Can Hepa Air Purifiers Capture The Coronavirus
Air purifiers with HEPA filtration capture particles the size of the virus that causes COVID-19, so the answer is yes. The coronavirus is approximately 0.125 micron in diameter. That falls squarely within the particle-size range that HEPA filters capture with extraordinary efficiency: 0.01 micron and above. Some media outlets have incorrectly stated that HEPA filters dont filter below 0.3 micron and therefore could not capture airborne coronaviruses. Thats wrong. This NASA study of HEPA filtration is quite technical, but the graph on page 7 and the preceding paragraph do a good job of explaining why HEPA filters are actually most efficientalmost 100% at 0.01 micronat capturing ultrafine particles below the 0.3-micron HEPA test standard.
Whats less clear is whether a HEPA purifier can catch the virus prior to the point of inhalation. If youre sitting next to someone who has COVID-19, for example, an air purifier on the far side of the room is unlikely to protect you adequately. That raises another unanswered question about how effective an air purifier can be: What level of exposure to the virus causes an infection to begin with? We are following this topic closely, and we appreciate our readers ongoing support in helping us maintain accurate, current information.
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At just 3.2 pounds, Amazons number one best-selling space heater is extremely portable, making it easy to tote wherever you need a little extra warmth. This heater keep things simple: Level one produces heat at 750 watts, while level two churns out heat faster at 1,500 watts. Want to cool things down? Simply switch to the fan setting and adjust the thermostat, which ranges from zero to 158 degrees. The GiveBest heater may be on the smaller side, but it can warm up a room as large as 200 square feet.
How Do We Test Air Purifiers
Every air purifier for allergies in this guide has been tested to the exact same standards, using the same processes. We created a series of tests to measure particles of different sizes, to see how each air purifier performs with certain types of impurities. We use a particle counter for all our testing, and our equipment is capable of measuring the smallest pollutants that can be removed from the air by a purifier.
We start by running an ambient air quality test, where we run the air purifier in multiple rooms in a home to see how it performs at the regular setting, and the highest possible setting . We make note of readings after 15 and 30 minutes to see the speed at which the machine removes particles from the air. We also measure the noise levels generated by the fan, to comment on how noticeable the purifier will be in an average home.
We then test different particle sizes using matches and incense to generate different types of smoke, taking measurements at regular intervals and on different speed settings.
Our testing also takes into account the size of the unit, the cost, ease of use, availability of additional parts, and the energy use on the lowest and highest settings. Finally, we check online user reviews to see what people think, and we test for any persistent problems or defects that we read about.
As per our testing policy, we fully disclose all our findings in our reviews.
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What To Look Forward To
After a new round of testing in August 2022, well be adding the Coway Airmega 240 as a special cases pickthe special case being when you want a terrific-looking as well as high-performing and well-priced air purifier. As purifiers become part of the furniture in more and more homes, manufacturers are increasingly designing truly attractive purifiers, but in many cases they come at a significant cost premium over more utilitarian, and often better-performing, purifierssometimes hundreds of dollars. The Coway Airmega 240 addresses these issues. It is slightly more powerful than our top-pick Coway Mighty, and achieved nearly identical results to it in our smoke tests. It also costs only a bit more . Our staff universally praised its looks in an informal survey. Total Art Deco vibe, said one. Two mentioned that it looks like a modern, minimalist radiator cover. If it catches your eye, know that it works as well as it looks.
Well also be adding notes on a few new competitors, and giving the guide a thorough edit to bring all our coverage up to date.
How We Chose The Best Space Heaters
To determine the best models you can buy right now, we scoured brands and retailers for their bestselling, top-rated options. We then narrowed down the field by analyzing consumer reviews and factoring in our personal experience with the individual space heaters. We also considered factors including type , power, value, ease of use and safety features.
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Do Air Purifiers Increase Or Decrease Oxygen In The Room
Air purifiers do not affect the level of oxygen in the room in any way. Your air purifier is recirculating the air already in the room and cleaning it by passing it through a filter where microscopic, solid particles are removed. It is neither removing nor adding additional oxygen into the space. Air purifiers are also not the same as freestanding air conditioners, though the increased airflow from an air purifier may make the air in your home appreciably cooler.
Best Air Purifiers For Allergies
The Levoit 400S is our top choice for an air purifier that effectively captures allergens in your home, and with good reason.
The Levoit 400S scores a seriously impressive 5 stars out of 5 on Amazon. Reviewers commented on its ability to clean the air of odors and dust. Positive reviews were also gained thanks to the stylish look of the Levoit 400S, but some think it is a little bulky.
Not only did it perform well in all of our tests, it’s also an affordable option, meaning those on a budget don’t have to compromise their air quality. Thanks to its True HEPA H13 filter, this air purifier aced our tests under a number of conditions, removing 99.9% of particles smaller than 0.3 microns at certain times. The air purifier also captures some bacteria and viruses, and with an advanced activated carbon, the machine filters volatile organic compounds from the air.
Not only is the Levoit 400S a powerful air purifier, but it also gains points for its stylish design, with sleek edges and handles for easy maneuvering. Setting up this appliance is easy thanks to the intuitive controls, and there’s plenty of information accessible on the app connected to your purifier, which gives you statistics on historical and current air quality within your home.
If youre on a budget and need an air purifier to tackle your allergy symptoms, then the GermGuardian AC4825E will be an inexpensive purchase that can go a long way to help you breathe easier.
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When To See An Allergist
If you frequently experience symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and head congestion, it may be time to see an allergist. They can identify triggers and create a treatment plan that helps prevent, alleviate, and manage symptoms to enhance your overall quality of life.
Additional reasons to see an allergist include:
- chronic sinus infections
How Do Air Purifiers And Hepa Filters Work
HEPA stands for “high efficiency particulate air” and is a type of filter standardized by the US Department of Energy for filtering particulate matter of a specific size out of the air by utilizing a maze of interwoven glass fibers to trap those particles. HEPA air purifier models use fans to suck air into the device in order to trap microscopic particles in the air, which can include dust, bacteria, viruses, pollen, smoke and mold, and recirculates the clean air back into the room via a vent. HEPA standards are different in the US and Europe, with the US standard requiring HEPA filters to filter 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size out of the air. Coway includes an excellent breakdown of this type of filtration on its website.
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Blueair Classic 205 Air Purifier
Perfect for ridding your home of strong food odors and cooking smells, the Blueair Classic 205 air purifier is on sale at Amazon. It’s marked down from its regular price of $349.99 to just $283.99, saving you 19% or $66. As one of the best air purifiers weve tested, we loved that the Blueair Classic helped to mitigate allergy congestion and was simple and easy to use, with a basic control panel consisting of a WiFi network indicator, a filter status light and a power/fan control. Although the industrial-looking air purifier was a bit loud and had a tough time removing cigarette smoke, it did a great job clearing out fish oil stench in our testing, making it a great option clean your home of any unpleasant smells.
When Should I Get A New Purifier
If youre finding that your air isnt as clean as youd like it to be or youve noticed an increase in allergic reactions, you might be thinking about buying a new air purifier. If this is the case, consider checking the filter first and make sure it doesnt need to be replaced.
In most air purifiers, the filter does all the work, so if its not working at its usual capacity, the filter is probably to blame and not the purifier itself. However, if the mechanical hardware like the fan, control panel, or air quality sensors breaks down, youll want to get a new purifier.
In addition, if the air purifier cant keep up in new and larger spaces, consider getting a larger purifier.
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How Big Is The Area Youd Like To Filter
The amount of space in your room should also guide your selection. Check how many square feet a unit can handle when evaluating it.
You can look for the clean air delivery rate to determine how many particles and square feet an air purifier can reach. For example, HEPA filters can clean the smallest particles like tobacco smoke and medium and large particles like dust and pollen out of the air and may have a high CADR.
A Great Option For Extra Cold Homes
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De’Longhis Comfort Temp Full Room Radiant Thermostat adds heat while helping you manage your energy bill. You can quickly adjust the temperature with the turn of a dial, and flick a switch to crank up the fan speed. Concerned about your energy bill? Press the ComforTemp button to get the maximum amount of radiant heat without burning a ton of energy. This radiator has snap-on wheels to help you easily move it around your place. Plus, it comes with an impressive three-year warranty, so you can rest assured youll be nice and toasty in the near future.
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If You Want A Truly Smart Air Purifier: Mila
The Mila air purifier is a notable entrant in the nascent category of truly smart air purifiers. When we tested it in October 2020, it delivered excellent performance on smoke particles, virtually identical to the performance we got from the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty. In comparison with the features of other smart air purifiers weve looked at, its app, sensors, and programmability are head and shoulders more advancedalmost another species. The Mila is now . Although we believe most people will be happy with a purely analog or automatic purifier , if youre keen on smart appliances, the Mila is worth considering.
The Mila contains multiple sensors, which measure three sizes of particulates , carbon monoxide, VOCs, and humidity. In our long-term testing in Tims home, it responded rapidly to changes in air qualitywhen Tim was cooking or baking and creating smoke, and when he was cleaning his bike chain with solvent, the Mila quickly increased the fans speed to clear the air more efficiently. On dry winter days, it reliably warned of low humidity.
Tim didnt find all these options particularly useful and largely let his test unit run in the automatic mode, but two other Wirecutter staffers who are testing the Mila in their homes have appreciated the ability to monitor their air quality from afar and to control the machine remotely.
Our Air Purifier Testing Methodology
I’ve been reviewing heating, cooling, and air-quality devices for the past three years. For this guide, I personally tested 30 air purifiers for at least one week each and consulted with Ravi Pandey, MD, an internal medicine specialist on staff at several South Florida hospitals , PhD, professor of global and environmental health at Duke University and Bryan Buckley, the brand manager for One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning.
Based on my research and interviews with experts, the most important features to consider when shopping for an air purifier are its ability to remove irritants from the air, long-term costs, and ease of use.
Here are the main ways we test each model:
Purifying: I burned incense in a 200-square-foot room with the windows and doors closed and used an air-quality monitor to take measurements of the volatile organic compounds and particulate matter in the air every 15 minutes. After the incense burned for 15 minutes, I turned on the air purifier’s auto mode, which adjusts the fan speed based on the air quality. If it didn’t have an auto mode, I used the highest setting. I looked at both the percentage removed and the amount of VOCs and particulate matter left after two hours. For context, all of the recommended room sizes in our guide are calculated assuming an eight-foot ceiling and four air changes per hour .
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Where Is The Best Place To Put An Air Purifier
The best place to put an air purifier is the area where you spend the most time or that is a source of pollution. Choose a space with plenty of ventilation that provides adequate space around the unit. Typically, you can place small models on a surface a few feet from the floor and large models on the floor.
Budget Pick: Levoit Core 300
Our budget pick, the Levoit Core 300, is meant for smaller bedrooms or offices about 200 square feet in size. In such spaces, it performs impressively. In our 2020 test, it reduced a heavy load of smoke in our 135-square-foot test space by 97.4% in half an hour on high and 92.6% on medium. Capable of 6.75 air changes per hour in a bedroom-size 150-square-foot space, it far exceeds our 4 ACH minimum. And with a typical up-front cost of $100, its the cheapest of our picks to buy. But its not especially energy efficient, consuming about $61 of electricity when run 24/7 for a year. This raises its five-year running cost to about $480 . That aside, its a compact, attractive machine, and its display-shutoff feature makes it especially suited for bedrooms. The Core 300 replaces our former budget pick, the Blueair Blue Pure 411, which the Core 300 outperformed considerably.
At about $100, the Core 300 is inexpensive up front, but it is not an energy-efficient purifier, especially for its size. The Core 300 draws 34.6 watts on medium , while the much more powerful Coway Mighty draws just 8.1 watts. Running the Core 300 on medium speed 24/7, you consume about 303 kilowatt-hours per year at New Yorks rates that works out to $55 annually. And the filters need to be replaced every eight months, at about $25 a pop. So over the course of five years, its running costs may be as much as $450far more than the Mightys running costs of roughly $270.
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What Settings Should You Run An Air Purifier On
We have long recommended running air purifiers on high for an hour and thereafter running them on the quiet/medium setting to create and maintain clean air in the home. But we had originally extrapolated this claim from our past discrete 20-, 30-, or 60-minute test results on each setting, so in 2018 we specifically tested it on the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty and Airmega 400 over the course of three hoursone hour on high, followed by two on mediumafter burning 15 wooden matches to create an initial heavy load of fine smoke particulates.
Set on high, the Mighty reduced the particulate concentration by 99.9% in the first hour. Over the next two hours on medium, the particulate load remained stable, varying no more than 0.1%. The Airmega 400 also reduced the particulate concentration by 99.9% in the first hour on high, and thereafter the particulate load varied by no more than 0.2% on medium.
These results back our claim that running a purifier on high for an hour, and thereafter on medium, creates and maintains extremely clean air inside a home with the windows and other entryways closed under normal conditions, including a temporary initial spike in pollution .
Heres the takeaway: In the case of a nearby wildfire or other ongoing pollution crisis, where ambient local air conditions are continuously bad, keeping your air purifier on high is probably the best practice. It may be disruptively noisy, but thats a small and temporary price to pay for clean air.