How air purifiers work to fight the flu

When used correctly, air purifiers can help reduce airborne bacteria and viruses, such as COVID-19[feminine] and the flu – but their protection is not guaranteed.

Viruses are spread when an infected person exhales small aerosol particles, coughs or sneezes into the air.

A good air purifier can help by filtering out most bacteria left in a room.

Airborne COVID-19 and flu particles can be captured by some air purifiers. (Getty)

But it should be noted that air purifiers will not clean the air of the whole house, they will only filter the air of the room they use – it all depends on the size.

Standard hygiene practices remain the best preventive measure against influenza and COVID-19.

Air purifiers for your home – how do they work and how much do they cost?

There are a variety of air purifiers designed specifically for homes, but they can also be quite expensive – some of the bigger brands start from around $1,000 for a standard air purifier.

So how does $1,000 of tech crammed into a plastic box keep your home looking fresh and “pure”?

Simply put, air purifiers draw air through machine filters to remove particles such as dust, pet hair, smoke, bad odors, bacteria, viruses and more. before releasing clean air into the room.

Electronics brand Mitsubishi Electric offers a number of HEPA-based air purification models for home use. (Mitsubishi)

These air purifiers draw in hundreds of cubic meters (m3/h) of air every hour, filter it through the machine and return it to the room.

Most air filters work the same way, but what you’re really paying for is the quality of the filtration.

There are several filters inside the device to make sure nothing gets through, most of these filters can be replaced or cleaned.

The primary filter component used to fight bacteria and viruses is known as a HEPA filter, or “high efficiency particulate air” filter..

Several filters, including carbon and HEPA filters, work to catch dust, bacteria, and viruses. (Mitsubishi)

No home air purifier with HEPA filters claims to be 100% effective, the majority of HEPA filters are able to stop particles of at least 0.3μm, which equals 300 nanometers.

For additional perspective, a nanometer is about one billionth of a meter, and your standard coronavirus particle is about 100 nanometers.

Particles can stay airborne for hours at a time, so using an air purifier with a HEPA filter can go a long way in capturing persistent sneezes or coughs.

Portable air purifiers – what is it?

Portable air purifiers are an entirely new concept, recently introduced by vacuum cleaner leaders Dyson.

It’s certainly an interesting piece of technology, and not something you’d expect from a company like Dyson, but they did it anyway.

Dyson says that six years and 500 prototypes later, they are finally ready to show the world their latest technological breakthrough.

The Dyson portable air purifier doubles as headphones. (Dyson)

As for the design, Dyson says they were inspired by a horse’s saddle.

Although the air purifying attachment is an important part of the design, it’s detachable and Dyson says you can just use the Dyson Zone like a normal helmet.

How does the portable air purifier work?

Compressors in the earcups draw air through layered filters and shoot two streams of purified air to the wearer’s nose and mouth, all channeled through the contactless visor.

Dyson engineers used a model of a human with mechanical lungs to test its headphones. (Provided)

The visor ensures the flow of purified air is kept close to the nose and mouth and Dyson says this ensures the air is diluted as little as possible by the wind.

The device has four air purification modes: low, medium, high and automatic, which is able to synchronize with the user’s breathing.

Dyson has yet to confirm how much something like this costs, but we can imagine it will be considered a premium product.

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