Coronavirus & Home Air Safety. AirSoap Filter To The Rescue?:
So as we learned about in the Ultraviolet Sanitizer post,
Not only has the entire world been turned upside down by coronavirus,
But so has the world of indoor small business.
And Columbia researchers came up with a “filter” that might help before a vaccine.
But what about when people take off their masks and start breathing in the enclosed-airspaces of their homes?
Well, a relatively new company may have a better solution where standard HEPA-filtration could fall short…
The Short Answer:
- The coronavirus pandemic has called into question air quality of indoor businesses.
- What about the indoor air quality in your home?
- If you have the “wrong” air filter, it could do more harm than good.
- This is implied by an infection study on indoor HVAC.
- HEPA is the standard air filter most people have.
- Standard HEPA is too porous to filter out the COVID-19 virus.
- AirSoap is a new filter by PhoneSoap.
- It uses mostly electrostatic elements, graphene, and a small fan.
- Graphene is a great microbe filter material.
- AirSoap is not certified to remove COVID-19, but that’s because the virus is unavailable for testing.
- But it is certified to remove viruses from the air that are much smaller, like The Flu.
- Other filters like the OreckXL Pro have UV components, but are not yet certified to remove viruses from the air.
- A Columbia team found that UV light can disinfect particles in the air.
- The new LG PuriCare facemask uses an odd type of filter, an H13.
- H13 is a Medical-Grade HEPA standard and can catch particles smaller than COVID-19.
- Maybe there is hope for existing HEPA systems by using this type.
- Since HEPA is so prevalent, maybe there is hope for indoor businesses to reopen if they can use H13 elements.
Read on to find out the details…
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We’re All looking for things we can do to make our own environments a little safer.
And one of the things we learned in the earlier post is that with the right technology,
Scientists have figured out a way to filter air with energy.
-So successfully, their methods can kill both Flu and Coronavirus.
But those exact methods are not available to regular consumers; -yet.
So what can you do in your own space?
Get your own air-filter, but pray to God it’s actually going to work,
Instead of doing the opposite and circulating whatever particles are in the air, making it more likely you’ll breathe in a stray COVID-19 dot that’s been lingering.
So when we think about normal air filters people get, one name comes up: HEPA.
And that’s almost always good-enough. But not right now.
One of the big risks that people may be taking without knowing it, is that HEPA filters are not up to the task of stopping coronavirus.
Their rating for largest hole-size in the filter is 300 nanometers.
Covid-19 viruses measure about 120, so HEPA is not an option.
But there may be another way.
It’s not been independently-verified by a biological testing lab like the one that killed coronavirus in mid-air with UV Light,
But a company that builds phone-sanitizers may have come up with a home-filter that does work.
So AirSoap is a new filter by the company PhoneSoap, and it has several interesting properties.
The first of which is that it doesn’t use HEPA at-all.
From what the product page suggests, it works almost entirely by Electrostatic and ionizing action.
-Which, way is similar to a previous generation of air-filters from the 1990s.
Just like a lot of air purifiers, it has some fine wires with an electrical current running through them,
That puts out the kind of ions that are healthy for breathing air (negative charge).
On the opposite end, it also has a set of plates that collect all the dust & airborne-particles using the opposite charge.
The collection-plates in this one are incidentally made out of Graphene,
A fancy type of carbon that’s just been proven in a different experiment to be an excellent filter material for anti-microbial facemasks!
Especially because the warmer it gets, the faster it kills viruses.
One last stage in the filter is a small fan like the one you might find in a computer.
But because the ion-producing wires have one electric charge and the collector-plates have the opposite one,
AirSoap doesn’t need them to go as fast as regular air-filters, so it will probably be a bit quieter, too.
These two parts together form what other manufacturers have previously called a “Truman Cell Filter”.
And once the air gets past the collector plate, it goes back out into the house ~”cleaner” than it was before.
But it gets even better than that.
Because even though we said earlier that PhoneSoap’s filter is not certified to remove coronavirus from the air like the Columbia unit,
That’s only because COVID-19 is not easily available for research-purposes.
Even Columbia tested their UV filter on the earlier 2 variants of the virus, #5 and #2.
But the AirSoap story does look good because they Have tested it to find it can filter particles that are only 11% the size of a COVID virus.
And still better than that, it has also been certified to remove 99.9% of the Flu Virus from the air,
Which is again, much smaller than COVID-19.
So technically it’s not official yet, but things are looking pretty good.
One thing left off of the descriptions of the filter is very strange though.
Some previous air filters have had UV components in them.
And because PhoneSoap is primarily a company that makes UV-C sanitizers for smartphones,
It’s interesting that it does not seem to be part of this filter.
What’s more interesting is that the classic the OreckXL AirShield Pro and similar models had an electric-charge setup a lot like AirSoap,
But Did include a UV (A) stage as part of the filter.
So as long as you don’t blind yourself with it, that might be a good alternative if the AirSoap remains sold out.
It might not be the newest design on the block, but it’s also $170 cheaper.
Unfortunately, there are no test-results on whether or not it can catch & kill viruses like the ones AirSoap has,
So there is no way to know unless you have it tested at a university bio-tech lab yourself.
One more thing…
In the search for what HEPA filters can and cannot do, we found an interesting nugget.
Another company has come out with a new filter, but not one for your house.
(which seems like an actual product, unlike the increasingly-disappointing LEAF mask)
And though LG also does not claim it can catch & kill coronavirus,
There was a tiny nugget of gold buried in the specs for it.
Despite the absence of AirSoap-like claims on virus-type and particle-size that the PuriCare mask can filter,
LG says it uses something strange; something called H13.
HEPA H13, specifically.
Well, when you look that up, it turns out that it’s also called “Medical Grade HEPA“,
And it can trap 99.95% of particles that are, ::drumroll please::, 20% smaller than the COVID19 virus!
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
There is actually one more spec above HEPA H13; HEPA H14!
And it catches 99.995% of particles larger than that 100 nanometer size.
So while it is not a guarantee, there may be a good chance if you can get one in the size your existing HEPA air filter uses,
You just might be able to filter coronavirus out of the air in your own home,
And just like the UV Sanitizer post, indoor small businesses just might be able to filter out the coronavirus right from the air in their own establishments; even without a Far UV-C component.
Now that’s not as fancy as an OreckXL ProShield, or this brand-new AirSoap,
But filtering your own home air for things like viruses might be very important going-forward.
Because AirSoap or not, we still don’t know when we’ll get a COVID-19 vaccine that will make all these H13 masks & filters unnecessary.
• Source: AirSoap
• More Coverage: LG PuriCare Mask | H13 & H14: Medical Grade HEPA | EPA – Air Filters & Coronavirus
• Source Studies: ACS – Self-Reporting and Photothermally Enhanced Rapid Bacterial Killing on a Laser-Induced Graphene Mask | Harvard – HVAC & Coronavirus