How clean is the air on airplanes? A lot cleaner than you think!
Posted on 20th September 2021 at 17:39
Since the start of Covid, travel on aircraft has become a bit scary - but it shouldn't be. Here's why!
For many, what puts people off traveling since Covid, is the belief that aircraft air is a breeding ground for all sorts of nasties - especially Covid19. But the reality is, you are actually in very clean air.
Modern airplanes have cabin air filtration systems equipped with HEPA filters.
HEPA or high efficiency particulate air filters have similar performance to those used to keep the air clean in
hospital operating rooms and industrial clean rooms.
These filters are very effective at trapping microscopic particles as small as bacteria and viruses.
HEPA filters are effective at capturing greater than 99 percent of the airborne microbes in the filtered air.
Filtered, recirculated air provides higher cabin humidity levels and lower particulate levels than 100% outside air systems.
The cabin air system is designed to operate most efficiently by delivering approximately 50 percent outside air
and 50 percent filtered, recirculated air.
This normally provides between 15 to 20 cubic feet of total air supply per minute per person in economy class.
The total air supply is essentially sterile and particle-free.
Cabin air circulation is continuous. Air is always flowing into and out of the cabin. Total airflow to the cabin is
supplied at a bulk flow rate equivalent to 20 to 30 air changes per hour. This provides temperature control and
minimizes temperature gradients within the cabin.
These air filters remove very small particles such as bacteria and viruses.
Virtually all viruses and bacteria are removed; even the most difficult particles in the range of 0.1 to 0.3 micron are filtered out with an efficiency level of of 99.995%.
So, contrary to popular belief, you are probably in cleaner air than in a supermarket or in the office.
Tagged as: Air on the aircraft
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