Air Purifier Guide for Schools: COVID-19 Protection

The potentially devastating effects of learning loss for millions of students is a serious risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. With this in mind, many schools are looking for strategies to protect students in classrooms and around the school from COVID-19.

The Harvard Schools for Health is a useful report that provides practical tips for protecting children in schools and classrooms from COVID-19. It includes a section on portable air purifiers for schools, however it does not go into detail much detail.

This “Air Purifiers for Schools” article fills in those gaps, and provides answers on how best to protect students in the classroom, and how schools can select the best air purifier for their environment.


1. Which Air Purifier Should Schools Choose for School Classrooms?

HEPA filter air purifiers are highly effective at filtering out particles the same size as the coronavirus. HEPA filter air purifiers, therefore, are the recommended choice for portable air purifiers in schools and classrooms.

Air purifiers with extra add-ons such as UV-lights and ionizers are not recommended for schools or classrooms. These add-ons increase cost, and may pose as an additional health risk for students or teachers when operating in school classrooms.

2. Are Medical Grade Air Purifiers Required For Schools?

No. Turns out, medical grade air purifiers are more often than not a marketing gimmick. HEPA filter air purifiers can filter viruses.

3. How to Choose the Best Air Purifier Model for Your Classroom Size

An air purifier’s CADR rating can be used to match an air purifier for a classroom’s size. Schools should aim for a minimum air exchange rate of 5-6 across all classrooms. CADR rating, given in cubic feet per minute or cubic meters per hour,  should equal to or greater than five times the volume of the school classroom.

An example:

The Smart Air Blast Mini air purifier has a CADR rating of 585 cubic meters per hour or 345cfm. For a standard classroom with a ceiling height of 8ft and floor area of 400sqft, the Blast air purifier would provide an air exchange rate of 6.5 air changes per hour.

To find the right CADR for you, use this Air Purifier Calculator for Schools


How Smart Air Protects Students & Teachers in Schools

Smart Air is a certified B Corp and social enterprise committed to protecting students and air breathers in schools and classrooms. Smart Air’s no-nonsense Blast & Blast Mini air purifiers are being used by schools all across the globe.  A few schools include the University of Chicago and the American Embassy School. Smart Air’s purifiers remove the same particles as the big companies for a fraction of the cost.

The Sqair being used at an international school in Thailand. Two Sqairs are recommended for the average sized classroom to provide optimal air flow.

Smart Air’s powerful Blast air purifier has a high airflow and can clean classrooms and school halls up to 130 sqm (1400 sqft) in size. When run on low, it’s quiet mode can clean classrooms up to 60 sqm (650 sqft) without disturbing classroom lessons.

Written by Michael Cole

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