Does a HEPA Air Filter Reduce the Risk of Spreading Disease?
We know that spending time indoors within an environment that doesn’t promote air circulation creates the possibility of a COVID-19 infection. Authorities suspect that Donald Trump caught the virus from Hope Hicks because of their proximity on Air Force One, one of the world’s most secure aircraft.
We also know that COVID transmissions on passenger flights are minimal, partially because of the air scrubbers that work on these planes.
Does that mean a HEPA air filter can reduce the risk of spreading disease? It may be possible.
There Is Likely an Element of Airborne Transmission
Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that he suspected an airborne transmission element associated with COVID-19 after President Trump’s team announced his diagnosis.
Using a portable air purifier with a HEPA filter (not a HEPA-like filter) can reduce the number of airborne germs and viruses that could be in the air. This technology creates another air cleaning layer in an individual room.
If you run an air purifier without HEPA filtration, you might not receive the same benefits. It could make things worse.
Without filtration, circulating air within the same room creates a higher infection potential. It’s like staying in a car with five people, breathing the same air. If you don’t have a facial covering, the chance of infection is high.
HEPA filters remove airborne particles that are 0.3 microns and larger from the air. Although COVID-19 is about 0.125 microns in size, it is often encapsulated in respiratory droplets that are three times as large.
That’s why a HEPA filter could reduce the risk of spreading the disease.
What to Look for When Shopping for Air Purifiers
Numerous air purifiers are on the market today, with many of them offering numerous features beyond a HEPA filter.
Look for the CADR (clean air delivery rate) to see how big a room the product can service.
It also helps to boost the levels of outside air coming into your home to dilute the infection risks. Having a small fan blowing it in from a window is a simple way to promote more circulation.