If you are thinking about buying an air purifier, but are not sure whether your money will be well spent, it is worthwhile reading on to find out more about the various advantages of using an air purifier, as well as the different types of air cleaning devices on the market.
Our detailed guide has the goal to help everybody find the best and most suitable air purifier for their specific needs, be it to get rid of the dust, pet dander, pollen, smoke or odors at home, or to help alleviate the symptoms of allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems.
So, here is our complete guide to everything you need to know about air purifiers in 2019.
What Does an Air Purifier Do?
As the name of these ingenious devices suggests, air purifiers clean the air in homes, offices or other living or working areas.
You may not see them, but the fact is that the air inside has millions of particles flying through the air, some of them come from outside and others are from the inside of the home or office.
The devices use various types of filters to capture and trap the airborne pollutants inside. These can include dust, pet hair and dander, pollen, smoke, odors, mold spores, chemical fumes, bacteria, viruses, and various other environmental pollutants and allergens which could be lingering in the air.
The makes the air cleaner and healthier to breathe, which of course is beneficial for everybody inside, but it is especially helpful for people with dust or pet allergies, for babies and elderly people, for those who have respiratory problems such as asthma, for homes where there are smokers, or unpleasant smells, and others.
People suffering from various allergies and asthma are especially susceptible to breathing in polluted air. The result could be wheezing, sneezing, and a shortness of breath, a stuffy nose or even full-blown asthma or allergic attack.
Even if you do not suffer from the abovementioned health conditions, long-term exposure to harmful pollutants can lead to serious problems later on including sleeping disorders, headaches, congestion, and even heart disease and some forms of cancers.
The fact is that however clean you keep your home or office, chances are that there are still pollutants flying in the air. Some of them come from outdoors – through the windows, or with your clothes, shoes or pets, and some are produced inside – from your dead skin cells, your pet’s dander and hair, the detergents you use, the cooking or other fumes from your everyday activities and chores.
The truth is that dusting and vacuuming can actually worsen the problem with the pollutants in the air, because while you are cleaning, you push the dust and other harmful particles back into the air, especially if you are not using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
Also, many chemical cleaning detergents contain potentially harmful volatile pollutants which can worsen the quality of the air you breathe even further.
With a good quality air purifier suitable for the size of your home, and for the pollutants you want to get rid of, you will find that you will start breathing easier and that you will start sleeping better and more soundly. Also, your overall health will improve and the instances of flu and other viral infections in your household or office environment will decrease.
Those of you who have respiratory issues or dust or pet allergies will definitely feel the change as soon as you start using the air purifier inside.
If you are asking yourself – how exactly does an air purifier work? The answer differs depending on the different types of technologies used for air cleaning systems.
There are different types of air purifiers which can be used for different air cleaning purposes.
This type of air purifiers have paper, mesh or fiber filters to capture the airborne particles. These filters need to be washed, cleaned or replaced on a regular basis. The purifiers with HEPA filters are also included in this category.
The purifiers work by sucking in the air with the pollutants, which end up being trapped by the HEPA filter. These devices can be efficient in capturing up to 99.97% of all airborne pollutants from the air you breathe.
There are also air cleaners which are known as ionizers. They generate ion particles which have an electronic charge. They are sent out to the air, where they attach themselves to the airborne particles. This causes them to become heavier and to fall to the floor or down on any surface, instead of remaining in the air you breathe.
There are also electrostatic air purifiers use a special electronically charged screen or panel to capture and trap the airborne particles.
Ultra Violet lighting
The air purifiers with UV filters can destroy any harmful biological impurities from the air like mold or bacteria via UV light. They work by breaking down the molecular structures of the contaminants, making them harmless for the health.
There are also purifiers which use an electrical or UV discharge to create ozone to refresh the air.
Carbon filters are especially efficient in removing odors and smells from the air in your home, such as cooking smells, cigarette smoke, pet odors, and others.
All of the different types of air purifiers have their pros and cons. And each type is especially useful for different types of pollutants and problems with the air.
Overall, if you select the right type of air purifier for your needs, you will breathe better, and you will also limit the harmful airborne allergens and toxins from entering your respiratory system.
So, the question is how to find the best air purifier for your specific needs.
Here is a complete guide about air purifiers and what to look for when buying one to suit your necessities.
Benefits of Air Purifiers
Although the different types of air filtering and cleaning systems have their own specific advantages, there are some benefits which all good quality air purifiers have.
Here are some of the main pros of using an air purifier at home or at the office:
You and everyone else at home will breathe easier
Breathing clean and fresh air is essential for our overall health and existence. Even if you live in an impeccably clean home, there are probably still millions of invisible airborne pollutants flying in the air.
Particles like dust mites, mold spores, pet dander are just some of the pollutants which can cause problems for the respiratory system and for the overall health, especially for those suffering from respiratory diseases like asthma, or for people with allergies to dust or pets.
The air will be cleaner when you are cooking
Cooking delicious meals is part of our daily lives, but unfortunately, while we are cooking, a lot of potentially harmful pollutants can be released into the air, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, or ultrafine particles. Also, the odor from some types of cooking can be really unpleasant and can stick to your furniture, clothes, and hair.
With a suitable air purifier, you can make sure that the harmful pollutants resulting from the cooking are removed from the air, and also no lingering odor will remain in the house during or after the cooking is done.
It can remove other nasty odors from your home
No matter whether your home smells from a smoking neighbor, or from a pet, or an overflowing trash can, a good air purifier with a charcoal-based carbon filter can help reduce these odors and will make the air fresh indoors once again.
Your sleep will improve
Sleep is incredibly important for our health and for our cognitive function and stress reduction. This is why issues like suffering from headaches, a stuffy nose o sneezing due to different pollutants like dust, mold or dander in the bedroom can really hurt the quality of sleep.
An air purifier in the bedroom can help remove these pollutants and relieve these symptoms and will allow you to sleep deeper and better.
The better the quality of your sleep – the better, more energetic and more productive you will be on the next day.
Your hay fever symptoms will be alleviated
If you suffer from seasonal pollen allergies, you know how horrible the irritation to the eyes, nose, and breathing can be. Even if you keep all the windows closed, chances are that you and the other members of your family, as well as your dogs, can bring in pollen and other allergens inside.
An air purifier with a pre-filter and a HEPA filter can help resolve this problem, and make life easier on you when you are home.
The pre-filters can capture the larger airborne particles like pollen, while the HEPA filter can capture and trap the smaller allergens from the air before they reach your mouth, nose or eyes.
You will find that you will need less medication, and will feel much better during the hay fever seasons with the appropriate air purifier in your home or office.
People with asthma, COPD or other respiratory problems will feel much better
More than 15 million adults and children in the USA live with asthma. About 18% live with hay fever. Millions of others are affected by COPD and other chronic lung diseases.
People suffering from these debilitating diseases may often require inhalers to breathe properly. With a good quality air purifier, chances are that the inhaler will not be needed as often, and that breathing will become easier.
Living with a pet will become better
Dogs, cats and other pets are wonderful companions and family members, but they do tend to shed hair and pet dander quite a lot.
With a good quality air purifier with a HEPA filter, you can keep the hair and dander situation under control. This will also eliminate the need to vacuum the house every day.
An air cleaning device is especially useful if someone at home has pet allergies but you have pets too!
An air purifier will eliminate the mold spores from the air
Exposure to molds or fungus can cause wheezing, throat or eye irritation, coughing as well as skin irritations. It can be especially harmful to people with COPD or other chronic lung illnesses. In fact, studies have found that prolonged exposure to mold can cause certain serious respiratory conditions and diseases.
If there is mold in your home, an air purifier will help eliminate the harmful spores from the air and stop them from entering your respiratory system.
It can reduce your sick days and prevent flu infections
A premium air purifier can help trap the airborne particles which carry the flu virus, bacteria or other germs. This is especially useful in the winter, when people spend more time indoors with the windows shut, and when the flu is on the rise.
If you choose an air purifier with UV-C lights, it can help kill these harmful microorganisms very efficiently.
Your home will become cleaner overall
The shocking fact is that many times the air in our homes is up to five times worse in quality than the air outdoors, even if you live in a busy city. This is due to the many sources of pollution which we have in our homes including paints, cleaning detergents, scented candles, cooking fumes, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, and others.
An air purifier can help make the air at home cleaner and much safer and healthier to breathe.
There are some state-of-the-art air purifiers which can help clean the surfaces of your homes from contaminants as well as the air with the help of germicidal UV lights.
Your mood will improve
If you have noticed how your mood gets elevated when you are spending time on the mountains or outdoors where the air is fresh – you know the feeling.
With an air purifier, you can ensure that you are in an overall better mood thanks to the cleaner air in your home or office.
Plus, as mentioned above you will be sleeping better which is another reason for a better mood and a lowered stress level.
Your skin will thank you
If you have eczema or other itchy skin irritations, these can often be caused by the dust mites or other allergens in your home.
An air purifier can help capture most of them, and will thus alleviate your skin itchiness, rashes, and irritations.
Some air purifiers will not only clean but they will destroy the allergens
Most environmental allergens thrive even better when closed in a space with limited ventilation, or in air-conditioned rooms.
Mold spores, viruses, and bacteria will thrive in such conditions as well.
By avoiding exposure to the allergens triggering your adverse reactions, you will live much better and will need fewer medications and inhalators.
There are air purifiers which will not only capture and trap the allergens, but they will destroy them, instead of holding them in the filter for a month or more. This eliminates the risk of re-contamination of the home when it comes time to remove the filters for cleaning or for replacement.
This will reduce your suffering, and will also drastically reduce the cost for medications and health care related to your allergy.
It will remove the VOCs from the air you breathe
Volatile organic compounds known as VOCs, such as formaldehyde, benzene, gasoline, toluene, and xylene can be found in a number of household items such as cleaning detergents, construction materials, air fresheners, paint thinners, wood preservatives, aerosol sprays, hobby supplies and others.
Ammonia, lead and other toxins in bleach, cleaning products, and others can lead to lung or brain health problems. In fact, long-term exposure to these harmful compounds can be cancerogenic.
They are not only potentially harmful to the health but can also lead to a decrease of cognitive function, and to development of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease according to a number of studies.
A good air purifier will help remove these compounds from your home and will improve your brain function and your overall health.
What is a HEPA Air Purifier?
HEPA is an abbreviation for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. Air purifiers, vacuum cleaners or other devices carrying this label have HEPA filters which are very efficient for capturing and trapping microscopic particles, including dust, pollen, dander, mold or any other common household allergens.
Keep in mind that some products may be labeled as HEPA-like, HEPA-type or True HEPA.
If you want an air purifier which will eliminate most of the allergens from your air, you should opt for one which has a True HEPA filtration system.
This is the type which is controlled by the strictest US Department of Energy standards.
The True HEPA filters are dense and can capture more than 99.97% of the airborne allergens which are as small as 0.3 microns in your home.
There is no set standard for the HEPA-like or HEPA-type products, so you shouldn’t be too confident that this type of air purifiers will keep you safe from allergens. These devices usually cost less than the ones with True HEPA filters, but you cannot rely on them to remove all the allergens you are worried about from the air.
HEPA filters can be made of degradable dense paper filters which need to be replaced every few months, or with a mesh HEPA filter which can be washed and reused.
The benefits of an air purifier with a True HEPA filter are:
- They are excellent for people with asthma or environmental allergies
- They keep the air fresh and clean, as the allergens remain trapped inside the filter
The downside of this type of filters is that they do not remove viruses, germs or odors from the air.
For getting rid of germs, bacteria, and viruses, you should opt for a UV air purifier. As for the odors, an air purifier with an activated carbon filter can do wonders for the air in your home.
The problem with the degradable HEPA filters is that the cost for their regular replacement can be quite hefty.
Usually, only the smaller air purifiers for smaller rooms have reusable and washable True HEPA filters.
Still, given the efficiency of these filters, an air purifier of this type is well worth its cost, especially if you have people with asthma, allergies, respiratory problems or young children or elderly people with weaker immune systems at home.
What is an Air Ionizer?
Although it may sound complicated, ionizing technology is pretty easy to understand.
An ionizer emits negatively charged ions in the air. These attract those with positive charges, which include particles like allergens, bacteria or dust. The two attached to each other and thus become denser and heavier. This causes them to fall to the ground or to another surface instead of remaining floating in the air.
Many air ionizers have electrostatic collection plates which attract the falling particles, so you don’t have to vacuum them or wipe them off of the floor or other surfaces. These trays can be cleaned and reused for the entire life of the air ionizer.
Air ionizers can actually get rid of allergens or other harmful particles as small as 0.01 microns.
One of the main benefits of ionizer air purifiers is that you don’t need to replace the filters.
But then, some studies have shown that this type of air cleaning systems can cause an increase in asthmatic symptoms.
Do Air Purifiers Remove Odors?
This is one of the most common questions which people are asking about air purifiers, and the answer is – that it depends on the type and brand of air purifier you choose.
There are several different air cleaning technologies available, so make sure you choose the right one if you are looking for an air purifier which will remove the odors from your home.
If you have problems with bad smells at home, make sure you choose an air purifier with an activated carbon filter. It will help remove and eliminate odors like cigarette smoke, cooking, pet odors, or any other bad smell from your home.
This type of filter has a large surface area covered with a network of microscopic pores which are able to absorb all the particles which carry the odors around the room and the house.
Many of the air purifiers with activated carbon filters are made with reusable filters which can be washed and placed back in the purifier, instead of having to replace them with new filters.
So, if your question is – can air purifies with activated carbon filters remove odors – the answer is – Yes!
Air Purifier vs. Humidifier
You may be wondering whether it is better to get an air purifier or a humidifier for your home.
Both are excellent devices to have at home if someone has a respiratory problem, but they offer a different type of relief.
An air purifier will remove the allergens and other harmful pollutants from the air, and thus alleviate the symptoms of allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems.
On the other hand, a humidifier will relieve the symptoms of sinus or respiratory symptoms caused by dry air indoors.
Here are the main differences between these two types of devices, as well as their main functions, pros and cons which can help you decide which one is better for your needs.
The purpose of an air purifier is to clean the air of airborne pollutants. It captures and traps the dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, odors, smoke, germs or other allergens and harmful particles from the air.
The air purifier uses filters to trap and to remove the airborne pollutants.
It is perfect for allergy sufferers, asthmatics and for people who want to breathe, clean, healthy and fresh air.
The air purifier captures filters and releases the air back into the room or house, but does not add humidity to it.
The main function of the humidifier is to add moisture to the air you breathe. This is done via pumping water vapor into the air.
A humidifier needs to be full of water in order to function. It then converts it into mist and releases it in the air.
Humidifiers are excellent for dry areas, or for the winter time when the heating is on.
They are especially beneficial to people suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems caused by dry air.
They are also an excellent choice for people suffering from dry skin, sinus issues or throat irritation which often occurs in dry climates.
Keep in mind, that a humidifier which is used in a room which has sufficient moisture can encourage the growth of mold, mildew, and mites.
Which is better for Your Needs: An Air Purifier or a Humidifier?
You should opt for an air purifier in the following cases:
- If there is somebody at home who has asthma, hay fever, pet allergies or other respiratory or skin conditions due to pollutants in the air
- You want to reduce the pet dander and hair from your pets in your home
- You want to reduce the dust accumulated indoors
- You want to get rid of the smell of smoke, cooking, pets, mold or other
- You want to reduce the germs, bacteria, and viruses in the air
- You want to breath fresh and clean air and sleep better
A humidifier could be a better choice for you if:
- You live in an area with a dry climate
- You want to alleviate your skin dryness and itchiness due to the dry air in your home
- You want to reduce the sinus issues, or respiratory problems caused by the dry air, especially during the cold seasons when the heating is on
FAQs about Humidifiers and Air Purifiers
Is an air purifier or a humidifier better for a baby?
The fact is you can use both to improve the quality of the air your baby breathes. The air purifier will help keep the air in the nursery clean and safe, and if the air happens to be dry, a humidifier can help make its breathing easier and the baby more comfortable.
Is an air purifier or a humidifier better for asthma relief?
Both types of devices can help make life better for people suffering from asthma. The air purifier can remove and trap the allergens which are common triggers for asthma attacks, while the humidifier can make the air much easier and more pleasant to breathe, but will not remove the pollutants from it.
Is an air purifier or a humidifier better for a person with allergies?
The air purifier is the clear winner in this challenge. Since allergies cannot be cured, the best way to treat them is through prevention. A good quality air purifier will help remove and trap the airborne allergens before they can reach the lungs, mouth, nose or eyes of the allergic person and trigger the adverse reactions.
A humidifier may even increase the dust mites in the air if the air is too humid inside.
Can both types of devices be used simultaneously?
Yes, it is completely safe for you and for the appliances if they are used alongside in the same room. The air purifier will clean the air, and the humidifier will add the moisture to it to make breathing easier and more pleasant, and living more comfortable.
Air Purifier for Reducing Allergies
Do you suffer from seasonal or all-year-round environmental allergies? Are you fed up with taking medication to cope with them?
You are not alone. Over 50 million Americans and more than 100 million Europeans suffer from hay fever (allergic rhinitis). And the statistics show that these numbers keep growing year after year.
Even worse, as a result of global warming, the hay fever season has extended by a whole month.
Thankfully, with a good quality air purifier, you can ensure that your home or office is completely allergen-free during the pollen season.
A True HEPA air purifier is a must for allergies
An air purifier with a True HEPA filter can remove all airborne allergens efficiently, and will keep them trapped inside the filter until it is time for a replacement or for washing it.
It is a fact, that the increasing number of allergy sufferers is partly why the air purification technologies have advanced so much in the latest years.
Today, you can find highly efficient air purifiers with True HEPA filters which have been designed especially to capture and trap the airborne allergens including pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, and others.
Although these devices and their filters can be costly, in the long run, you will be saving tons of money for allergy medications and doctor’s visits, and you will also be living a much more comfortable life.
Imagine coming home to an environment in which nothing is making your nose itch, nothing is making you sneeze or have itchy and watery eyes and you have no problems breathing or sleeping?
With a suitable air purifier, you can make this happen, no matter how severe your allergy to airborne pollutants is.
In fact, you can create a safety zone for yourself or for the allergic person at home, where you won’t allow the pet in, or you will clean more intensively. You should place the air purifier in that room so that the allergic member of the family has a safe haven to go and spend time away from all of the allergens leading to discomfort and adverse reactions.
So if you have hay fever, dust allergy or are allergic to pets and have a dog or cat at home, an air purifier could be a life changer for you!
Remember to choose an air purifier with is labeled as having a True HEPA filter for capturing the microscopic allergens, and also a pre-filter which will capture the larger pollutants including pollen.
A pre-filter for allergies
The pre-filter also helps prolong the longevity of the HEPA filter and makes it more efficient in capturing the allergens which are microscopic.
Choose an air cleaning unit which has a removable pre-filter which can be washed and reused.
HEPA filters in smaller air purifiers too can be washed and used over and over, but for larger air purifiers with this type of hypoallergenic filter, you will need to prepare yourself for an ongoing cost for replacement paper filters.
True HEPA filters can capture even the tiniest allergens which can trigger your allergic reactions, and best of all – they will keep them enclosed inside and will not release them back in the air.
This means that if you keep your air purifier on, your room or home will become and remain allergen free throughout the hay fever season and all year round if you have pet or other allergies from airborne allergens.
When you are choosing the best air purifier for allergies, keep in mind the following features as well:
The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)
This is a standard for measuring the efficiency of the HEPA filter, which is assigned by the AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers).
This rating shows just how well the filter can remove the pollen, dust or smoke from the air.
The higher the CADR rating for each pollutant – the faster the air purifier can capture and trap it.
Here are the CADR rating ranges for some of the most common pollutants:
Smoke: 10-450 CADR
Dust: 10-400 CADR
Pollen: 23-450 CADR
The Air Changes per Hour (ACH)
ACH will tell you how many times the air purifier will take in, filter and completely exchange the air in a room of a certain size.
If an air purifier is rated for 500 square feet and has a 5x ACH rating, this means that it will clean and exchange the air in the 500 square room 5 times every hour.
If you are picking among several air purifiers which are rated for the same size, look for the one with a higher ACH number, because it will be cleaning the air indoors much faster and more often.
In other words, the higher the ACH number for a room of a certain size, the better the air purifier will be for people with allergies.
Do you have an environmental allergy?
Thanks to the innovative air purifiers, the battle with allergies like hay fever, dust or pet allergies is not an uneven one anymore.
If you are not sure whether you actually have an allergy or need an air purifier, here are some of the common symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever):
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Congestion, itchy or running nose
- A scratchy or sore throat
- Increased fatigue
- Dry and itchy skin
One or more of these symptoms can appear when you inhale an allergen through the mouth or nose, or when it gets into contact with your eyes.
Some of the most common allergens which cause these adverse reactions and which can be found in most homes include:
- Pollen from trees
- Pollen from flowers
- Pollen from grass
- Dust and dust mites
- Pet dander and hair
- Mold spores
- Smoke from cigarettes or other
Thanks to the air purifier, you can ensure that at least at home, you will be safe from contact with the allergens causing you so much discomfort.
Many allergic people start noticing the difference in their overall wellbeing in just a few days after starting to use an air purifier to clean the air from pollen and other allergens.
So, if for some completely healthy people an air purifier is just an additional precaution to stay healthy and well, for people with such allergies, the air purifier with a True HEPA filter and pre-filter could actually help change their lives for the better!
Air Purifier for Relieving Asthma
If you are asthmatic, or somebody at your home suffers from this debilitating respiratory disease, then an air purifier could be one of the best investments you will make in your life.
Over 300 million people around the world suffer from asthma, and unfortunately about 10 people in the US die as a result of asthma per day.
Asthma makes life difficult for the sufferers and requires taking regular medication, inhalations, as well as special precautions for the prevention of the dangerous and sometimes fatal asthma attacks.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for asthma, but the symptoms and the attacks in most cases can be managed and prevented.
An air purifier can make life much better for people with asthma and with other chronic respiratory diseases.
The reasoning behind this claim is based on the fact that the US Environmental Protection Agency and other institutions agree that the air quality in the average homes is 2 to 5 times worse than that outside.
This is bad news for everyone but is especially scary for those suffering from asthma, who need fresh and clean air to breathe normally.
Another problem for people with asthma is the fact that people are relying more on air conditioning and heating, rather than letting in the air from outside to regulate room temperatures. This can cause the air to fill up with various pollutants including mold spores, dust mites, VOCs, smoke and fumes, germs, and others.
Some pollutants enter the home via our clothes, shoes, hair and our pets too.
Without letting air in and out of the house, they remain indoors and many of them remain airborne.
This means that you are inhaling millions of pollutants even when you are at home.
This is particularly harmful and can be dangerous for those suffering from asthma.
Fortunately, with an efficient air purifier, this problem can easily be resolved. The air you breathe can be purified and will remain clean as long as you continue to use the air cleaning device at home.
When you start using a good quality air purifier, you will immediately notice the difference in your wellbeing, your mood, your sleep, and your health.
This is especially true for people with respiratory problems, who will find that they are breathing easier and deeper and that the symptoms of their illness become much less severe or may even disappear.
It is essential for people with asthma to choose the right type of air purifier for the best results.
Choose one with a HEPA filter, and stay away from the air ionizers!
The reason is that studies have found that the negatively charged ions released to capture the pollutants can make the symptoms of asthma worse, and may even induce more asthma attacks!
A True HEPA air purifier for asthma relief
With an air purifier with a True HEPA filter, the harmful airborne particles will be captured by the filter and will remain trapped inside without being released back into the air.
True HEPA filters have been tested and rated to be able to remove up to 99.97% of the microscopic pollutants from the air as small as 0.3 microns in size.
The devices which have HEPA-like or HEPA-type filters are not as efficient and will capture much larger airborne particles only, which is definitely not something a person with asthma wants or needs.
Also, when you are choosing an air purifier for asthma, make sure that it is large enough to cover the area you need. Buying one which is not powerful enough to clean the air in the room you want it to, will not help you cope with your asthma, and frankly, would be a pure waste of money.
This is why, if possible you should opt for an air cleaning unit which has a larger capacity than you actually need, just in case. Or at least choose one which has a capacity of cleaning the largest room in the house, so you can safely move it around with you to the other smaller rooms as well.
Plus, look for a device which has a larger Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) as well as a higher number for the Air Changes per Hour (ACH) for the room size it is rated for.
Here are some other tips for providing relief for a person with asthma at home:
Because so many pollutants can enter your home with your clothes, shoes, your hair and on your pets, it is essential that you vacuum more often in homes where there are people suffering from asthma.
But, make sure you use a vacuum cleaner which too has a True HEPA filter so that it can capture any harmful particles and keep them inside the waste container and bag, rather than release them back in the air and make them airborne once again.
Clean or change your HVAC filters on a regular basis
Using heating and cooling systems at home is a major convenience, but keep in mind that they too have air filters which trap some air pollutants to prevent damage to the HVAC system.
You should replace the filters once every 3 months or more often if you have a person with asthma or with a pet, dust or pollen allergy at home.
Limit the smoke inside
Needless to say, you shouldn’t smoke cigarettes and cigars in a home where there is a person who has asthma. But if you need to smoke, or to use a wood burning fireplace, as well as use incense candles, then try to limit them to a particular room or area which has a powerful air filtration system.
Use exhaust fans
When you are cooking, turn on the exhaust fan to eliminate the fumes from the cooking, because they can trigger asthma symptoms as well.
You should also use fans in the toilet or bathroom during and after showering because too much moisture in the air can cause the growth of mold and mold spores and can too irritate asthma.
Do not keep chemicals or paints in the house
Try to store products like chemical cleaning detergents, paints, paint thinners, and pesticides in the garage or somewhere else out of the house. They can emit VOCs which too are harmful to people with asthma and can be harmful to completely healthy people as well after prolonged exposure.
Keep a safe room for the person with asthma
Create a safe place for the asthma sufferer where you will vacuum and clean more often, and where pets are not allowed, especially if the person is allergic to them.
If you cannot dedicate a special room, then take extra measures to keep the dog from shedding hair and dander by grooming it outdoors regularly, and bathing it more often.
Common Air Purifier Terms and Definitions Related to Asthma
Things can get confusing when you are shopping for an air purifier for asthma, due to the many terms and features listed in all of the product specifications.
Here are some of the main terms which you will see in these descriptions, and what they actually mean:
This is the outermost filter of the air purifier which is the first barrier in the air filtering process. The pre-filter will trap the larger airborne particles like pollen, hair or dirt.
Pre-filters also help prolong longevity and efficiency of the other filters of the air purifier.’
Most of these preliminary filters can be washed and reused over and over.
A True HEPA filter
This is the highest standard HEPA filter which you can find on the market. The products carrying the label True HEPA have been tested and rated for their ability to capture and trap at least 99.97% of the airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns.
In some smaller air purifiers, these filters are made of dense mesh and can be washed and reused, but in larger and more powerful devices, they need to be replaced once in every 6-8 months or as needed.
BioGS HEPA filter
Some brands like Rabbit Air have this type of True HEPA filter which can last longer than a standard True HEPA filter. This means it will need to be replaced every 2 years rather than every 6-8 months.
This is another type of HEPA filter offered by IQAir, which can capture 99.95% of the airborne particles as small than 0.003 microns, which are 10 times smaller than viruses and are the smallest in existence.
V5 Cell Gas and Odor Filter
This is a filter patented by IQAir and helps eliminate odors and gas by absorbing the particles which cause them and then oxidizing them and thus eliminating them.
This air cleaner emits negatively charged ions into the air of the room where they attach themselves to the positively charged pollutants. As a result, both become too heavy to float in the air and fall down into a special tray, or on the floor or on other surfaces.
Unfortunately, these negatively charged ions have been found to irritate asthma, and some devices also create ozone which is bad for asthmatics as well.
Ultraviolet UV-C Light
This is a special light technology which kills any airborne viruses and bacteria and destroys their DNA structure in the process. It is great to sterilize rooms and to prevent the spreading of flu or other viruses and illnesses.
ACH (Air Changes Per Hour)
This is the number of times which the air purifier can suck in, filter and release the clean air in a room per hour. The higher the number – the fresher and cleaner the air will be.
Keep in mind that ACH is measured in accordance with the room area for which the specific air purifier has been rated.
CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate)
This is a standard which will tell you how well the air purifier will cope with cleaning the most common airborne pollutants including pollen, dust, and tobacco from the room.
The higher the rating – the more efficient the air purifier will be. Only devices which have been tested by AHAM have CADR ratings.
Air Purifier for Preventing Dust and Dust Mites
If you have someone suffering from dust allergy, or you simply want to keep your home free of dust and keep it clean for longer, an appropriate air purifier can help you quite a lot.
No matter how clean your home is, there is dust inside. It consists of specks of dirt, as well as specks of dead skin cells, pet dander, dust mite waste, hair, pieces of food, mold spores and others.
Dust mites feed on some dust particles, so if you eliminate most of the dust at home, you will eliminate many of the dust mites too.
This is great news for people with a dust allergy.
Getting rid of the dust though can be a difficult task.
The problem is that when you go ahead and dust the surfaces, or clean the floors often times you stir most of the dust into the air, where it remains until it falls back on the surfaces in your home.
One of the best and easiest ways to get rid of the dust at home is with the help of a good quality air purifier.
The air purifier will capture all airborne dust particles and will trap them inside the filter without releasing them back into the air. With continuous use, you can ensure that your room or home becomes more and more dust free.
This will save you the hassle of cleaning and dusting so often, and will also help clean the air from the dust stirred up by your cleaning.
Keep in mind, that if you are looking for an air purifier specifically for dust allergies, there are some features you should look for.
A True HEPA air purifier
First and foremost, choose a device which has a True HEPA filter. This filter will capture at least 99.97% of the particles as small as 0.3 microns from the air in your home. This includes the different dust particles along with the dust mites.
Here are some other air filtering technologies which can help keep your home free of dust as well:
This technology includes the features which the True HEPA filters have and the ability to capture the microscopic allergen particles from the air, but can also neutralize the harmful viruses, VOCs and bacteria from the air as well.
The PlasmaWave technology attacks these harmful pollutants and toxins and neutralizes them on a molecular level via the air released from the machine which is in a plasma state.
The air in such a state comes in contact with the moisture in the air and forms Hydroxyl Radicals. These are unstable molecules which do not have oxygen or hydrogen atom, and which attach themselves to bacteria, viruses, germs, and chemical vapors and other harmful pollutants. During this process, these harmful particles are destroyed and the Hydroxyl radicals turn back into normal water vapor.
The best part about the PlasmaWave technology is that it actually mimics the way in which the air is cleaned naturally outdoors, and it does not create ozone or other potentially harmful by-products in the process.
Although HEPA filters are excellent for removing dust and allergens from the air, they cannot remove the odors from your home.
Carbon filters, on the other hand – can.
They are made of millions of miniature pores which can absorb all kinds of gases, odors, and vapors. On the other hand, this is the only function which carbon filters have, as they do not capture allergens, dust or other harmful airborne particles.
So, if you want an air purifier which will help eliminate the dust and dust mites from your home, but at the same time will help remove the unpleasant odors, then look for one which has a combination of filters – True HEPA and carbon.
As mentioned earlier, these units emit special negatively charged ions in the air. These ions attach themselves to the harmful pollutants I the air and make them heavier, causing them to fall to the ground, another surface, or in a dedicated tray.
So, if you want a dust and dust mite free home, as well as flesher and cleaner air to breathe, you may want to opt for an air purifier which has both a HEPA filter and an ionizer function.
Keep in mind that the negative ions can worsen the condition of asthmatics, so if there is somebody suffering from asthma in your household, you should stay clear of this type of air filtering system.
Air Purifier for Reducing Pet Dander, Hair and Odors
As a pet parent, you are probably familiar with the problems with cleaning up the hair, the pet dander and getting rid of the odor of your dog or cat at home.
Reducing pet dander and hair is especially important if you or someone else at home suffers from a pet allergy and yet you have a four-legged companion at home.
No matter how much you love your fur baby, cleaning the hairs from the furniture and the carpet can be a tedious task especially during the shedding seasons.
Also, getting rid of the odor from your elderly pup or your kitty litter could be a serious concern especially when you are inviting guests over to your home.
You are not alone. According to a recent survey by the APPA, about 65% or nearly 80 million households in the USA have at least one pet. And the numbers have been growing.
At the same time, nearly 50 million people in the country have nasal allergies, and one of every five people suffers from either allergy or asthma-related symptoms.
Still, few pet parents are ready to give away their companions due to these issues.
The truth is that pet allergies are almost always due to the pet dander and not the pet hair.
The pet dander is actually tiny flecks of dead skin which can peel off from the skin, hair, fur, and feathers of many domesticated animals including dogs, cats, hamsters, ferrets, guinea pigs and some birds.
As the pet ages, the quantity of dander it emits increases.
Fur or hair, on the other hand, may not trigger allergic reactions but it is a tedious problem to manage at home, especially in the spring and fall when most pets shed.
This is why an appropriate air purifier can come in very handy, for any pet owner – allergic or not.
A good air purifier can suck in and eliminate the pet dander and hair from your home, as well as clean the air from any pet odors.
Here are the features to look for in an air purifier for reducing pet dander, hair or odors:
True HEPA filter for the pet dander
Air purifiers which are rated as featuring True HEPA filters are incredibly efficient in capturing the pet dander which causes allergic reactions in people. The purifier sucks up the dander from the air and traps it into the True HEPA filter. It remains there until the filter is cleaned or replaced.
This means it will stay away from the air in your home, and away from your airways and your eyes.
A HEPA-Type filter for the pet hair
Air purifiers with a HEPA Type filter may not be capable of capturing and trapping the microscopic pet dander, but they are efficient in collecting and trapping the pet hair.
These purifiers are cheaper than the True HEPA air purifiers, but can still do an excellent job in helping keep your home clean from pet hair or fur.
Activated carbon filter for the pet odor
If the odors from your pet or its litter box are bothering you, then you should pick an air purifier with an Activated carbon filter.
These filters are incredibly efficient in absorbing all kinds of smells, including those coming from pets.
This is a patented technology by Winix, which is a safe form of ionization which doesn’t produce ozone which can be harmful both for you and especially for your pets.
It emits electrical pulses which cause the air flowing out of the purifier to be in a plasma state. Once this air contacts water vapor it begins to attack harmful airborne pollutants such as VOCs, bacteria, and viruses. After it has done its job neutralizing them, the ions turn back into water vapor.
Some air purifiers suitable for pets have smart sensors which monitor the air quality for any contaminants including pet dander, hair or odor, and when high levels are sensed, the purifier goes into powerful air cleaning mode to cope with the problem.
This is a perfect solution for those of you who are not at home all day, and have pets and want to come back to a fresh, hair and dander free environment.
This is a type of ultraviolet radiation which can destroy the harmful microorganisms in the room but is completely harmless for both humans and animals.
With an air purifier with this feature, you can ensure that your room or home is sterilized and free of any harmful germs, viruses or bacteria.
Anti-bacterial coating of the filters
You may want to look for an air purifier which has such a coating on its internal filters. This coating stops and prevents any growth of harmful fungi, mold or bacteria inside the unit as a result of all the microorganisms trapped inside the filters.
The antibacterial coating can also lengthen the life of the filter itself.
How to properly use your pet air purifier?
Buying a good quality air purifier to keep your home clean from pet hair, dander and odors is just the first step towards achieving this. Here are some useful tips on how to increase the efficiency of your air purifier for pets:
- Place the air purifier where it has a clearance of at least 18-24 inches from all sides to maximize its air filtering power
- Place it in the room or area where your pet spends most of its time
- Do not obstruct the air flow in or out of the unit by placing it under other low furniture
- Keep the air purifier on 24/7 if you want consistent results. Most of these devices have maintenance modes and will switch on to powerful cleaning mode only when contamination is detected
- Do not keep the windows or doors opened in the room where your air purifier is working, in order to limit the contaminants from entering from outside, and to allow for the machine to do its job to clean the air inside the room completely
- Change or wash the filters of the unit regularly, if you want the air purifier to operate efficiently. Thankfully, some air purifiers have indicators which will let you know when it is time for replacing or cleaning the filters
With an air purifier in a home with pets, you will also get the following benefits:
- A lesser need for vacuuming and cleaning so often to remove the pet hair and dander from the floor, furniture and other surfaces
- Fresher air and a nicer home environment
Air Purifier for Eliminating Mold
Do you have mold in your home? Or does somebody in your household suffer from an allergy to mold spores?
With the appropriate air purifier, you can help get rid of the mold spores and thus get rid of the mold itself too.
Mold and mildew and their spores can cause coughing, wheezing, congestion and throat irritation in some people allergic to these harmful growths.
But mold can be harmful to a completely healthy person as well, especially after prolonged exposure to it.
The indoor mold which can be found in many homes or other premises can cause respiratory problems in healthy people and may also cause the development of asthma in kids.
It can also cause memory loss, neurotoxicity, cardiac problems and some types of cancer.
This is why getting a suitable air purifier for mold can help eliminate this risk and alleviate the symptoms of mold allergies too.
Here are the features to look for when shopping for an air purifier for eliminating mold:
A True HEPA filter
This type of filter is capable of capturing the mold spores floating around in the air of your home. In order to be sure that the spores are trapped inside the filter opt for the True HEPA type, rather than the HEPA like or HEPA type filters which may not be able to capture the mold spores at all.
Ultraviolet light can actually kill the mold spores by destroying their DNA. So it can act as a backup for the HEPA filter and eliminate the mold spores which the filter is unable to catch.
Activated Carbon Filter
This filter will eliminate the nasty smell of mold indoors, which often lingers for long even after you have eliminated the mold itself.
Here are the most common areas where you can find mold growing in your home:
- Underneath or behind the refrigerator
- Underneath sinks in the bathroom or kitchen
- In toilets
- Around or behind windows which leak
- In cellars or basements without appropriate ventilation
- Around the plumbing lines behind the drywall
- Behind drywall which has been affected by water damage and flooding
- In ventilation ducts
- Under carpeting which has been flooded or cleaned
- Under old newspaper or cardboard stacks
Apart from using an air purifier to eliminate the mold spores, there are some other steps you can take to prevent the growth of mold indoors, including:
- Make sure all rooms, bathrooms, cellars, garages, and basements are properly ventilated
- Keep the are cool because mold thrives at temperatures which are at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Use a dehumidifier in damp and humid areas, because mold loves humidity
- Keep the walls, ceilings and floors of your home dry
- Deep clean your kitchen, toilet and bathrooms regularly
- Inspect your windows for leaks
- Keep the air purifier working constantly
Air Purifier for Getting Rid of Smoke and its Odor
If you have a smoker at home, or if you have cigarette smoke seeping from your next-door neighbors you know how nasty the smell can be, not to mention how harmful the smoke itself can be for you and the rest of your family.
The same goes for homes with fireplaces which burn wood, or for homes affected by wildfires.
Thankfully, there are high-quality air purifiers which can clean the air in your home from the harmful smoke and can also remove the lingering smell from a cigarette or other smoke.
This means that a smoker and non-smoker can live happily together without any problems or potential conflicts.
It also means that your home will be smoke-free and thus retain or increase its market value.
Like when dealing with other specific problems such as allergies, asthma, pet odors and dander, dust and dust mites, it is essential that you purchase the right type of air purifier if you want to deal with the specific issue of cleaning the air from the smoke and the smell of smoke.
Look for an air purifier which is designed to deal with tobacco or other smoke and which can filter out the airborne particles which form the smoke, and those which form the odor as well.
This can be done by opting for an air purifier which has the following two technologies:
A True HEPA filter
This filter can capture and contain the airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, which include the visible smoke you can see in your home when somebody is smoking a cigarette or cigar, or when the fireplace is burning.
The True HEPA filters can capture and contain even the finest particles from the air indoors, which includes those which make up the smoke you, can see when somebody is smoking a cigar or cigarette.
The air purifiers with this type of filtration will trap the larger smoke particles and then intercept the medium-sized smoke particles. The smallest smoke particles are trapped via diffusion as they come in contact with the other molecules collected inside the True HEPA filter.
The longer the air purifier runs, the more microscopic particles making up the smoke will be trapped and confined inside of the filter.
An Activated Carbon filter
Without this type of filter, the air purifier will only absorb the visible smoke but will not deal with the smell.
Thanks to the porous activated carbon filters which will absorb all of the microscopic airborne particles which carry the smoke odor, you can soon enjoy completely fresh and odor free air at home, no matter whether there is a smoker at home.
Once these particles are absorbed they will remain in the filter and will not be released back into the air in the room.
Carbon filters can be made of charcoal, wood, nutshells, peat, and lignite which all contain carbon.
With an air purifier which has enough activated carbon to handle the smoke in your home, you can ensure that your home will be smoke-free and smell-free, even if you or someone else prefers to smoke indoors.
Needless to say, this is especially important if you have children at home, pets, elderly people or people with respiratory problems such as asthma, allergies, COPD and others.
Second-hand smoke can contain over 4,000 harmful chemicals, some of which are carcinogens.
Vaping too can expose the bystanders to the harmful effects of inhaling nicotine and other toxins which can be found in the aerosol cloud.
Take a look at just some of the risks associated with long term exposure to second-hand smoke from cigarettes, pipes, and cigars:
- Respiratory infections
- Asthma attacks
- Developing asthma in children
- Pneumonia and lung infections in children
- Coughing and wheezing
- Ear infections
- Middle ear diseases
- Sudden infant death syndrome
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Lung cancer
- Nasal sinus cancer
- Esophagus cancer or oral cancer
- Pancreas or bladder cancer
- Problems with the vascular systems and the blood
- Reproductive problems
- Development problems with the fetus during pregnancy, including premature delivery, limited mental ability, ADHD and other problems
- Low birth weight
- Impaired lung function
Since creating these activated carbon filters is a complicated process, you can expect the price for these filters to be on the high side.
Still, given the risk of breathing secondhand smoke by non-smokers, investing in a good quality air purifier which has an efficient activated carbon filter as well as a HEPA filter is absolutely worth every cent you will spend.
Naturally, we will advise you to refrain from smoking indoors, but we know that in some cases, this is impossible to avoid, which is why we strongly recommend that everybody who has a smoker in their household to invest in a suitable air purifier which can reduce the health risks and improve the air quality indoors significantly.
Air purifiers of this type are also incredibly useful for removing the smoke and odor after a fire, a wildfire or other lingering smoke inside the home or office.
Hopefully, you know everything you need to know about air purifiers, and exactly which type you should buy to suit your preferences and needs.
Remember, that investing in a good quality air purifier, as well as in its replacement filters may turn out to be a life changer if you have somebody suffering from respiratory diseases, such as asthma, or pet or dust allergies at home.
Also, even if you are completely healthy, an air purifier can make your breathing easier, your air fresher and healthier, and improve your mood, energy levels, and productivity.
With a good air purifier you will limit the days you spend sick from flu or other infectious diseases and will help keep all family members healthier as well.
Plus, you will need to clean your home much less regularly if you have an air purifier working 24/7 inside your house or apartment.
Overall, if you choose the right type of air purifier for your needs, this could be one of the wisest and best investments you will ever make for the sake of your own and of your family’s health and wellbeing.
So, good luck with your choice, and enjoy the cleaner, fresher and much healthier air at home with your new premium quality air purifier!