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AHAM Publishes First Standard to Measure Room Air Cleaner Ability to Remove Viruses and Bacteria from Indoor Air

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 28, 2022) 
–  The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has finalized a performance test standard that will provide appliance manufacturers with a consistent way to test the effectiveness of portable room air cleaners’ ability to remove microbiological pollutants including viruses, bacteria and mold.

The new standard, AHAM-AC-5-2022, measures the rate at which an air cleaner reduces aerosolized bacteriophages that mimic many common illness-causing viruses, including COVID-19. While no air cleaner removes all pollutants (microbiological or otherwise), AC-5 will provides a uniform method to assess the rate at which different air cleaner models remove microbiological pollutants from rooms of a given size. AHAM AC-5 is the first air cleaner performance standard to focus on microbiological pollutants and was developed over the course of 18 months by a committee of public health professionals, academic researchers and leading appliance manufacturers.

Room air cleaners have long been used to improve indoor air quality by reducing allergens and pollutants, and the COVID-19 pandemic sparked interest among consumers in utilizing room air cleaners as a tool to reduce the likelihood of virus transmission. AHAM AC-5 was developed in response to that interest.

AHAM administers the AHAM Verifide® air cleaner certification program, which independently tests air cleaners’ ability to reduce tobacco smoke, dust and pollen, and provides each unit with a certified Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). Models tested under AC-5 and certified by AHAM will eventually be assigned an m-CADR rating for the ability to remove microbiological pollutants. AHAM is currently working to bring this test into the AHAM Verifide® program.

“When consumers began turning to air cleaners to create a healthier home environment during the pandemic, AHAM assembled a team of credible experts to develop a testing protocol to provide manufacturers and consumers with certainty regarding an air cleaner’s ability to filter viruses and bacteria,” said AHAM President and CEO Joe McGuire. “AHAM AC-5-2022 is a groundbreaking standard that builds on the trust AHAM has earned over decades of testing and independent verification conducted through the AHAM Verifide® program.”

AHAM-AC-5 is now available on AHAM’s website along with a supplemental guide on air cleaners and microbial decontamination. The standard will be submitted to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for acceptance as a national consensus standard. As with all AHAM standards, AC-5 will be reviewed and revised regularly by a committee of experts to ensure it reflects ongoing innovation.
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The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is the trade association representing manufacturers of major, portable and floor care home appliances and suppliers to the industry. AHAM is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and maintains an office in Ottawa. AHAM is the single voice providing the home appliance industry and its customers leadership, advocacy and a forum for action — developing and implementing credible solutions for public policy, standards and business decisions. You can visit AHAM’s web site at or follow us on Twitter @AHAM_Voice and @AHAM_Policy.