"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

A breath of fresh air: air purifiers for rooms after the pandemic

June 19, 2023 – When you walk into the home, the very first thing you notice is the air: its purity and odorlessness. You now not should sneeze due to allergies that plagued you within the morning. Soon you discover the rationale for this relief: three portable air purifiers that Olivia Raya, head of the shopper service team at air purifier company Rabbit Air, has been using in her home for years.

In nearly twenty years, Rabbit Air has launched two tabletop air purifiers and a model that customers can hang, disguised by a picture of their favorite painting or photo. The units, which might purify a huddle room or an apartment, cost between $370 and $750.

“We now realize how important air quality is to our survival,” Raya said.

Following the pandemic, consumer interest in air purifiers increased as people sought clean air that relieves shortness of breath that contributes to complications of diseases like COVID-19.

The have to preserve air quality was highlighted again recently when eerie orange smog and acrid smells from wildfires in Canada enveloped parts of the country. Smog cloaked many skylines within the U.S. and hundreds of thousands of individuals were greeted with air quality warnings.

Consumer groups and government agencies are responding. The popular website Consumer-tested reviews released its latest recommendations for a spread of home air purifiers in June. In April, the Environmental Protection Agency released its guidelines for air purifiers and HVAC filters to remove pollutants and contaminants within the air.

The guidance calls on manufacturers to make use of the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) system for air purifier performance. Additionally, for portable air purifiers, high-efficiency particulate matter (HEPA) filters, the power to filter smoke and the power of the air purifier to remove particles are highly really helpful.

Then in May, the CDC updated its constructing ventilation guidelines and increased the minimum filter advice. To maintain this level, filters should be replaced based on manufacturers' recommendations.

Concern about clean air

Karrie Chan and her husband Edwin Cheung founded Rabbit Air in 2004 out of concern for the air their child breathes. The co-founders began of their garage and worked to enhance quality through user feedback.

According to Raya, the unique area of interest market included allergy victims and exotic bird collectors and later expanded to incorporate cigarette and cigar smokers. The Rabbit air purifiers also found their method to woodworkers and painters.

Raya said that along with the “wellness crowd,” Rabbit Air also had customers from nail salons, doctor’s offices and schools near highways on the lookout for ways to cut back pollutants that would trigger asthma in children later in life.

“You can tell it's working because there's a lot of it – I can even see bits of my hair,” she said.

Do-it-yourselfers can seek for plans online. From the coast in San Diego comes the Corsi-Rosenthal (CR) air filter box, a do-it-yourself air filtration unit that costs about $70 for materials. Kimberly Prather, PhD, a professor within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry on the University of California San Diego, presented the invention to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 2022.

“I always say we can choose our water and our food. But we can't choose our air. That's why we need to clean our air,” Prather said.

The CR box has 4 partitions of MERV-13 filters, a typical box fan on top, and is held along with tape. A cardboard lid with a circular opening lets the air be drawn in by the fan, pushed through the filters, and released as purified air. Last yr, Prather began an initiative to construct 250 CR boxes as a part of the air filtration effort at UCSD.

According to the CDC, homemade air filters just like the CR Box, when well constructed, can reduce each virus particles and wildfire smoke indoors. The secret's to stop air leaks from the CR Box with tape.

In a mean classroom, Prather said, the CR box cleans 90% of particles from the air in 5 to 10 minutes. During the pandemic, many individuals began constructing CR boxes themselves, following the blueprint of www.cleanaircrew.org with their progressive and artistic interpretations of fans and outdoor decorations.

Opening windows and using an air purifier are two ways to enhance indoor air quality, but Prather acknowledges that for individuals who live in areas with high traffic or poor air conditions, a great air purifier will be the only alternative.

“I would just say do both if you can. If not, you still have the layers – the key is multiple layers of protection,” she said.

When the fan is running on low setting, the CR Box makes no noise in any respect. On high setting, it seems like a traditional fan running at high speed and may filter the air faster.

“What I like about the filters is also the reason why I have them in my house: You can put them anywhere and they suck the air right there,” Prather said.

Prather collects data on the performance of CR boxes in schools and childcare facilities and gathers user testimonials on their impact. She said good air quality improves students' pondering skills and is especially helpful for those living in areas with poor air quality.

Local authorities just like the California Air Resources Board set high standards on the subject of certifying air purifiers. Both the Rabbit Air and the Corsi-Rosenthal box have met the necessities.

Since 2020, the panel has been subject to the identical regulations for electronic air purifiers as for industrial, portable indoor air purification devices.

Pat Wong, PhD, who heads the body's Buildings and Interiors Division, said more corporations have applied for certification in recent times. In 2022 alone, the agency certified 2,805 air purifiers, nearly thrice as many as in 2020.

The certification includes two tests: electronic safety and ozone removal. An electronic safety test ensures the air purifier is secure to stop fire. The ozone test measures the emission concentration to make sure it's below 50 parts per billion.

Although the Air Resources Board doesn't otherwise test the performance of air purifiers, Wong recommends that customers select an air purifier with the really helpful filters.

“Our most significant advice is to be sure that [the air purifier] has a filter and make sure that it's the best room size,” he said. “So it doesn't matter when you're in a classroom, at home or in your enterprise.”