recommend that you continue to follow the CDC’s advice, including social distancing, wearing a face covering outdoors, washing your hands frequently, and treating frequently touched surfaces with commonly sold (or homemade) disinfectants that are effective on the coronavirus.

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