In the era of deadly airborne viruses, air purification equipment has now shown various shapes and sizes. At last month’s Consumer Electronics Show CES, the company introduced a new portable air filter device for your bedside, cup holder, table top, meeting room, and even hanging around your neck. Although each of these devices can purify the air, the problem is that none of them can ventilate. Science increasingly shows that if you are serious about stopping the spread of the coronavirus, masks, social distancing and opening windows may do more than expensive electronic purification equipment.
Most air purifier designs use the same basic method. There is a filter and fan. The fan draws in and circulates air through the filter. The filters in these types of equipment are usually made of paper, fiber (usually glass fiber) or some type of net, which allows it to remove contaminants such as dust and pollen well, but cannot remove gas or less. particle. It is important to remember that the work efficiency claimed by the air purifier manufacturer is accurate after laboratory testing, but it is almost impossible to recreate the specific laboratory conditions. The location, installation, flow rate and running time of the purifier will greatly affect its working effect. Ventilation is usually a big problem. After the air is “purified”, the fan circulates it out, but the air is not ventilated to other areas of the space. Therefore, air purifiers often repeatedly purify the same air in their vicinity. The smaller the device, the greater the basic problem.
The medical community is still not sure how many air purification devices actually help stop the spread of the coronavirus. There is no doubt that they can help allergy sufferers and have been used for many years, but filtering out the details of small particles containing COVID-19 is much more difficult. No doctor says that portable air purification equipment can solve this problem. Experts recommend wearing masks and staying away from society as the first line of defense. It is much easier to ensure that COVID-19 particles never enter the air than to filter them out after they are dispersed. However, most air purification equipment did not harm this situation.
More useful than filtration is to increase ventilation. Studies have shown that keeping the air “fresh” is one of the best ways to stop diffusion. Known as air change, the rate at which air is completely replaced in a space is a key indicator of the level of symbiosis risk. The more changes in the air, the better. Mayo Clinic professor and researcher Dr. Mark Ereth explained in our recent “Flexible Workplace” report how much air is needed to pass through a room to help eliminate ultrafine particles such as COVID-19. In an office building, there are several times an hour every three to six minutes,” he said. There is evidence that, with the aid of a central ventilation system, air purifiers increase the air exchange rate or volume. But open the windows is also like this.
Just want to give you an idea. In the operating room, the air is changed every three to six minutes, while in the office building, it is changed several times per hour.
“The most important thing to consider when buying an air filter is whether the space you want to use in it already has good ventilation-then the air filter won’t increase too much,” Dr. Shelly Miller, an environmental expert, Colorado An engineer at the University of Boulder told Webmd that his research focuses on the spread of airborne diseases.
To be precise, it is difficult to study how to open a window to change ventilation. The airflow in an indoor space is difficult to model or even predict. The best building model in the world is difficult to solve the problem of window opening because the airflow system is so complicated. Most importantly, opening windows may be as effective as air purifiers, or even more effective. Diluting indoor air that may contain COVID-19 with virus-free outdoor air will reduce the concentration of the virus in the air, thereby reducing the chance of infection. Researchers are still struggling to find out how much ventilation and which type is best. There is simply not enough consensus in the medical community.
Columbia University virologist Angela Rasmussen told Vox: “There is no perfect “safe” level of ventilation because we actually don’t know what “safe” is because we don’t know how much exposure will cause spread.”
Not having all the answers is not ideal, but it is better than pretending to have answers. Being honest about what may or may not work can help people make better personal choices about how to stay safe. Like many heads related to air purifiers, the heads do not. At best, they can be mistaken for a sense of security. In the worst case, ionizers, plasma generators and electrostatic precipitators can produce positive hazards. These devices charge particles so that they stick to the surface instead of floating in the air, thereby producing ozone as a byproduct.
ASHRAE, a professional association that specializes in setting standards for ventilation and air-conditioning, said that when using equipment that may generate large amounts of ozone (respiratory tract irritant) as a by-product of its operation, “must be extra careful.” HEPA and ASHRAE recommend avoiding the use of any air purification devices that produce ozone as a by-product of cleaning indoor air in living spaces.
The best practices for clean air revolve around ventilation. In a modern office, opening windows may not be feasible for many reasons. Usually, windows cannot be opened at all. In this case, you can ensure the use of high-quality air filtration devices. Since non-ozone-based air filtration does not produce harmful side effects, the only disadvantages of portable air filtration equipment are cost and noise. The clean air transfer rate (CADR) of a device tells you most of its effectiveness. This rating takes into account the efficiency of the filter and the power of the fan to determine how much air flows through the filter. The higher the CADR, the larger the purification space. Buying the right equipment is only to determine the right room size. Remember, the larger the device, the stronger the fan will circulate the air, and the louder the sound will be. In an office environment, a lot of noise must be considered. The price of a high-quality HEPA air purifier starts at around $200, and its price increases as the CADR level increases. Some people even build their own air purifiers by tying MERV filters to box fans for less than $30.
When dealing with equipment with medical requirements, it is always important to separate fact from fiction and to benefit from marketing. Product manufacturers hoping to profit from the huge demand for COVID-19 mitigation equipment have flooded the market with portable air purification equipment. Experts believe that high-quality equipment will certainly not be harmed. It is indeed possible to make air purifiers by spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on air purification equipment, but we may never know how many. A better answer is to wear a mask, and if possible, open the window.
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