7. Air cleaning and filtration units

You can use local air cleaning and filtration units to reduce airborne transmission of aerosols where it is not possible to maintain adequate ventilation.

These units are not a substitute for ventilation. You should prioritise any areas identified as poorly ventilated for improvement in other ways before you think about using an air cleaning device.

If you decide to use an air cleaning unit, the most suitable types to use are:

  • high-efficiency filters
  • ultraviolet-based devices.

Any unit should be appropriate for the size of the area they’re used in to ensure they work in the way they are intended to.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) detectors are not suitable for use in areas that rely on air cleaning units. This is because filtration units remove contaminants (such as coronavirus) from the air but do not remove CO2.

Air cleaning devices are also used to disinfect workplaces and there is HSE guidance on disinfecting using fog, mist and other systems during the pandemic.

This page is reviewed regularly and updated to reflect any changes in the guidance.

Page last reviewed: 30 April 2021

Next review due: 31 May 2021

Updated 2021-04-20