There are a lot of uncertainties when it comes to COVID-19. It seems like the world is in a panic and doesn’t know what to do. Luckily, most Canadians are doing their part by staying at home, washing their hands, avoiding close contact and not touching their faces. With so many of us at home we begin to wonder, is there more we can do to keep COVID-19 at bay?
According to a study done by engineers at the University of Toronto, air filtration can be a potential solution to keep you and your home safe from COVID-19. Although it isn’t your “cure” against coronavirus, this HVAC technology can lower the chances you and your home becoming infected.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
According to the Government of Canada, the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads throughout your respiratory system: your nose, throat and lungs. The ways to spread this virus are either through the air or touch, most commonly by a cough, sneeze, touching your face or touching someone who’s infected.
While staying quarantined is the best way to avoid COVID-19, studies show that the virus can remain airborne through biological aerosols for up to 3 hours. With that in mind, what’s stopping this virus from making its way into your home?
How Does Air Filtration Work?
As stated before, air filtration isn’t a cure for the coronavirus. But, it can be effective. To clear any confusion you may have, it’s important to understand how air filtration works.
In simple terms, air filtration systems are like a medical face mask for your home. The air passes through the air filter, removing dust, debris, and dirt.
You can see I didn’t mention viruses and bacteria. This is because there are various kinds of air filtration systems and filters, with a range of quality and capabilities to match your needs and the size of the building. Make sure you talk to your HVAC professional about which is best for your home.
One of the largest differences in air filtrations systems is in the quality and type of filter. The misconception with air filters is that they all do the same thing. When considering filters, HEPA filters should be your choice. They filter out dust, pollen, and tiny microbes from the air, removing around 99.97% of all particles measuring from as small as 0.3 microns.
Do HEPA Filters Prevent COVID-19?
The answer isn’t as simple as yes or no. As stated before, HEPA filters trap particles measured as small as 0.3 microns. The good news is that when COVID-19 is passed in the air as a biological aerosol, the particles measure from 0.3-0.5 microns, which will be scooped up and trapped by the filter medium.
Keep in mind that no air filter, even the HEPA filters, can be 100% successful if a virus, bacteria or particulate is less than 0.3 microns. According to the US National Library of Medicine, the original COVID-19 virus measures at 0.125 microns (this would be it’s approximate size in a lab setting, not its size when being transmitted through biological aerosol).
There is no doubt that the future importance of air filtration is only going to increase. Air quality in our office buildings, commercial spaces and especially our personal living spaces are key to our health.
At the end of the day, there’s so much we still don’t know about COVID-19. All we can do is practice proper hygiene and not let fear win. If you are looking to improve the air quality in your home and would like to see some options for adding a HEPA filter to your house or business, give us a call at 403-287-8980.