Looks like we all will be spending lots of time at home over the next few weeks, while our communities ride out the waves of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As we all adjust to this new normal, you may be wondering how to best protect yourself from this virus within your own home, and will any air quality products actually protect you from COVID-19? With information changing by the hour, and everyone claiming they know what’s best and it can be difficult to evaluate fact vs. fear. Unfortunately, there are also some who may use the current state of fear or anxiety to exploit or mislead. In order to help you navigate all that information, we have outlined the facts regarding a number of top home air quality products solutions currently being marketed to stop this virus.
Ultra-violet lights have a unique ability to kill small particles in the air that can be harmful to our health. There are a number of UV light products on the market that have been shown to kill bacteria, fungus, and even some viruses. However, it is important to note that these claims are only valid under the right circumstances. The light does not kill any of these particles instantly, it requires constant exposure for a certain amount of time to be effective. Unfortunately, since air-born particles are constantly moving, the likelihood that they will remain in the UV rays path long enough to be killed is low.
The HEPA air filter is often touted as “the best air filter” on the market due to its ability to catch very small air particles. According to the EPA, “This type of air filter can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns.” Unfortunately, the Coronavirus has 0.1 microns meaning it could potentially get through even a HEPA filter.
Portable Air Filters
There are a number of portable air filters on the market that are able to trap debris, bacteria, mold, and viruses as well. These types of air filters are great for catching things like pet hair, dust, and other large air particles. They are great at reducing allergens in your home, however, most of them will run into the same issue as the HEPA filter above. Even if the filter was able to trap this virus, it is important to note that neither of these options kills the virus, meaning that there is still a risk of exposure, especially when cleaning them.
This avenged air filtration system comes as stand-alone units and can also be added to your HVAC system to enhance the air quality in your home. Unlike traditional air filters where airflow passes through a single filter before being recycled, an air scrubber passes air through a series of filters which are enhanced with UV light to trap particles, gasses, and other air-born contaminants. While the use of UV lighting in combination with the filter system increases the likelihood of killing Airborne viruses, the EPA has not yet tested or certified these machines as effective against COVID-19.
This self-cleaning air filtration system can be added to your HVAC system in order to enhance air purification. It uses a system of ionized coils to trap and kill pollutants in your home air. As the air flows through these coils the negative and positive ions kill mold, bacteria, and even viruses. Additionally, the ionization process also reduces allergens, smoke, and static electricity, and can help control odors in the home. But just like the air scrubber, the newness of this virus means that this product has not yet been tested against COVID-19.
Proven Preventative Measures
While this virus can be spread through airborne particles, you are more likely to get infected through contact with an infected person or by touching a surface they have coughed or sneezed on. If you or a loved one is sick, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and them if follow the CDC guidelines for homecare.
When it comes to making decisions about your home, our goal is to provide you with all your options and the knowledge you need to make the best choice for you and your family’s safety. We hope this information will help you navigate the between fact and false claims when it comes to preparing your home for this virus.