The Surge in Domestic Air Purification Following COVID19

The Surge in Domestic Air Purification Systems Following Coronavirus

How to Know What’s Really Effective?

The coronavirus has changed the way we live in many ways. Social distancing has become an everyday term, many more people are working from home, and people are spending more time indoors than ever before. Not only this, but society is far more concerned about keeping themselves and their families safe.

As part of this, there has been a spike in the sale of air purifiers, as noted in this article. It is important to note that whilst the research conducted there shows that air purifiers do little to protect against viruses, this focuses on the ‘old-style’ air filtration systems rather than the new Active PHI system. This article will talk about both to help to give a rounded view of how air purification systems could work in the fight against coronavirus.

The Science Of Air Purifiers And Viruses

It is generally understood that air purifiers are not much help against viruses. Air purifiers use fans to suck in air, which then passes through a filter in order to expel purified air back into the room. Air purifiers are excellent at removing odours and large particles from the air, including things like dust, pollen and pet dander, to reduce allergy symptoms in sufferers. They can also help to minimise the odour and damage done by second-hand smoke. However, there is a limit to what an air purifier can remove from the air.

Types Of Air Purifiers

There are two main types of air filter available on the market:

  • • HEPA – High Efficiency Particulate Air. These filters are made out of fabric which is similar to a net. Particulates are caught by the fabric as the air passes through, and clean air comes out on the other side.
  • PECO – Photo Electrochemical Oxidation. PECO filters work in a similar way, but the air passes through two filters – the first a carbon-laced filter, the second a larger filter that captures and binds molecules to ions before destroying them.

But air filtration systems aren’t the only way to clean a room and target things like viruses. Other methods of air purification include:

  • Fogging – Essentially a disinfectant fog that is sprayed throughout the building or room that needs to be treated. This is a fast and effective way to target particulates and pathogens, even those in the air.
  • Direct UV – Harnessing UV-C light, which has a wavelength between 200 and 280 nanometres, bulbs and devices are available that can kill all of the bacteria and viruses present in a certain space within minutes.
  • Active In-Room PHI (Photohydroionisation) Fans – A device that relies on a complex chain of chemical reactions that ultimately lead to the production of ‘cleansing’ ions. They work by exposing a broad spectrum UV light onto a quad metallic catalyst that causes a unique oxidation reaction, producing hydroperoxides. These are known as ‘Mother Nature’s Cleaning Agent’ and are the same thing that makes the air smell clean after a thunderstorm.

Disadvantages Of Different Air Purifier Types

Filters

  • These are passive systems that rely on the air passing through the system to ensure that it is treated. This can take a long time, meaning that it can take hours for a room to be completely purified, especially in areas with high foot-traffic. In this case, it may not be possible at all.
  • Air filters are not able to sterilise surfaces, only particles in the air.
  • Pathogens remain living in the filter when they are removed, meaning the filters become less effective over time and need to be changed regularly. Removing a filter also naturally holds a number of safety issues for this reason.

HVAC UV Filters

  • HVAC UV filters require the air to pass through the light in order to be purified, making it difficult for them to clean every part of a room.
  • These systems are also not able to sterilise surfaces.

Fogging And Direct UV

  • Whilst very effective for cleansing both the air and any surfaces, and also effective at killing pathogens, these systems are not particularly convenient in the home. Fogging requires the room to be cleared for the duration of the process, and UV is dangerous to humans at the levels required to kill germs.
  • People returning to the cleansed room bring bacteria and pathogens back in with them, meaning the process is not 100% effective.

Active PHI Fans

  • These do use UV, although not in the same way as other forms of air purifier, so they are not dangerous to humans. They sterilise both air and surfaces.

Is An Air Purifier Helpful Against Coronavirus?

Put simply – we don’t know yet. Coronavirus is a very new virus, meaning that studies have not been able to make conclusions on whether or not certain types of air purifier will work against it.

It is understood that a standard HEPA filter will do little to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as coronavirus particles tend to be around 0.01 microns in size, and most domestic HEPA filters are only able to capture particles of 0.03 microns and larger. Although some of the more expensive filters do capture particles of 0.01 microns and up, these particles live on in the filter for hours or even days, meaning that you are at risk of infection when cleaning your air purifier or changing the filter.

Air purifiers which also utilise UV light are far more effective, as they can kill the particulates as they come through the filter, but whether or not they are effective depends on a range of factors from how big your room is to how many air changes occur throughout the day.

Airius PureAir

The Airius PureAir Air Purification and Odour Control System is the ideal air purifier for any household looking to improve air quality within the home. The system significantly reduces viruses, bacteria, gases, Volatile Organic Compounds (such as those present in paint and cigarette smoke), mould and odours by up to 99.99%.

The system works by combining an airflow circulation fan with Photohydroionisation Cell technology to circulate neutralising ionised hydroperoxides 24 hours a day – providing continuous air purification for both the air and surfaces.

Whilst it is still too early to know how it works specifically against coronavirus, COVID-19 is a member of the enveloped RNA Sarbecoviruses subfamily and the technology employed by the Airius PureAir series is proven to work against similar viruses, and so, although the organisation makes no medical claims, it is probably safe to assume that it will also work well against the novel coronavirus.

If you would like to find out more about the variety of air purification technologies that can be used in your home, please contact us to discuss this.

You can get in touch with us by calling on 01202 554 200 or via email at info@airius.co.uk