NOTE: Air Purifiers CANNOT protect you from the Coronavirus!
Running an air purifier is one of the easiest, most efficient ways of removing certain lung irritants from your home. They’re simple devices that hardly require any maintenance, and they work rather silently in the corner of a room while doing a whole lot to keep you and your loved ones healthy.
But in these testing times, people aren’t looking to air purifiers for simple odor and mold control. With worldwide panic revolving around the Coronavirus (COVID-19), customers are left wondering what they can do to keep their homes safe from the contagious and potentially lethal virus.
In this guide, we’ll go over the top five most reliable air purifiers that remove viruses from your home. We’ll also go over some of the most important qualities to look for in a virus-killing air purifier so stick around and read our brief buying guide.
Best Air Purifiers
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Air Purifier
The FLEX is a lightweight, two-stage air purifier that has a maximum reach of 700 square feet. With CADR ratings of 245 for dust, pollen, and smoke, it’s safe to say that this is one of the most effective medium-sized air purifiers you can find today.
It comes with one of four different types of True HEPA Filter that eliminates up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in size, making it perfect for sufferers of seasonal and pet allergies.
The FLEX also wins style points thanks to its customizable front panel with seven different color options. Mold, bacteria, and certain viruses cannot escape the awesome suction and filtration of the FLEX.
RabbitAir MinusA2 Ultra Quiet HEPA Air Purifier
Like the FLEX, the MinusA2 by RabbitAir works optimally in rooms of up to 700 square feet. Instead of a typical True HEPA Filter, the MinusA2 uses a BioGS HEPA Filter that reduces bacteria, virus growth along with pollen and dander buildup.
It has modest CADR ratings (171, 173, and 166 for pollen, dust, and smoke respectively), but its customizable six-stage filtration setup, including virus and odor eliminators, definitely makes it a worthy 700-square-foot unit.
Best of all, the MinusA2 doesn’t leave a footprint at all thanks to its wall bracket. Plus, with the addition of an auto-cleaning mode, there’s no need to constantly monitor whether it’s doing its job.
Alen BreatheSmart Classic Large Room Air Purifier
If you’d like a multi-room air purifier or one that clears the air of spacious areas, then the Alen BreatheSmart Classic is a great place to start. The Classic has a maximum purifying capacity of 1,100 square feet, making it ideal for use in hallways, open office spaces, and large bedrooms.
Like the FLEX< users can choose one of four different True HEPA Filter types based on their unique set of needs. There’s also a built-in ionizer that enhances odor and virus removal while also being ozone-free (still, you should only run the ionizer in spaces where pets and people are absent). Consider the Classic the bigger, farther-reaching version of the FLEX. [caption id="attachment_6964" align="alignnone" width="1000"] BreatheSmart Classic[/caption]
Coway Airmega 400S Smart Air Purifier
But if you’re looking for a bigger air purifier, then the Coway Airmega 400S’ 1,560-square-foot reach should impress you. This powerful air purifier draws air in from two sides to clean more air per minute before releasing it upward for even distribution across an entire spacious room.
The 400S uses smart technology that automatically gauges the pollution level of a room and automatically adjusts its fan speed accordingly for care-free efficiency. Inside of the 400S is a Max2 Filter that, like True HEPA, reduces up to 99.97% of 0.3-micron airborne particles and nearly 100% of all VOCs.
For added convenience, you can receive alerts regarding the filter’s lifespan, the quality of indoor air in real-time, and even set up a scheduler from your smartphone.
Blueair Classic 605 Air Purifier
The final product on our list is the Classic 605 by Blueair—a 775-square-foot model that battles airborne allergens and viruses thanks to its multi-stage filtration system. The HEPASilent filter acts as an electrostatic barrier that attracts pollutants like a magnet.
Pollutants then pass through a DualProtection Filter which captures any remaining particles, including viruses as small as 0.005 microns. The Classic 605 is also Wi-Fi compatible so users have the convenience of monitoring air quality, adjusting fan speeds and cleaning modes, and setting the timer through their smartphone or using voice commands via Alexa.
This unit’s ability to deliver up to five air changes per hour in rooms of up to 500 square feet makes it a clear winner in combatting viruses.
A Brief Guide on Air Purifiers for Viruses
In this section, we’ll go over everything you need to know about these devices to help you make a decision.
Can an Air Purifier Remove the Coronavirus?
As stated in the introduction, no air purifier is 100% able to kill the Coronavirus. However, this is not to say that air purifiers aren’t effective at all. Carriers of the virus may not even be aware that they’ve got it, and when they cough or sneeze without covering up, they’re actively introducing the spread of the virus into the environment.
How Big are Coronavirus Genomes?
Studies have shown that the virus is between 0.06 and 0.14 microns in size, meaning that air purifiers, even those with True HEPA Filters, are not 100% capable of trapping the virus and preventing it from infecting those nearby. Killing the virus is an entirely different story.
Finding a virus-eliminating air purifier isn’t as easy as picking up the first air purifier you come across. You can choose any of the items listed above or, if none are available to you, consult this list to find the right model for your home.
For obvious reasons, you’ll want an air purifier that has a far enough reach to clean the air in all four corners of a room. Measure the square footage of your room manually before settling on a particular air purifier. The list above contains products that cover between 700 and 1,560 square feet.
True HEPA Filter or Similar
There’s no way around it—the best type of filters to remove mold, dust, bacteria, and viruses is a True HEPA Filter and the BioGS HEPA Filter such as in the RabbitAir MinusA2. Only these types can effectively remove particles as small as 0.3 microns. Not particularly helpful against even tinier Coronavirus genomes but great for mold and bacteria removal.
Ionizers deliver an electrical charge to airborne pollutants that make them cling onto the filters more easily, but they’re also quite effective at controlling viruses. The negative ions produced by an ionizer can inactivate certain viruses like influenza so they don’t infect those in a room.
However, they produce ozone—a potential carcinogen when exposed to large quantities—so only run the ionizer function when nobody’s at home.
Finally, you’ll want your air purifier to be as hassle-free as possible. This can be achieved if the unit comes with air quality sensors and auto-fan adjustment (only the Alen Breathesmart FLEX and Blueair Classic 605 don’t).
Wi-Fi compatibility is a nice touch if you spend the majority of your day outside (perhaps you shouldn’t due to the Coronavirus outbreak).
1. Can air purifiers kill Coronavirus?
As of yet, nothing is for sure. Even True HEPA Filters, the finest filter for residential and even industrial purposes, is not completely reliable against the virus.
All of the products mentioned on our list, though able to eliminate most types of common viruses and bacteria, are ill-equipped to combat the virus strain.
2. Is an air purifier worth buying?
Despite their somewhat unreliability against the Coronavirus, air purifiers are definitely worth the investment. Common airborne pollutants and allergens like dust, dander, smoke, and VOCs can be suctioned away by an air purifier, leaving fresh, breathable air.
3. Where should I place my air purifier?
The correct placement of your air purifier depends on the model and position of its inlet fans and airflow outlet. The RabbitAir MinusA2 is the most unique on our list due to its shape and wall brackets but also requires careful placement to ensure even air distribution.
The best way to determine where to place your air purifier is consulting any paperwork that comes with it.
4. How do I know whether my air purifier is working?
The simplest way to see whether your air purifier is actually doing its job is by checking the filter every now and then to see how much hair and debris is trapped. The filter should have noticeable amounts of debris but not be completely clogged.
If it’s clogged, you know it’s done its job, but you should also either wash it (if reusable) or replace it.
5. Is it OK to leave my air purifier on all night?
Absolutely. Unless the noises produced by the device keep you up at night, there’s no harm in leaving the air purifier on for the entire night (assuming you’re not using the ionizer function). Air can be come contaminated almost as soon as it’s filtered, so the longer you keep an air purifier running, the safer your lungs will be.
6. How long does a HEPA filter last?
It depends on how often you run the air purifier and how contaminated your air is. In general, HEPA filters require changing every 12 to 24 months but should be checked every six months to ensure optimal airflow. A built-in filter indicator can help eliminate most of the guesswork, though they’re not accurate all the time.
We’ve listed the top five best air purifiers built to handle microbes and viruses. As for combatting the Coronavirus, sadly, there’s no air purifier that guarantees 100% effectiveness, but any True HEPA Filter or similar type of filter may reduce the risk of infection in enclosed spaces.
Remember to wash your hands, stay away from crowd, and don’t make contact with others. Stay safe, everyone!