School is back in session, which means it is also the season when germs start to get around. The one thing that Covid-19 showed us was that there is room for improvement in our homes and schools to keep kids healthy. With over 50 million students and 6 million teachers in the US, it’s alarming to see that nearly half of all schools, over 130,000 buildings, are not using updated air filtration systems or have issues with their air quality. The most common reason was that the districts don’t have the budget. Air purifiers can be a great addition to your home and to classrooms to reduce the risk of getting sick.
How air purifiers work
Most airborne illnesses are the most likely to get others sick because they travel in the air we breathe. In cases like Covid-19, the flu, and the common cold, the virus starts in water droplets from an infected person. By breathing, coughing, and sneezing, those water droplets are released with the virus and can spread it around six feet in the air. Air purifiers aim to catch the virus before traveling and settling on other people by pulling in air in the room. The best air purifiers have filters that are able to capture the water droplets and hold the virus so that it dies without a host.
Best practices for air purifiers:
Type of air purifier
Air purifiers use highly concentrated filters to reduce the amount of bacteria, viruses, and allergens in the air. It is fifteen to twenty times more likely to get an airborne infection indoors than it is outdoors, which is why purifiers aim to catch as much as possible. HEPA, high-efficiency particulate air, filtration systems are the highest rated air purifiers for cleaning out the air. The filters inside them have a high MERV, minimum efficiency reporting value, rating. The best ratings you can find today are MERV-13 or higher. This means that the filter catches small particles at a better rate than lower ratings. MERV-13 filters have been tested to catch 99% of water droplets containing viruses, significantly reducing the risk of spreading any virus in the room the air purifier is in. Keep an eye out for a HEPA filter with high MERV ratings if you want the best air purifier.
Ventilation and filtration are two different terms that both apply to cleaning the air. Ventilation is when new air is coming into your home from outside, cycling with the air in your home going out from inside. It is important to ventilate any room so that any germs in the air don’t stay in the room or your home and disperse quickly. Opening a window is one of the best ways to provide ventilation to a room. A study evaluation by Georgia Tech concluded that fresh air, updated HVAC systems, and HEPA air purifiers with MERV-13 filters combined is the best solution to providing a healthy environment indoors.
Want to provide the healthiest environment for your family? Twin City Heating, Air and Electric is here to help. Check out our air purification systems and schedule an appointment to get it installed.