Viruses and bacteria are microscopic organisms that exist all around us. Many of these microbes are harmless or even beneficial to humans, but some cause illness. Viruses and bacteria are responsible for a plethora of ailments and diseases that range from mild to severe. Some of these pathogenic microbes have the capacity to become airborne and spread through respiratory droplets that are released into the air.
Some air purifiers are able to reduce the amount of active virus and bacteria in the air, mitigating the spread of pathogens. However, not all air purifiers are well-suited for this purpose, and even those that are cannot guarantee a germ-free environment on their own. Discover which type of air purifier is most effective against viruses and bacteria in this article.
There are a few different kinds of mechanisms air purifiers can use to cleanse the air. Different mechanisms are most effective against different types of airborne contaminants. Let’s take a look at them!
Filtration via HEPA or activated carbon filter
HEPA filters are finely-woven mesh filters that physically trap contaminants as air is pushed through them. While these are great for capturing larger particles such as dust mite allergens, pollen and pet dander, viruses in particular tend to be much smaller. It’s also important to note that a HEPA air purifier can only trap pathogens, not eradicate them.
Activated carbon is another type of filter that physically attracts and traps gases and scent molecules through a process called adsorption. The adsorption can also work on viruses and bacteria, but these filters become saturated over time and lose their effectiveness unless they are replaced regularly.
UV air purification
Residential UV air purifiers pass contaminated air through a chamber where it is exposed to concentrated rays of the same type as those emitted by the sun. These germicidal UVC wavelengths deactivate and help to reduce microorganisms on a molecular level, ensuring that they are no longer a threat.
The government of Canada has collected evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of UV air purification systems against viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.
While the right air purifier can certainly help mitigate the dangers of airborne pathogens, it cannot guarantee a germ-free environment. Although some viruses and bacteria can stay suspended in the air for a certain amount of time, they will eventually fall onto surfaces, where they may infect individuals through touch. Close contact may also transmit pathogens from person to person before the air purifier has a chance to cleanse the air.
Therefore, air purifiers are best used in conjunction with other measures such as hand-washing, surface disinfection and proper ventilation for a comprehensive infection prevention strategy.
Sanuvox is a global leader in UV air purification technology for residential, commercial and medical use. Our systems are designed to maximize UV exposure time for superior air purification. Cleanse the air throughout your entire house with one of our powerful air purifiers! Contact us today for more information.