We know the decision to return to school takes thought and planning.
At Oransi, we aim to be a transparent partner in this process so you can be confident in the decision to return to the classroom.
When it comes to air quality, the problem we're solving is one we can't see. And that means there's room for confusion about if they work, how they work, and what it all means.
We’ve helped many schools and are here to help cut through the jargon so you can be confident that you're making the right decision around your school's air quality needs.
You're busy with IEPs, EOGs, and PLCs. So when it comes to air purifiers, let's keep it simple.
If your goal is breathing reliably clean air, focus on what matters — moving all the air in your space through the right kind of filter.
Virus particles can hang in the air for up to three hours, so ventilation and filtration of indoor air is key to slowing its spread.
A high quality air purifier is a strong line of defense because the right one can clean indoor air through a filter designed to capture small virus particles, circulating the air in your space.
What's the right air purifier for a school?
There are many different ways to measure an air purifier's performance. The basic principle is quite simple.
To start, define the square footage of air you need to clean. You'll want the purifier to handle that size room so that all of your air gets cleaned. Air purifiers will tell you the maximum square footage they're designed to handle, so look for one that covers your space.
Then, look for a filter that can handle the particle size you're trying to clean from the air. Coronavirus particles that cause COVID are measured at around 0.125 microns, so look for filters that can capture that particle size.
Common Questions about Air Purifiers
How do you know if an air purifier is cleaning the air?
A purifier can only clean the air that meets, filters through, and then passes back out the filter inside. So to measure overall air flow, air purifiers are tested to a standard called CADR or Clean Air Delivery Rate.
If all the air in your room isn't meeting the filter, then it doesn't matter how strong the filter is. So be first things first, be sure the CADR is strong enough to let the filter get the job done.
If you want to jump into the technical details, you can learn more in our Air Purifier A–Z Guide here. Generally speaking, the higher the CADR, the larger the room you can clean.
Harvard and University Colorado Boulder have partnered to release an interactive Air Cleaner Calculator for Schools that can help calculate your school's needs. It's packed with information and our air quality experts are a phone call away if you need help navigating it.
Do you need HEPA or True HEPA filters?
Used in hospitals to protect patients and staff, HEPA (or High Efficiency Air Particulate) filtration is a type of mechanical filtration designed to capture the smallest particles in the air like dust, bacteria, and even viruses.
Some brands will use the term TRUE HEPA instead of HEPA as a way to highlight the filtration type. There's actually no regulated difference here. Instead, it's used to stand out from filters listed as HEPA-like, HEPA-type, or something branded like "BRAND15 Filtration." Proceed with caution if its description is lacking transparency here.
While HEPA or True HEPA filtration is important, it often doesn't reflect the performance of the filter. You can determine this with the MERV rating.
What's MERV mean and what MERV rating should schools look for?
The MERV ratings scale in our opinion is a better way to compare True HEPA filters. MERV rating indicates filter efficiency.
It's yet another acronym that indicates how well the air purifier performs. MERV refers to the percentage of particles the filter removes from the air based on the size of the particle.
Ratings range from 1–18 and the higher the number, the more it will filter from the air overall and the better it will perform with smaller particles.
So how do you know the filter can capture virus particles?
Lab testing has started to see how air purifiers perform with coronavirus, but the testing has not been done extensively yet.
What we do know is that mechanical filters like HEPA filters work by capturing particles of a certain size in their pleated mesh filters. MERV will indicate just what size particle the filter can capture.
Oransi's mod air purifier is rated MERV17 which means it's lab tested to remove 99.4% of particles at 0.10 microns. COVID is around 0.125 microns where the removal rate is 99.6% with each air pass.
If you're looking for more resources, check out our guide to check out our How To Choose a HEPA Filter for a Classroom or Dental Office Guide.