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Harvard School of Public Health Offers Expert Advice on the Use of Portable Air Cleaners

Source: Jones et al., 2020. Schools for Health: Risk Reduction Strategies for Reopening Schools. Harvard
Healthy Buildings Program.

The Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recently published an article that provides a multi-layer strategy to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 through the use of portable air purifiers in public buildings.

According to their experts, the first steps in preventing the airborne spread of the virus are to outfit the building’s ventilation system with filters that can screen out the virus and to open windows, which can provide a supply of fresh, virus-free outside air. A final step would be to use a portable HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) air purifier to remove virus particles from the air.


Portable air cleaners and HVAC filters can reduce indoor air pollutants that are airborne including viruses. By themselves, portable air cleaners and HVAC filters are not enough to protect people from the virus that causes COVID-19. When used along with other best practices recommended by CDC and others, filtration can be part of a plan to protect people indoors.

Phoenix Plays a part in the VIRUS Reduction StrategY

Portable Air Cleaners (PAC’s), such as Phoenix Guardian and Phoenix Guardian R air scrubbers with HEPA filtration help protect occupants and employees from harmful airborne pathogens. In addition to reducing pathogens, standalone air scrubbers serve as a visual cue that the air is being cleaned. Occupants feel more at ease knowing that steps have been taken to reduce pathogens from the air with standalone air scrubbers.


Our team has collaborated with the innovators at Purafil, the leading global provider of molecular air filtration, to develop the Guardian R500 Antimicrobial Filter, an enhanced filtration accessory designed for use exclusively with the Phoenix Guardian R500 HEPA. In addition to HEPA performance, the Patented antimicrobial filter media destroys up to 99.49% of target viruses and bacteria (using oxidation), while removing toxic and harmful gases from the air.

Phoenix Guardian R500 HEPA units and their antimicrobial filters are currently being used in hospital settings as negative air machines working to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. These same filters are being used in our plant to help protect our front-line workers. 

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Controlling airborne contaminants, including the virus that causes COVID-19, at their sources is a key strategy to protect indoor air quality…In cases where ventilation and in-duct filtration do not provide sufficient clean air, PACs can be used.