If you are shopping for a new air purifier, you may be asking yourself one question. Does an air purifier help the flu and related health ailments? Don’t worry. We have some answers, and you can learn more from our best air purifier buying guide.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Air purifiers can help with the flu, as HEPA filters will trap bacteria and virus particles before you ingest them.
  • Once you get the flu, an air purifier can help lessen your overall symptoms.
  • To prevent catching the flu, run your air purifier at its lowest setting continuously.

Does an Air Purifier Help With the Flu?

Air purifiers operate by pulling in the surrounding air, filtering it, and then releasing it back into your local atmosphere. In other words, a good air purifier can help prevent catching the flu if viral particles are floating around your living area. These particles could be pulled into the purifier’s filter and captured or eliminated. If you are choosing an air purifier based on its efficacy to capture viral particles, go for a purifier that is equipped with a genuine HEPA filter.

Additionally, you’ll want to ensure you know how to troubleshoot common air purifier problems in order to keep your machine running.

Insider Tip

A good air purifier can help prevent catching the flu if viral particles are floating around your living area.

Tips to Prevent Catching the Flu

Once you have caught the flu, an air purifier can help ease symptoms by keeping the air pure and filtered. If you are looking to prevent catching the disease in the first place, here are some tips.

Have an Air Purifier Going Continuously

As previously mentioned, a good air purifier will pull in bacteria and virus particles that have attached themselves to pet dander, dust, and other minuscule items floating in the air. Keep your air purifier going at all times on its lowest setting to maximize the number of bacteria and viral particles it can draw in. No air purifier can offer 100 percent protection against the flu virus, but you can get close by. Always ensure that your air purifier is cleaned regularly.

Keep a Humidifier Going

In addition to an air purifier, you should think about purchasing and running a high-quality humidifier. Run this humidifier often enough that the humidity in your room stays at around 30 to 50 percent. This will keep your respiratory system operating at maximum efficiency, which could help your body fight off the flu virus. Additionally, if you catch the flu or a related disease, running a humidifier can help reduce the severity of symptoms.

Insider Tip

If you are choosing an air purifier based on its efficacy to capture viral particles, go for a purifier that is equipped with a genuine HEPA filter.

Disinfect Surfaces

An air purifier and a humidifier will get the air covered, but you should still clean and disinfect surfaces in your room to kill flu virus particles at the point of contact. We recommend using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol solution and a clean microfiber cloth to complete this process. Take your time cleaning each surface until you are satisfied. Try to complete this process every two weeks or so, though use your best judgment.

HEPA Vacuums

If you really want to eliminate the flu virus from your home, you will also have to consider your floors and carpets. We strongly recommend purchasing and using a vacuum that has been equipped with a true HEPA filter. This will be the same filter, more or less, that is found in your air purifier. As you vacuum, this filter will trap any potentially harmful virus or bacteria particles. Just as with surface cleaning, try to complete this vacuuming task every two weeks or so.

Wear a Mask

There is a reason medical-grade masks have become so popular in recent years. They do a great job at protecting people from dangerous viruses and bacteria particles. Some masks may not reduce the number of airborne particles you are ingesting, but they will significantly reduce the number of times you touch your face. Diseases are more often transferred via touch than through any other method.

Eat Healthfully

Preventing the flu can be as simple as eating healthfully. Eating a healthy diet can help increase the efficacy of your immune system, allowing your body to fight off the flu. Try to cut down on processed food, caffeine, fried food, and other unhealthy ingredients.

Warning

No air purifier can offer 100 percent protection against the flu virus, but you can get close by.

Sleep Right

Getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important when it comes to aiding the body’s immune system. We recommend shooting for a solid six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. You may need to reduce your screen time several hours before bed.

F.A.Q.

How do HEPA filters protect against Covid-19 and other viruses?

It’s simple really. HEPA filters capture the virus particles and trap them. Though COVID-19 and related particles are smaller than what a HEPA filter can capture, they will typically attach themselves to larger particles, such as dust or dander.


Do air purifiers really work?

Yes, they really work to purify and freshen the air. These air purifiers are not a guarantee against catching the flu and related diseases, however, though they can help.


Can an air purifier help with the flu, congestion, or a dry cough?

An air purifier can help you from catching the flu. Once you have the flu or a cold, it can still help alleviate or lessen symptoms. So yes, it can help with congestion and a dry cough, though they are not miracle workers.



STAT: A review of nearly 40 peer-reviewed studies conducted over the last decades shows that homes kept at 40-60% relative humidity are likely to have fewer flu viruses lingering in the air and on surfaces like sink faucets, door handles, and countertops. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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