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Can an air purifier help protect you from COVID-19?

Topic: Can an air purifier help protect you from COVID-19?

Wearing a face mask, washing your hands regularly, social distancing—we’re all familiar with the recommendations for preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, as the number of confirmed COVID cases continues to surge in the U.S., hitting one million in November alone, the need for further protective measures has increased.

Some experts recommend using an air purifier as an additional way to keep your home—and your family—safe, especially if your space isn’t well-ventilated. “Since most COVID viruses spread through droplets and/or aerosols, these airborne pathogens can be captured by the air purifier filter,” Dr. Wei-Ning Wang, associate professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering, says.

But how effective are air purifiers at actually preventing the spread of COVID-19? And if you decide to invest in one, which purifier should you buy amid the pandemic? Below is everything you need to know about air purifiers and coronavirus, according to experts.

How well air purifiers work against COVID-19 remains to be seen. “We want to be clear that at this time, no portable air purifier manufacturer has been able to test against the COVID-19 virus,” David Hill, Dyson Engineer and Design Manager, says. Due to the lack of research, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cautions against relying solely on a purifier to stay safe. However, it can be used in addition to other safety measures like regular sanitation and cleaning for extra protection.

“By itself, air cleaning or filtration is not enough to protect people from exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19,” the agency says. “When used along with other best practices recommended by CDC and others, filtration can be part of a plan to reduce the potential for airborne transmission of COVID-19 indoors.”

Topic Discussed: Can an air purifier help protect you from COVID-19?