Air Quality and Mask Mandates
Indoor mask mandates are being lifted across the United States. And while some experts say it’s too soon, the pandemic fatigue has clearly hit us all hard. We’re ready for a change. Unsurprisingly, with over two years of COVID dominating our lives and our news, we’re ready to move on in 2022.
While some of us might feel ready to remove our masks, it looks like COVID may be here to stay. New variants of concern are popping up in Maine and could potentially be more contagious than Omicron. Experts have long guessed that COVID could become endemic like the flu, which is looking more and more likely.
It’s clear that indoor air quality cleaning methods like air purifiers will become central to minimizing risk when the masks come off.
To Mask or Not to Mask
It’s gross, but in close quarters, sharing air is like sharing food. That’s because we pass germs through the air like we pass germs through our saliva.
In fact, it’s like sharing 1 to 5% of your food.
So while hopefully strangers aren’t slurping your soup or taking bites of your bagel, sharing air with others is impossible to avoid. (Believe us, we tried. Quarantining for two plus years is hard).
With mask mandates lifted, it’s even more of a personal choice to wear a mask when out in public. Each person’s comfort level and level of risk is different, but there are still many who are uncomfortable with potentially exposing themselves and their loved ones by not wearing a mask.
It’s also important to remember that a large swath of the U.S. population — 23.6 million children aged 0 to 5 — isn’t eligible to receive the vaccine.
Whether you keep your mask on or jump at the chance to remove it, there are effective methods for cleaning the air that don’t rely on the individual. And these can be beneficial for all forms of indoor air contamination.
Stopping the Spread
With mask mandates lifting, maintaining healthy indoor air quality is becoming even more important to stopping the spread of COVID. And air purifiers are a key method for keeping the air clean.
Masked or not, they quietly work in any space to add ventilation and filter out airborne contaminants like viruses, bacteria, mold, and allergens.
If we ever get to put COVID in our past and move on, air purifiers will continue to do important work keeping your space healthy and clean from other germs and pollutants.
The technology is simple, a great air purifier only needs a strong enough motor to pull the air for the size of your space and a filter that can remove the smallest of contaminating particles. Certain devices, like the mod and mod jr., have medical-grade True HEPA filters that can filter the smallest virus-sized particles from the air. With strong motors that work for extra large rooms, they’re ideal for open-plan houses, open offices, and large classrooms.
Choosing the Right Air Purifier
When looking for air purifiers, it’s important to remember that not all units rely on the same technology to get the job done. There isn’t consistent regulation for air purifiers, so many can contain proprietary filter technology with bold, but unscientific claims. Others still may have technology that’s known to be harmful.
For example, air purifiers with ionizers or ozone generators release harmful ozone into your indoor air as a byproduct. While ozone is good in the atmosphere, ground-level ozone is a harmful air pollutant. Instead, look for carbon-activated and HEPA filters with a clear MERV rating. The higher the rating, the better the filter.