Being in an enclosed car for 15+ minutes with passengers, with little air circulation, is a daunting prospect for Uber and Lyft drivers. We had senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins look into the PuraShield Mini, a tiny yet powerful air purifier that easily fits into your car and helps keep you safe while on the road.
Now more than ever, we value clean air, especially in compact spaces. If you haven’t felt comfortable getting back out there and rideshare driving because of the pandemic, I’m with you.
However, with the PuraShield Mini, my mind is starting to be put at ease. With this little device, I might just be OK with having strangers in my car on a regular basis again.
Why is it Important to Have an Air Purifier in Your Car?
We all know that there’s a pandemic going on. Some people are taking it more seriously than others – which can be alarming if you’re a driver taking it seriously, dealing with passengers who are not. Beyond what’s recommended (like mask-wearing), let’s look at the science behind why having an air purifier in your car is a good idea right now.
According to the latest research, COVID-19 is an airborne virus. Wiping down surfaces is great, but the virus has been shown to stay floating in the air on aerosol particles, which carry both viruses and bacteria. That means you want a lot of fresh air flow to move particles that become airborne out of a vehicle.
According to the CDC’s recommendation when ridesharing, “Improve the ventilation in the vehicle if possible — for example, by opening the windows or setting the air ventilation/air conditioning on non-recirculation mode.”
In many areas of the U.S. in winter (or summer either), it’s not feasible to have the windows open. And no one enjoys having the window down when driving 70 mph on the freeway.
Here are the CDC’s top recommendations for ridesharing:
- Avoid riding with unmasked drivers or passengers
- Avoid touching surfaces — including offered water bottles, magazines, etc.
- Social distance — this is difficult in a vehicle, but if able, passengers should sit as far away from the driver as possible
- Improve ventilation when possible (like with an air purifier!)
- Practice hand hygiene — use hand sanitizer and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
In order to help with the ventilation situation, consider an air purifier for your car, especially if you live in a part of the country that gets dangerously hot or cold throughout the year. Your passengers will appreciate the added measure.
This is especially important considering, “It is unknown how long the air inside a room occupied by someone with confirmed COVID-19 remains potentially infectious,” according to the CDC. Having an air purifier won’t just help you while passengers are in the car, but also long after they’re gone.
What is the PuraShield Mini?
The PuraShield Mini is an air purifier made for small spaces, such as your vehicle. This sleek, small, and portable air purifier is designed to scrub the air inside vehicles. Its manufacturer has tested the technology and says it can remove more than 99.9% of aerosols that carry viruses.
The PuraShield Mini uses a disposable 4-layer filter combined with UV light and completes 2 air changes per hour in an average-sized sedan. It is powered by USB to easily be used in vehicles.
It is compact to fit almost anywhere in your vehicle:
For more specs, check out the product bulletin.
The regular cost of the PuraShield Mini is $99.99, although for a limited time only, PuraShield is running a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale on the Mini.
You can get 40% off using the promo code: Rideshareguy40 when you use the link through our site: PuraShield Mini.
The replacement filters are $29.99 and PuraShield recommends replacing them every 6 months. You can purchase them from the PuraShield website.
Purafil, the company that produces the PuraShield Mini, has been producing these types of technically advanced products for 50 years for environments such as NASA laboratories, the Sistine Chapel, hospitals, and airports.
I’m told that the company’s other new, compact system, which is designed to scrub the air in a room, has become very popular in places like cafes, medical waiting rooms, dentists’ offices, and classrooms. These folks have a lot of experience making air safer.
Of course, as I was researching, I was intrigued. It sounded awesome and I wanted one, but I wasn’t ready to get back on the road again and neither was my husband, Adam. We got a PuraShield Mini and installed it, but just now finally got to put it into action with passengers in the vehicle.
It’s compact and can fit almost anywhere in your vehicle
It was easy to install. It comes with a grip mat that you can place on your dashboard or you can utilize the hook-and-loop strap that comes with it to attach it to the headrest or center console in your vehicle.
Adam didn’t trust the grip mat, so we went with the strap instead. We attached it to the back of the passenger-side seat, facing the backseat row and tucked the cord into the siding of the car to keep it hidden and out of the way.
The one downside, in my opinion, is it’s a little on the noisy side. I’m not really one for noticing when my car makes a noise it shouldn’t be making, but I did notice the PuraShield humming along as I drove.
Granted, with having the music on and the air conditioner running, it’s not terribly noticeable. It’s only really annoying if I have the music turned down for some reason. I’m sure eventually it’ll just turn into white noise that I won’t notice.
The first few days back on the road, Adam got several comments from his passengers about it. The first thing pretty much everyone asked was “What is this thing?”
Overall, people thought it was a pretty neat little device. However, no one expressly said they felt safer in his vehicle because of its presence.
Why Use an Air Purifier in Your Car?
But, pandemic or not, we’d still keep it in our vehicle at all times now. Not only does it help filter out airborne bacteria and viruses, it’s also made to help filter out unwanted smells such as smoke, perfume, food, etc.
I know, as a driver, I hate it when passengers reek of smoke as they get into my car. Having an air purifier helps eliminate those unwanted odors. The device is even designed to help with eliminating allergens from the air such as pollen and mold. The PuraShield Mini also claims to remove “toxic and damaging gaseous pollutants,” keeping the air in your car clean and breathable.
Although, since we technically are still in the middle of a pandemic, and no one really knows how long these vaccines are going to remain effective, it is a nice peace of mind item to have around.
While Uber and Lyft do still require masks right now, I know some drivers and passengers are going without more often than not. This is just an added layer of protection that I enjoy having around.
Readers, what do you think of an air purifier like the PuraShield Mini? Is this something you would get for your car as a rideshare driver?
-Paula @ RSG