What type of air filter is best to capture Covid-19?
When searching for a filter that best captures airborne particles, we suggest a return filter that is rated MERV 13. Ideal for families, the MERV 13 can remove sneeze mist, tobacco smoke, bacteria, some virus droplets, pet dander and face power. The MERV 13 pleated air filters also provide relief from allergies, dust, pollen, cough mist, and candle soot.
It should be noted, if you are in search for something better than a MERV 13, we suggest a MERV 16 filter and High Efficiency Particulate Air unit or HEPA unit. These units will capture most individual virus particles. However, these specialized high-performance filters are designed for medical, high purity applications, and are usually not compatible with home and office HVAC systems. Check your owner’s manual for advice about the highest MERV rating or percent efficiency that is suitable for your unit.
What are MERV Ratings? How can I compare filters for Covid-19?
MERV ratings are determined in a standard laboratory test measuring how well air filters capture and hold airborne particles of a wide range of sizes. Dust, soot, pollen, smoke, and pet and human dander are a few of the types of particulate pollutants that may be found in indoor air. These particles can range in size from less than 1 micron (or millionth of a meter) to more than 10 microns. Simply put, MERV ratings are determined by what comes out compared to what went into the filter during standardized testing.
When looking for a filter best for your home, look for the efficiency percentage rating that is in the 0.1 to 0.3 range, a higher percentage will filter more.
Do you have replacement filters for DIY fabric face masks?
Yes! Our disposable MERV 15 (95% efficient) polypropylene filter inserts help protect you from sneeze and cough droplets. These are best suitable for washable fabric pocket face masks; these filter inserts are not a substitute for N95. Fabric masks are not included, and the filter media is not washable. To learn more, visit our shop.
Can I purchase a 1" residential HEPA filter?
This is uncommon and generally not recommended. A true medical grade HEPA would restrict the airflow far too much for a home air return. Instead, look for a return filter rated MERV 13 - this will capture microscopic sneeze and cough mist (in addition to everyday allergens and bacteria). If you want medical-grade air filtration in your home to protect vulnerable family members, you may want to consider an Austin Air HEPA air purifier.
Can I make face mask filters out of pleated filters?
We don't recommend this. The handling will damage the media and leave tiny holes and weak spots.
MERV 13 filters will provide some protection against airborne sneeze mist, and dust. Do not steam, iron, spray, or otherwise treat the filter media! This will remove the electrostatic charge, which is important for capturing small charged particles like viruses.
Are your offices open during Covid-19?
Our offices are open to employees only. However, we are more than happy to assist you over the phone. Our phone number is (919) 785-9881. We are open Monday through Friday 7:00am - 4:30pm. We also offer curbside assistance, conveniently placing packages into your vehicle.