With the risk of airborne transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus established, homeowners and business owners seek to limit the spread of COVID indoors. This requires a combination of methods and guidelines including increased HVAC maintenance and social distancing. A recent air cleaner study recommends an additional tool in the fight against virus transmission. The findings, published in the journal Indoor Air show that air cleaning devices limit the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, portable air cleaners in residences and commercial buildings are an effective way to reduce airborne viral levels and the transmission of COVID-19.

Air Cleaner Study

When an individual contracts the COVID-19 virus, self-isolation is key. This prevents the virus from spreading throughout the workplace and other public settings. However, as an individual remains at home, the risk of secondary infection to family and other household members increases. A piece of good news in this regard is a recent study showing a lowered risk of residential exposure through the use of air cleaning technology.

As a part of the study, published in April of this year, 17 individuals with newly-diagnosed COVID-19 agreed to self-isolate in their homes. Participants chose a primary room where they agreed to spend most of their time with a secondary room where they would spend a limited amount. The air cleaner study took place over two 24-hour periods. During the first 24 hours (Day 1) a portable air-cleaning device with HEPA filtration was placed in the primary room. For the second period (Day 2), HEPA filtration was removed.

Results of the Air Cleaner Study

The results of the air cleaner study show that 44 percent of the air samples collected from the primary rooms tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA during the period without HEPA filtration. However, 25 percent of the samples tested positive with HEPA filtration in place. The study also shows a decrease in levels in the secondary room.

COVID transmission requires more research, but this particular air cleaner study shows the effectiveness of portable air-cleaning devices in reducing aerosol exposure to SARS-CoV-2. It proves that air cleaning technology is an effective tool in the fight against the transmission of viruses indoors.

What the Air Cleaner Study Tells Us

Since the use of air cleaning devices reduces virus transmission, it’s important to choose the right one for both commercial and residential use. As we discussed in a previous post, the clean air delivery rate (CADR) is an important consideration. CADR is a measure of the air purifier’s effectiveness in cleaning the air. Air purifiers with a high-efficiency HEPA air filter trap up to 99.97 percent of particulates.

In short, the results of the air cleaner study bolster what Pure Air Control Services recommends with regards to clean air deliver indoors. In addition to the use of multi-stage HEPA air cleaners, we recommend facilities managers take advantage of our Certified Healthy Building Program.

The Six Steps to a Certified Healthy Building

The air cleaner study highlights the importance of indoor air quality. For our part, Pure Air Control Services helps organizations manage risks and improve worker safety through our Certified Healthy Building Program. The program includes six main components for removing particles and neutralizing pathogens. The steps include:

1. IAQ Baseline Evaluation

Our Building Health Check provides baseline environmental testing. Also included in this step is an HVAC Hygiene Assessment. This evaluation determines the system’s airflow and energy efficiency and also detects duct leakage. It also evaluates building airtightness.

2. HVAC Cleaning and Restoration

HVAC units undergo hygienic cleaning with PURE-Steam™. This method uses 350° F steam to clean the air handling unit while improving system efficiency and lowering energy costs. Our HVAC New Life™ process restores the system for up to 30 percent of the cost of replacement. As per the air cleaner study, any reduction in the number of airborne particles creates healthier indoor conditions.

3. Reduction of Particles

The PURE-Duct service uses high-pressure air turbulence to knock out dust and debris which is then collected by an industrial-strength vacuum system with a HEPA filter.

4. Neutralizing Pathogens

PURE-Decon uses EPA-registered disinfectants to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 which is the focus of the air cleaner study.

5. Air Purification

The air cleaner study shows that air purifiers reduce the risk of aerosol virus transmission. Our portable air cleaners use EnviroSmart™ detection technology as well as HEPA filtration to remove pathogens.

6. Monitoring IAQ

The indoor environment remains safe through the monitoring of conditions such as temperature, relative humidity, levels of volatile organic compounds, and CO2. Our IAQ remote monitoring team observes building conditions in real-time so IAQ issues get addressed quickly.