Air Purifier For Bacteria
The air is teeming with bacteria. These microscopic organisms include varieties that are helpful, like the kind that help balance our digestive tract.1 There is a wide spectrum of bacteria that are neither particularly harmful nor helpful to humans, like the kinds that live uneventfully in the soil. Unfortunately, there are also airborne bacteria which can cause human diseases. Tuberculosis, Legionnaires’ disease, and Staphylococcus infections can all be caused by airborne bacteria.
Thankfully, air filtering with an portable air purifier can greatly reduce the threat of bacterial transmission and infection. An air purifier for bacteria removal can also limit the number of airborne allergens.
Filtering Out Bacteria
Our immune systems are generally up to the task of fighting off many of the bacteria we encounter on a day-to-day basis, so long as the levels of exposure don’t grow too high. This is why, when someone is contagious, you are supposed to limit your exposure to them, as they are shedding large amounts of bacteria into the environment. A single bacterium entering your body will probably be dispatched by your immune system without incident. However, if you are exposed to thousands or even millions of the same bacteria for an extended time, your body’s defenses can stumble.
An air purifier with a HEPA or ULPA filter that can capture bacteria removes airborne pathogens from the air. HEPA filters remove at least 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter. The fineness of the filter is more than sufficient to capture pathogenic bacteria such as M. tuberculosis2, MRSA3, and Legionella4. ULPA filters remove an even larger proportion of 0.3-micron airborne contaminants, over 99.999% of them.1 For gaseous pollutants like volatile organic compounds, an activated carbon filter is required. An air purifier with a carbon filter includes some type of solid particle filter with an activated carbon filter for gaseous pollutants.
Capacity and Placement
When choosing an air purifier for bacteria reduction, it is important to select one that is big enough for the space being treated. An air purifier for a small room might not be able to filter air quickly enough to meaningfully reduce the number of bacteria in the air in a large room.
Be mindful of airflow when deciding where to place an air purifier for a room. If you suspect there is a source of contamination in the room, see if it is possible to place the air purifier in a way that draws the contaminated air into the air intake. This way you won’t be blowing the pollutants around the room.5 Care should also be taken to ensure that the intake and output vents are not blocked by objects.
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Different types of air purifiers remove bacteria at different rates. HEPA and ULPA rated air purifiers are very effective at removing bacteria, mold, and other living things from the air. It is important to keep in mind that a filter might not actually kill the bacteria. This is because bacteria are particularly hardy and can survive in a hardened spore state for long periods of time. It is possible that the bacteria will remain in a state of stasis on the filter, so be careful when cleaning or replacing a filter and make sure to wear glove and wash your hands after changing a filter.
In household and commercial HVAC systems, mold and bacteria growth has been observed on improperly installed or maintained air filters. As air moves through a filter, the pressure drops, which can cause moisture to condense out of the air onto the filter. Should this happen continuously, then the filter becomes a perfect environment for bacterial and mold growth. HEPA and ULPA filters should be installed in an HVAC system downstream of any dehumidification stages in order to avoid this from happening. Furthermore, spare replacement air filters should be kept on hand so that if there is any sort of microbial growth, the filter can be changed immediately.8
Cold air does not kill or otherwise destroy bacteria or viruses. In fact, bacteria that were frozen over three million years ago have been found to be viable6. Cold temperatures inhibit some bacterial growth, which is why refrigeration extends the shelf life of fresh foods. Although hot air is able to kill germs, it would not be practical to kill airborne germs in a living space with hot air, as some bacteria can actually thrive in temperatures as high as 185 degrees Fahrenheit7.
Bacteria are everywhere, and quantities that are truly mind boggling. It is not possible to keep bacteria out of your home, or out of any space for that matter. Even computer chip cleanrooms, the cleanest places on the planet, still harbor bacteria. Keeping bacteria out is not possible, but reducing the number of bacteria to levels your immune system can manage is possible.
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Get cleanroom quality clean air at home with the SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier+. The SoClean 3-Stage Air purifier captures 99.99999% of airborne viruses and bacteria. The SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier greatly outperforms HEPA standards in a portable package that can be easily moved from place to place.
Master Air Purifier Sources:
Air quality sources: Air purification/filtration process sources: HEPA, UPLA, and MERV filter sources:
Air quality sources:https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b01236
Air purification/filtration process sources:https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/air-purifiers/buying-guide/index.htm
HEPA, UPLA, and MERV filter sources:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16517004/