5 On Your Side

The right air purifier features can help stop COVID in your home

Posted December 1, 2020 4:15 p.m. EST
Updated December 1, 2020 5:29 p.m. EST

Air purifiers can help fight COVID-19 if they have the right features.

To be effective, the filter "must be able to consistently draw in enough air to reduce the amount of particles containing the virus that persist in the air,” explained James Dickerson, Consumer Reports’ chief science officer.

HEPA filters in most residential air purifiers are certified to capture 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 micron in diameter.

The filters can capture both smaller and larger particles even more efficiently, including the coronavirus.

The key is to have any sick person isolate in one room.

“The faster an air purifier can exchange air in a room, successfully passing it through its filter, the better its chances of capturing the virus-laden particles," said Dickerson. "Even then, it’s not going to eliminate all of the particles, nor will the filter capture virus that has landed on surfaces in the room.”

When considering an air purifier purchase, look for its clean air delivery rate, or CADR. Look for a rate of more than 240, or roughly five air exchanges per hour.

Consumer Reports’ top picks are the BlueAir Classic 605, which costs $830. In particle reduction tests, the air purifier was rated fastest and best.

For less money, the Honeywell HPA300 for $220 scored excellent at its highest speed and very good on a lower speed.

The most basic way to clear the air in a room for whatever reason is to open the windows.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.