Students Using QT3 Portable HEPA Air Purifier in Schools

The Smart Air team is all about open data – not only do we run independent tests, but we also run real-life tests! Recently, a UK customer shared her experience of purchasing a QT3 portable air purifier for her clinically vulnerable son to use at his school.

QT3 portable HEPA air purifier in schools

The response was staggering – 300,000 views in 48 hours, 3000+ likes, and 1000+ retweets/quote tweets. It was a candid tweet that resonated with a lot of people. Nothing beats real-life experience so, with her permission, we have reproduced the text here and included a link to the tweet at the end.

QT3 portable HEPA air purifier in schools
QT3 portable air purifier – Photos and text by CC78 (@CC14_CC14)

My son (who is clinically vulnerable) has been using his personal air purifier in the classroom for a few weeks now, so I thought I’d post a little thread ? on how it’s going in case it helps others…

Firstly, why did we go for a personal purifier rather than a larger classroom purifier? The school was happy for us to have either, but the larger purifier would have to remain in just one classroom as it’s too big/heavy to lug around.

The issue is, now he’s older, he moves around to specialist classrooms for most subjects, so having a purifier in one room wouldn’t protect him. And the school wouldn’t support having purifiers in every classroom as they say they’re already meeting DfE ventilation guidelines.

We came to the conclusion that a personal purifier that could be carried around the school was the best option for my son. Now I had to research which purifier to get… there are soooo many options out there, but many of the reviews are not particularly glowing.

My requirements were:

  • needs to be small/light enough to carry in a backpack
  • needs to be battery operated
  • needs a decent CADR
  • needs to blow air forwards toward my son’s face (not straight upwards) when it is sitting on a desk
  • ideally should be HEPA H13

After much research of the options, I finally settled on the Smart Air QT3 purifier. This one ticked almost all the boxes on my list, except I was initially a bit concerned that the filter is only H11 grade (not H13)…

However, I was reassured by both the manufacturers and a few independent experts who helpfully weighed in on the discussion that this was actually a good thing as it provides a higher clean air delivery rate overall…

More here:

…and here:

The next issue was battery life. The QT3 has an internal battery that can run for ~3 hours on medium setting. But that’s not long enough to last the whole school day. Luckily, it charges through a USB-C cable so I started looking at power banks to extend the battery life.

I also discovered that the QT3 has a convenient little compartment in the top, supposedly for storing the charging cable/plug. Annoyingly the UK 3-pin plug doesn’t fit – however, this would be the perfect place to store a power bank, if I could find one small enough to fit!

A quick search on Amazon revealed that there are few mini power banks that just might fit. I opted for this tiny T-Core (10,000mAh) one:

Next, we filed a small hole in the lid of the little compartment so that the cable could run from the purifier’s USB-C charging port and connect to the power bank while it’s hidden away. This works perfectly – and now both can be carried around as a single item.

QT3 portable HEPA air purifier in schools
QT3 portable HEPA air purifier in schools

Every night, I charge up the power bank and my son just pops it into his school backpack in the morning. Once he arrives at a classroom for his lesson, he whips it out and pops it on his desk in front of him, along with his pencil case and books.

QT3 portable HEPA air purifier in schools
QT3 portable HEPA air purifier in schools

He makes sure the adjustable blades are angled just right so the air is blowing directly in his face, providing a little bubble of clean air around him as he works.

Most of the time, he has the purifier on the medium fan setting (level 2), which is super quiet but still seems to deliver a reasonable stream of clean air.

However, if there’s a sick kid in class (which is quite likely as children in the UK are no longer encouraged to test if they have COVID symptoms and can still attend school unless they have a raging fever), then he’ll crank it up to the higher setting.

I truly hope that one day there will be full-size air purifiers in every classroom across the UK. Clean air should be a right, not a privilege, for ALL children. It seems like such a simple, cost-effective, unobtrusive solution to mitigate the risk of transmission of airborne viruses, as well as providing a host of other benefits (eg. reduction in air pollution, pollen, and other allergens).

I’m hopeful that things may change one day soon – but, in the meantime, I’m just one mum doing what I can to protect my kid.

CC78 on Twitter

Huge thanks to CC78 for an amazing tweet. If you want to view or take part in this conversation or read other responses, hop on over to this tweet.

Interested in portable clean air?

Checkout the light, travel-friendly QT3, now available worldwide.

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