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air filter and coronavirus

Novel Coronavirus and Air Filters FAQ: Separating the Fact from Fiction

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought a lot of confusion and misinformation out into the world. As people take precautions to keep their family safe, many are looking into various cleaning products, including air filters to help with respiratory health. We wanted to give you the straight truth about what air filter can and can’t do so you can make informed decisions to keep your household healthy.

COVID-19 Disclaimer

Before we go over some frequently asked questions, we wanted to reiterate what the scientific and public health authorities are saying at this time. Ultimately, the most common mode of transmission of the novel coronavirus is through contact with an infected person. This is why it is vitally important that you practice social distancing and limit the people you come in contact with as much as possible.

Additionally, ensure that you are washing your hands thoroughly throughout the day to wash away any potential infection that may have got on your hands. Sanitize shared surfaces like doorknobs and tables as often as you can. Lastly and most importantly, stay up to date with what the authorities are saying. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are updating their sites with the latest news and information. Follow up on these official sources and stay informed. On to the FAQ!

Can Air Filters Protect Me from Coronavirus?

This is the biggest question we wanted to tackle today. There’s not an easy answer to it either. Ultimately, as we mentioned above, the most likely method of transmission is through surfaces or contact with a person who is already infected. In this sense, an air filter won’t really help prevent transmission.

However, air transmission is possible, since the virus can stay airborne for a few minutes, even longer if carried by a current like an air conditioning vent. In this one small mode of transmission, air filters can probably help.

How Do Air Filters Work?

There are two main types of air filter. HEPA physically captures particles from the air, for example, a floating grain of pollen. These filters are typically made of woven fiberglass and sit in your vent or inside your indoor unit if you have a ductless system.

These HEPA filters are classified by the MERV rating system. Here is where the potential to fight airborne coronavirus comes in. The highest MERV rated filters can catch particles as small as cigarette smoke and bacteria. While viruses are even smaller than those, even they can potentially be caught. However, there is still much we don’t know about the virus and it’s undetermined how effectively it can be captured by these filters

What is the other type of air filter?

The other main type is the UV air filter. In this case, air filter is a bit of a misnomer. These devices, which are typically separate personal-sized machines, more accurately disinfect the air. UV or ultraviolet light can be very destructive. They’re the reason to wear sunscreen when you go outside. For microscopic organisms like bacteria and viruses, ultraviolet light can damage them enough to render them inert and harmless.

This technology has been used in hospitals as an alternative to spray disinfectant, but has only recently come into prominence for its at-home uses. Again, there’s still much we don’t know about the coronavirus, so we just don’t know how effective UV light is on destroying the virus.

Our Hilton Head-based HVAC pros can help you with all your HVAC needs during the COVID-19 crisis. Our technicians are trained in cleanliness, are screened for health, and understand the proper directives from the authorities. Call us today at (843) 508-9779 or fill out an online contact form to schedule your appointment today