The average person spends 90% of their time indoors, making the importance of clean air crucial to health and wellness. Today, with the threat of COVID-19 lurking in the air, it’s doubly important that indoor air is continuously treated to remove contaminants.

The more we learn about virus transmission, specifically that of coronavirus, the more we realize how important air hygiene is. In fact, the Center for Active Design lists “filter indoor air” as one of its top five ways to optimize buildings for COVID-19 prevention. 

Portable air purifiers provide businesses with a multitude of units, sizes, and filtration options, giving customers peace of mind knowing their safety and hygiene needs are being met. Here’s what to take into account to ensure you get the best air hygiene solution for maximum protection. Choose purifiers with these six crucial features.

1. Medical-grade filters


When operating at their full potential, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can remove over 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. These filters – referred to as True HEPA, HEPA 13 or medical grade – remove dust, vapors, bacteria, viruses, mold and fungi. Research suggests that, under certain conditions, using recirculated air with True HEPA filters reduces particulate concentration for indoor air similar to dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS). DOAS filter and dehumidify outside air for circulation inside a building.

“In the built environment, there is often no ability to bring in fresh air or renew surfaces. In a contained space, without any form of removal, this pollution builds and increases as people move and transfer dander, dust and dirt. Medical grade filters, such as HEPA 13, act as an effective physical trap to prevent the build-up of harmful particles in the air and help to reduce the likelihood of them settling on surfaces.”

-Dr. Gail Aitken, FRSPH Head of Consumable Product Development, Rentokil Initial

2. Serviced solutions


Though you might think placing a few air purifiers around your facility will help improve air quality, doing that alone isn’t enough. According to the International WELL Buildings Institute, filter maintenance is a critical step in ensuring proper air filtration. With regular service by experts, you don’t have to worry about air filter replacement or safe disposal. However, the reverse can have detrimental effects. Poor maintenance of filters has been associated with symptoms such as skin and throat irritation, dry eyes, fatigue, headaches and even Legionnaires’ disease. Select purifiers that provide an ongoing service for greater safety and protection.

“Filters will trap and remove particles from the air, which can include viruses and bacteria, so it’s vital that air purification filters are cleaned regularly and safely by fully trained technicians so any dangerous built-up material can be handled and disposed of correctly.”

-Andrew Leaf, New Technologies Assessment Manager, Rentokil Initial

3. High clean air delivery rate (CADR)


Clean air delivery rate (CADR) is a standard defined by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) that measures how well a unit removes the concentration of particles of a given size, or more simply, how fast it cleans the air in a certain sized room. The higher CADR an air filtration system has, the greater its ability to filter air in a room. To put things in perspective, a unit with a CADR of 20,000 ft3/h is faster than one with 14,000 ft3/h. The size of the room will affect the efficiency of a unit. Our expert technicians can advise on the right number of units, based on the size of your space, and the best locations for the devices, based on the natural airflow and ventilation in your building.

Regardless of whether or not there’s a mechanical ventilation system present in a building, portable air purifiers can be strategically positioned across workspaces to clean ‘local’ air with maximum effectiveness and efficiency. Hotspots include open-plan areas and meeting rooms where occupants remain stationary for long periods of time.

“Air purifiers are an important supplement to HVAC systems to deliver air hygiene. They’re targeted to work on what’s generated in the environment, such as the dust from floors, coughs, sneezes and respiratory droplets from people in a specific area – not the air coming in. HVAC systems are not effective at picking up and filtering what’s generated in the environment. The strongest line of defense, therefore, is a filtered HVAC system and air purifiers for local air.”

-Andrew Leaf, New Technologies Assessment Manager, Rentokil Initial

4. Clear displays of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)


Real-time Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) monitoring displays provide visual cues that offer additional reassurance to building occupants. In a recent Rentokil Initial survey, 41% of respondents said they would feel reassured if they had information available on the quality of air in their working environment. IAQ monitors with clear, real-time displays also demonstrate to staff that the business considers their health, safety and well-being a priority by continuously monitoring their indoor air.

5. Cost-effectiveness

coffee machine

Purchasing air purifiers may seem like the most cost-efficient method of adding air purification to your space. Doing so front-loads a majority of the cost; however, leased models actually offer better overall cost efficiency. With a reduced initial outlay and filter servicing costs that are included, a serviced rental contract can be run and hired for as little as the price of a cappuccino per day – with the added benefit of the expertise of the service company.

6. Sound and decibels


The best air purifier is one that you don’t realize is there. To avoid noise disruptions, it’s important to identify air purification units that produce sound under 55 decibels. To put things in perspective, think about the noise made by a household refrigerator. That sound registers at about 55 decibels.