Air purifiers have been around for a long time but their use has intensified with the pandemic. In addition to purifying and improving air quality, many people try to use them as an air disinfection solution against viruses and other pathogens, but are they really effective in disinfecting the air?
In this article we analyze the effectiveness of purifiers to disinfect the air and what alternatives we have for the prevention of infections through the air in professional environments, where it is especially necessary. Purifiers have become very popular these days, but there are other very effective alternatives, especially for professional settings where to prevent infection of workers or clients.
How does an air purifier work?
The operation of an air purifier is really simple. The device has a series of fans that make the room air pass through the body, in which there is a filter that retains the suspended particles and allows clean air to pass without these particles.
The most common filters in purifiers are activated carbon, to retain odors, and HEPA filters. Its filtration capacity depends on the type of HEPA filter, the larger it is, it retains smaller particles. Similarly, the more speed and power the fans have, the more air they will renew.
What are the disadvantages of air purifiers?
As we have seen, filters retain particles and are effective against for example mites, pollen and other microorganisms, but they have a limitation. HEPA filters are not capable of filtering very small particles, as is the case with many viruses, bacteria and many other microorganisms, so air purifiers are not effective for disinfecting the air, only to improve its quality somewhat.
Another major disadvantage is that when using dense filters such as high filtration HEPA, the ability to renew the air is substantially reduced because they slow down the air flow. This is somewhat counterproductive if we seek to create a disinfected environment, since we are interested in renewing the air with greater speed and frequency.
However, if they serve us air purifying, that is, eliminate particles that can harm our health. This is useful to, for example, eliminate air pollution or allergens in the event that we have allergies, or we want to reduce the effects of pollution and thus improve somewhat our well-being and that of our employees or visitors.
What effective options do we have as an alternative to purifiers?
If we really look for the air disinfection and infection prevention, purifiers are not the best option. But what alternatives do we have? One of the most effective technologies is type C ultraviolet light disinfection.
UV-C air disinfection devices are apparently similar to air purifiers. They are devices with a ventilation system that renews the air. Unlike purifiers, inside they include type C ultraviolet light lamps that disinfect the air.
UV-C light has been shown to be effective in disinfecting the environment from viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, yeast, and some spores. Type C ultraviolet radiation manages to penetrate the cell wall of microorganisms and cause considerable damage to their genetic material (DNA and RNA). In this way, they lose the ability to perform their vital functions and therefore to reproduce and cause infections.
In the case of solutions used by Stonex, devices have a disinfection rate greater than 99,9% and its use is totally safe with people in space. In addition, they adapt to any space in a very simple way, without carrying out large installations and are capable of moving large amounts of air at a higher frequency than simple purifiers.
Ultraviolet light disinfection and air purification devices will allow you to purify the air and disinfect it from pathogens effectively instead of just retaining microorganisms in filters, making it the most effective solution to create a safe space that allows you to prevent infections in work environments and take care of the health of your workers and visitors.