PHILIPS unveiled two indoor air filters equipped to remove 99.97% of particles as small as 3 nanometers. The US National Center for Biotechnology Information estimates the size of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), to be between 0.07 μm to 0.09 μm, or 70–90 nanometers.
“Aerosols can hang around in the air for hours. Portable air filters can be an important element in fighting COVID-19,” said Nicolas Lee, vice-president of Philips Domestic Appliances in Asia Pacific, in a Sept. 27 press conference. “Our new air purifiers take out pollutants, including but not limited to viruses, bacteria, allergens, dust, smoke, and pet dander.”
Infectious aerosols are suspensions of disease-causing pathogens in air particles. According to a July 2020 study published in The Lancet, particles that are 5 μm (5000 nanometers) or smaller can remain airborne indefinitely under most indoor conditions unless there is removal due to air currents or dilution ventilation.
The Philips 800 Series Air Purifier (AC0820/10) and Philips 2000i Series Air Purifier (AC2936/13) have multi-layered NanoProtect HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters that combine mechanical and electrostatic filtration to capture both large and small air particles. This, the company says, allows for increased air purification speed and lower energy consumption.
Both are intended for home use, with the former purifying the air rooms up to 49 square meters in under 16 minutes, and the latter purifying the air in rooms up to 98 square meters in less than 8 minutes.
“They’re pretty low-maintenance products,” Mr. Lee said. “It sits in the room, does its thing, and you don’t have to think about it very much.”
Larger particles such as pet dander, he added, can be vacuumed away in the filter. The device will signal when the filter needs to be replaced, usually every two or three years.
“We recommend the air purifier not to be pushed up against a wall or in a corner,” Mr. Lee said. “Give it some space to breathe.”
Air pollution caused tens of thousands of deaths in the world’s five most populous cities in 2020 despite coronavirus lockdowns, according to environmental campaign group Greenpeace Southeast Asia and air quality technology company IQAir.
“What better investment is there than breathing healthy air at home?” Mr. Lee said. “This pandemic triggered a particular interest… and created a greater awareness of how to make your home a healthier place.”