Does This Air Cleaning System Stop COVID-19?

People Indoors with Facemasks

We all know the novel coronavirus spreads through the air. It's why we wear facemasks when we're around others and stay as far apart as possible, at least until vaccines make the global rounds.

So, it certainly stands to reason that airborne coronavirus could be trapped by an air filter. If we could find an air filter that reliably captured the virus particles, we could be reasonably assured of a reduced risk of airborne coronavirus transmission.

Well, it appears there is an air filter that does this. It's called the Fresh-Aire UV system, and testing shows it to be very effective in zapping the novel coronavirus.

Fresh-Aire UV systems inactivate the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus

And they zap more than 99.99% of virus particulates entering the system. That's… virtually all of them.

This was the conclusion of testing performed by Innovative Bioanalysis, a California-based CAP, CLIA, and AABB-certified laboratory. Per a report on the researchers' findings, here's what they did:

The test was designed to model exposure time comparative to inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the moving airstream within the HVAC or ventilation system. Products tested were the Fresh-Aire UV ADS™ (duct-mounted airborne disinfection) for commercial and healthcare applications, Blue-Tube XL™ (HVAC coil and airborne disinfection) for commercial and healthcare applications, and APCO-X™ (HVAC coil and airborne disinfection with VOC/odor reduction) for both residential and commercial applications. Phase-2 testing is currently underway.

Basically, the researchers introduced SARS-COV-2 to the Fresh-Aire UV system and measured how much of it was still in the air afterterward. There was practically none.

Is this an air filter or a UV light or what?

That's a good question. It's an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system for HVAC systems.

Basically, the system contains UV lights that are capable of inactivating/destroying/killing (pick your favorite word) viruses and microbial contaminants that circulate in your air. It works in conjunction with a high quality air filter, such as a media filter, to ensure the air you're breathing indoors is as pure as it can be.

We install UV light systems, of course. And yes, one of the ones we install is the Fresh-Aire UV system that was shown to be effective in the SARS-COV-2 study.

What this means and what it doesn't mean

Well, it doesn't mean you can start hosting massive parties at your house after installing the system. But you probably knew that.

What it seems to mean — and we say this with the caveat that we are not infectious disease experts — is that a home or business with one of these systems could dramatically reduce the likelihood of SARS-COV-2 transmission via circulated air.

In other words, if an infected person stood close to you and coughed, it wouldn't make much difference. However, if that same person coughed in one part of a building and you, sitting in another part of the building, breathed the same air after it was circulated through the Fresh-Aire UV system, the air would be unlikely to contain any virus capable of infecting you.

That means one of these systems could help protect:

  • Elderly family members with caregivers who visit the home
  • People who have to receive in-home deliveries or accept workers into their homes
  • Anybody who chooses to (or must) entertain visitors whose social and professional activities are beyond their control
  • People living with an infected relative who is quarantining in a separate room
  • Workers at businesses that are open to the public and have multiple patrons entering or leaving each day (restaurants, retailers, etc.)

So, the answer is yes! Assuming the research is sound, this air cleaning system does stop COVID-19.

Pretty cool, right? Just keep in mind that the coronavirus-containing air has to pass through the UV light system for the virus to be inactivated. That reduces your risk of contracting the virus in certain situations, but it's not a silver bullet for avoiding the coronavirus entirely.

It also stands to reason that a smart ventilation strategy in combination with this UV light system could further reduce your potential exposure to the novel coronavirus. With consistent, balanced or positive pressure ventilation in your home, older "stale" air is consistently replaced with fresh, filtered air. The system might even remove virus-containing air before it hits the UV light.

If you're interested in an HVAC UV system for your home or business, we can help! We'll stop by, have a look at your heating and air conditioning system, and point you in the right direction. Get in touch today to start the conversation!