Australia is suffering through a health crises unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, and people are looking for ways to minimise the risk of infection for themselves and their family. But does an air purifier really work?

Can air purifiers kill bacteria?

Some research has shown that medical-grade air purifiers can kill viruses, bacteria and sterilise air in homes and offices. Other studies have found that higher humidity levels indoors can significantly reduce the infectivity of influenza virus particles released by coughing. In fact, a study published in the journal PLOS by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that the infectious capacity of influenza virus particles reduced at a relative humidity of 40 per cent or higher.

Can air purifiers prevent coronavirus?

When it comes to COVID-19, washing your hands often, social distancing and self-isolation are a much more effective method of preventing coronavirus. Dr. Erin Sorrell, an assistant professor of microbiology and a member of Georgetown’s Center for Global Health Science and Security, told Buzzfeed that while HEPA filters do remove many pollutants from the air, scientists believe that COVID-19 particles are too small to be captured by your average HEPA filter, and even filter with a UV light component may not help either. Dr. Sorrell then goes on to recommend opening doors and windows to get fresh air into your home.

Should I buy an air purifier?

Air purifiers are great for people who have allergies or who live in a highly polluted area, such as on a main road or in the city. Air purifiers have been found to help those who suffer from asthma or allergy, in this situations, and air purifiers can improve the quality of air in your home. However, an air purifier is not the best method of reducing your exposure to coronavirus in your home at this time.

Still want to buy an air purifier? Look for…

  • HEPA filter to trap smoke, pollen and mould spores
  • Carbon filter to neutralises smoke, harmful gases and volatile organic compounds
  • UV light which is thought to kill bacteria, virus, fungi and germs
  • Negative Ions which freshen and balance the air

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