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Air purifiers are hot ticket items but do they fight the coronavirus?

Some stores have been having trouble keeping them in stock.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Some people are investing in air purifiers amid concerns over the coronavirus causing some stores are having a hard time keeping them in stock.

"They will take mold, germs, and allergens out of your indoor living environment," Mark Mongon said. He is an environmental project scientist and owns TCB EnviroCorp in St. Johns County.

They range in size from small desktop-sized ones to larger ones that you can place on the floor.

While Mongon said air purifiers are simple ways to clean the air, they may not be so great when it comes to pulling viruses out of the air.

"To the best of my knowledge, there is no air filtration that you can put in an indoor environment that will take out viruses," he said.

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Some companies claim their purifiers clean for viruses, but the answer remains unclear when it comes to the coronavirus. Currently, there is some debate about if air purifiers can remove some kind of virus particles out of the air. What is clear: a simple air purifier in your home is not the first line of defense for COVID-19. 

Still, more people are in their homes right now, and they seem to be searching for ways to have a cleaner indoor environment. So many air purifiers are out of stock at stores such as Home Depot.  

"I went to Costco the other day and they had them right there in front of the door as you go in," Mongon said. "They’ve had pallets upon pallets of them, and three-fourth of them were gone." 

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He added that they're not usually items people buy a lot of, even during allergy season.   

"Listen, I get called into houses a lot," Mongon said. "Most people don’t even have them or know about them."

He said if you get an air purifier, try to put it as close to the air conditioner return system as possible. That’s where you have the air filters you routinely change out. The air purifier will "filter the air as it goes through the system."

Air purifiers can be less than $100 and a standard one is a few hundred bucks. But again, it’s probably not going to fight the coronavirus for you. Washing your hands and social distancing will.

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