Air Purifier for Viruses

Airborne viruses have the power to stop economies. The COVID-19 epidemic has shown that these unseen infectors shouldn’t be ignored. Some viruses, like the hepatitis B virus, are only transmitted through blood. Others, like the influenza virus and the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, can be transmitted through the air. An air purifier for viruses can remove the majority of airborne viruses from the air.

Trapping Viruses

Viruses are breathtakingly small. The COVID-19 virus is 0.1 microns in diameter.1 For comparison, human hairs run between 20 to around 180 microns across. This means 200 coronavirus particles could fit in the width of the finest human hairs.

Given how miniscule they are, it is a wonder that an air purifier for viruses is able to capture them at all. HEPA or ULPA filters are rated according to their ability to efficiently trap at least 99.97% or 99.999% of 0.3-micron particles from the air, respectively. This is the most penetrating particle size, or MPPS, for High Efficiency Particulate Air or Ultra Low Particulate Air filters. Particles that are larger, like pet dander and pollen, or smaller, like viruses, are actually stopped at even higher rates.

SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier+

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If you are hoping to reduce the likelihood that you will be exposed to viruses, the placement of an air purifier counts. Air that exits the air purifier may be nearly virus-free, but if someone that is infected is between you and the clean air, then you’re getting all the viruses that they are shedding. Don’t rely on the presence of an air purifier to protect you from exposure, but an air purifier can help reduce the overall number of viral particles in the air in a room.

The Definition of a Virus

Although viruses have significant and often devastating effects on living things, they are not, technically, alive. This is because a virus consists of little more than some genetic material wrapped in a protein coat called a capsid.

A living organism like a bacteria or human will carry all the genes to make an entire bacteria or human, including the machinery to interpret those genes. A virus, however, hijacks the machinery that interprets genes and uses it to make more copies of the virus. Importantly, the virus does not include copies of how to make the machinery that makes the copies. This is why viruses aren’t considered to be truly living things.

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Not all air filtering or air filtration systems are effective at trapping viruses. For example, many HVAC systems employ what is called a pre-filter, which makes sure the largest airborne particles aren’t drawn into the heating, dehumidifying, or cooling system. These filters may be rated according to the MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, system. Filters with ratings below MERV 13 are not effective at trapping viruses.2 HEPA and ULPA filters, however, are very effective at trapping viruses.

Check the manufacturer provided air purifier information for HEPA or ULPA ratings. HEPA and ULPA filters are very effective at capturing viral particles. It is important to make sure the air purifier you purchase is correctly sized for the space you are trying to treat. An air purifier for a room may not be able to meaningfully reduce the amount of airborne virus particles in an entire home. This is because the rate at which the air filtered may be lower than the rate at which viruses are released or introduced into the air. If the Clean Air Delivery Rate, or CADR, is too low, then the air purifier can never process enough air to make a significant difference.

HEPA- and ULPA-rated air purifiers can remove the vast majority of flu viral particles from the air that passes through the purifier.3 The viral particles that cause influenza can survive for one to two days outside of a body, so even though the virus may be trapped on the filter, it may still be viable. Keep this in mind when installing replacement air filters. It might be a good idea to wear surgical gloves and make sure to wash your hands after changing a filter.

No! Air purifiers remove viruses from the air, not from surfaces. Viruses that can survive on surfaces need to be removed with disinfectants or antiviral chemicals.

Why SoClean

Keep your home fresh and SoClean with the SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier+. Up to 3,000 times more efficient than HEPA standards, the SoClean Air Purifier+ captures particles down to 10 nanometers and generates cleanroom-level clean air for your home. The easy-to-use design makes it simple to produce quality air wherever you are.

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HEPA, UPLA, and MERV filter sources: