We spend a lot of our time indoors. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that 90% of our time is spent indoors. Keeping this in mind, the EPA has also determined that your indoor air can be three to five times more polluted than your outdoor air.
This is because our homes are tightly sealed to increase energy efficiency. While this is good for your heating and cooling costs, it is not as good if you belong to the 40% of the population with respiratory allergies.
If there is insufficient external ventilation, contaminants such as dust and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may be trapped in your house. As a result, these contaminants can irritate your allergies.
You can improve indoor air quality with clean air and regular dusting and vacuuming. However, if you still have symptoms in your home, an air purifier can help.
Although it cannot remove contaminants that have fallen on your furniture or carpets, it can help purify the air flowing through your home.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, air purification has also been scientifically verified to reduce some allergy symptoms. This can be helpful if you or someone in your household has a lung problem such as emphysema or COPD.
There are two models, a portable air purifier or a whole house air purifier. We will review the differences so that you can determine what is right for your residence.
Whole house air purifier vs portable air purifier
A portable air purifier is best suited for a single room. A whole house air purifier works with your heating and cooling unit to treat your entire dwelling. Some types may work even when your home heating and cooling system is not working.
What is the best air purifier for allergies?
Look for air purifiers with high efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA). HEPA filters are installed in hospitals and provide the best filtering you can get as they remove 99.97% of the particles in the air.
HEPA filters are even more useful when used with an ultraviolet (UV) disinfectant light. This dynamic combination can remove dust, dandruff, pollen and mold, all of which are common allergens. For best air purification, consider devices that also have a carbon-based filter to reduce household odor.
Avoid buying ozone-producing air purifiers, which are the main ingredients of smog. The EPA warns that ozone can worsen respiratory symptoms even when released in low concentrations.
The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America has created a checklist of questions to ask when purchasing an air purifier.
- What can this air purifier remove? What does it not eliminate?
- What is your flow rate for clean air? (A larger volume means the air cools faster.)
- How often should a filter or UV lamp be replaced? Can I do it alone?
- What is the cost of replacement filters or incandescent lamps?
How to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms
Do you want to get the best performance from your new air purification system? The Mayo Clinic suggests performing other procedures to limit exposure to problems that may cause seasonal allergies.
- Stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed when pollen count increases.
- Give mowing or trimming grass chores to other members of the household as these actions can make the symptoms worse. If you have to do this yourself, you should wear a pollen mask. When you are done you should take a bath immediately and change.
- Avoid hanging clothes outside.
- Turn on the air conditioner at home or while driving. Consider using a highly efficient air filter in your home’s heating and cooling unit.
- Equalize the humidity of your home with a dehumidifier for the entire house.
- Hardwood, tile, or linoleum are the best floor coverings to reduce indoor allergies. If you have a carpet in your home, install a HEPA filter in your vacuum.
Are you ready to buy an air purifier for your home? Don’t be in a hurry. Buying an air purifier is an important decision. Do spend time going through review sites and especially reviews on Amazon before making your purchasing decision.
You can further improve the quality of air indoors by combing the air purifier with a humidifier. Since these appliances have a direct impact on your or your family’s heath, invest in a good product without comprising on quality.