Air Filtration in Frisco TX
When used with other recommendations by public health agencies like the CDC, air filtration can help decrease the possibility of airborne transmission of COVID-19 inside.
HVAC filters and air cleaners are created to filter contaminants (including viruses) and pollutants from the air that goes through them, reducing the number of harmful particles in the air you breathe. Portable air cleaners (air purifiers) can be helpful if outdoor air ventilation isn’t possible without sacrificing indoor comfort, or if outdoor air pollution is high.
Air cleaners must be able to eliminate small airborne particles (0.1-1um) to effectively remove viruses from the air. Manufacturers can report this ability in different ways. They might rate the performance based on the CADR rating, specify the use of HEPA filters, or state the removal efficiency for particle sizes (“eliminates 99.7% of particles as small as 0.5 um”).
To choose an air cleaner that efficiently filters airborne viruses, choose:
– a purifier that is the correct size for your space
– a purifier that has a CADR rating for smoke (not just dust or pollen), has a HEPA label or advertises that it filters particles below 1 um.
HVAC Filters and Air Cleaners in Homes
Portable air cleaners (like air purifiers or air sanitizers) are constructed to clean the air in a room or space. HVAC or furnace filters can filter air all through a home. Both can decrease air pollutants indoors, including airborne viruses.
Filtration can be a component of the strategy to decrease the possibility of airborne transmission of COVID-19 inside when used with other recommendations by the CDC and others.
HVAC Filters and Air Cleaners in Schools, Offices, and Commercial Buildings
The HVAC systems in large buildings usually filter air before distributing it through a building, so consult a professional to help upgrade the HVAC filters as necessary for your building and unit. The EPA and CDC suggest improving air filters to the maximum efficiency possible for the system and making sure the filter fits to minimize air bypass.
To supplement the HVAC system’s filtration and ventilation, you should think about using portable air cleaners as well, particularly in places where satisfactory ventilation is hard to attain. The potential spread of contaminated droplets can be minimized by making sure the airflow isn’t blowing right from person to person.
Air cleaners are beneficial when they’re used with ventilation and source control, but they aren’t a substitute. They can’t guarantee suitable air quality, especially where substantial pollutants are around and ventilation is inadequate. Source control compromises of decreasing or removing pollutants like smoke, formaldehyde, or particles containing viruses.
Bipolar Ionization with In-duct and Portable Air Cleaners
Bipolar ionization is a new technology that can be used in portable air cleaners or HVAC systems to produce negatively and positively charged particles. Manufacturers may advertise this technology to assist with eliminating viruses in the air (including SARS-2-CoV, which causes COVID-19) or to enable the disinfection of surfaces within a specific area. There is little research available outside of a lab setting. The evidence regarding effectiveness and safety isn’t as documented as more established methods, like filtration. Unless specific protections are taken in the device’s design and upkeep, bipolar ionization can potentially produce ozone and other harmful by-products inside your home or building. If you choose to use an air cleaner that uses bipolar ionization, the EPA suggests using a product that complies with UL 2998 standard certification (air cleaners claiming to emit zero ozone emissions).
Not all devices use bipolar ionization; the packaging or advertising materials will usually specify if this technology is used.
Do-it-Yourself Air Cleaners
DIY air cleaners are used indoors and can be built from box fans and square furnace or HVAC filters. They can be used when air quality is low and other options for filtration are unavailable. Questions have been raised about whether DIY air cleaners can be efficient in lowering virus-spreading particles in indoor settings. They may offer some assistance in lower levels of indoor air pollutants and viruses, but there is limited research available.
It is important to note that the EPA doesn’t suggest routinely using DIY air cleaners or using them as alternatives to commercially obtainable air cleaners.
The effectiveness of DIY air cleaners will vary and can’t be assessed reliably without the use of special tools. However, the performance of commercial products has been heavily tested.
Tips For Using a DIY Air Cleaner
- Use government, university, state, or other expert guidelines for constructing the device. There are several DIY designs, but very few tests have been performed to test their effectiveness.
- Design and cost considerations:
- Using one filter can cost less upfront than using multiple.
- Designs that use multiple filters can be difficult to construct, bulkier, and harder to move around.
- Designs with multiple filters may be more difficult to take apart to change the filters.
- Use a box fan that was made after 2012 with an ETL (Intertek) or UL (Underwriters Laboratory) logo. These newer fans have certified safety elements to lower the possibility of overheating. The EPA doesn’t suggest using box fans made before 2012. If they are used, don’t leave them unattended or use them while sleeping.
- Think about using it the whole time a place is occupied. They will be more likely to remove particles the longer they run.
- For better filtration, select a high-efficiency filter (MERV 13 at least). Make sure the arrows match the direction of airflow and create an adequate seal between the filter and the fan.
- Replace the filters regularly. More articles will be removed from the air with higher fan speeds and longer usage. But these, and higher amounts of air pollutants will make the filter get dirty quicker. When the filter looks dirty, replace it.
- Wear a respirator (N-95 or similar), gloves, and goggles for protection while changing filters. Gently take out the filters- outside if possible. To reduce releasing any collected dust, don’t shake the filters. Discard the filters, carefully, in waste bags.
DIY Air Cleaner Improvements:
- Cover the edges on the front side of the fan, so air flows through only the center of the fan by the blades. You can make the cover using duct tape, cardboard, or wood.
- Use a filter that’s at least 2” thick. Thinker filters are typically more expensive but don’t have to be replaced as often.
- Increase how many filters are used. Some can have up to five filters.
- Enhance the seal where the filters attach to each other or the fan. For example, use duct tape instead of clamps or ties to seal edges.
Air filtration alone is not enough to protect you from COVID-19, but when used properly, HVAC filters and air cleaners can help lower the number of airborne contaminants indoors.