Can Air Filters Protect You from COVID-19?

When used correctly, air and HVAC filters can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, in a small building or space. However, by itself, cleaning or filtering the air is not enough to protect people from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that air purifiers “can help prevent virus particles from accumulating in the air in your home”. To ensure safety, it is important to not touch the air cleaner while in use and to wear gloves and a surgical mask when changing the filter.

If ventilating the room isn't an option, you can try using a high-efficiency particulate air purifier (HEPA). Using an air purifier at home can be beneficial at any time, as it helps filter indoor allergens and contaminants, such as fumes from kitchen and cleaning products. The effectiveness of an air cleaner can be determined by looking at its CADR (Clean Air Supply Rate) number on the package. The filters are designed to improve indoor air quality by physically removing small particles of matter that may be floating, such as dust, pollen and pet dander.

The Alen BreatheSmart Classic is an air purifier made for large rooms, but this stylish model can clean the air quietly and even faster when used in a small room, such as a bedroom. It is equipped with a combination of filters that make it remarkably quiet, cleaning the air with a sound level equivalent to a gentle whisper (23-53 dB). Researchers have evaluated the ability of air filters to remove inactive particles in carefully controlled environments, but they don't know how they would work in a real world environment. In 2003, during the SARS outbreak, the Hong Kong Hospital Authority recommended that hospitals use portable air purifiers with HEPA filters to help reduce transmission to healthcare workers if isolation rooms were not available.

But you may also wonder if an air purifier can prevent COVID-19 by capturing virus particles that might be traveling through the air. The answer is that while an air purifier can help reduce airborne contaminants, it is not enough to protect people from COVID-19. It should be used in combination with other preventive measures such as social distancing and wearing masks.