When used correctly, air and HVAC filters can help reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, in a small building or space. By itself, cleaning or filtering the air is not enough to protect people from COVID-19.The CDC says air purifiers “can help prevent virus particles from accumulating in the air in your home. Do not touch the air cleaner while in use, and when it comes time to change the filter, put on gloves and a surgical mask, if you have one, take the air cleaner out and clean and disinfect the outside. Combined with a manual timer and filter status update lights, this minimalist air purifier pays off for a reason.
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 a good idea at any time, to help filter indoor allergens and contaminants, such as fumes from kitchen and cleaning products. You can see how quickly an air cleaner cleans the surrounding air 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.
This combination of filters makes it remarkably quiet, cleaning the air with a sound level equivalent to a gentle whisper (23-53 dB). 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. Researchers, led by intensivist Andrew Conway-Morris, PhD, of the Anesthesia Division of the Faculty of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge, UK, write that previous experiments 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.