When used correctly, air purifiers can help reduce airborne bacteria and viruses, like COVID-19 and influenza – but they aren't guaranteed protection.
Viruses spread when an infected person exhales small aerosol particles, coughs or sneezes into the air.
A good air purifier can assist by filtering most of the bacteria left behind in a room.
But it's worth noting that air purifiers aren't going to clean the entire home's air, they'll only filter the air in the room they're operating – all dependent on size.
Standards hygiene practice is still the best preventative measure against influenza and COVID-19.
Air purifiers for your home – how do they work and how much are they?
There's a variety of air purifiers designed specifically for homes, but they can also be quite pricey – some of the bigger brands start from around $1000 for a standard air purifier.
So how does $1000 of technology crammed into a plastic box keep your home's air fresh and "pure"?
In simple terms, air purifiers suck air into the machine's filters to remove particles, such as dust, pet hair, smoke, bad odours, bacteria, viruses and more, before releasing clean air back into the room.
These air purifiers suck in hundreds of cubic metres (m3/h) of air each hour, filtering it through the machine and blowing "purified air" it back out into the room.
Most air filters work in the same way, but what you're really paying for is filtration quality.
There are multiple filters inside the unit to make sure nothing is getting past, most of these filters can be replaced or cleaned.
The main filtering component used to fight bacteria and viruses is known as the HEPA filter, or "high-efficiency particulate air" filter.
No home air purifiers with HEPA filters claim to be 100 per cent effective, the majority of HEPA filters are able to stop particles no smaller than 0.3μm, which equates to 300 nanometres.
For some added perspective, a nanometre is about one billionth of a metre, and your standard coronavirus particle is about 100 nanometres.
Particles can remain airborne for hours at a time, so utilising an air purifier with a HEPA filter can greatly help to capture any lingering sneezes or coughs.
Wearable air purifiers – what are they?
Wearable air purifiers are an entirely new concept, recently introduced by vacuuming leaders Dyson.
It's certainly an interesting piece of technology, and not something you'd expect from a company like Dyson, but they did it anyway.
Dyson says six years and 500 prototypes later, they're finally ready to show the world their latest technological advancement.
As for the design, Dyson says they've taken inspiration from a horse's saddle.
Despite the air-purifying attachment being a major part of the design, it is detachable and Dyson says you can just use the Dyson Zone as normal headphones.
How does the wearable air purifier work?
Compressors in the earcups draw air through layered filters and project two streams of purified air to the wearer's nose and mouth, all of this is channelled through the non-contact visor.
The visor ensures purified airflow is kept near to the nose and mouth and Dyson says this makes sure the air is diluted as little as possible by the wind.
The device has four air purification modes: low, medium, high, and auto, which is able to sync with the user's breathing.
Dyson hasn't confirmed how much something like this costs just yet, but we can imagine it'll be considered a premium product.