Allergies and Airborne Particles
It is necessary to do some research to determine which product is best suited for the kind of allergens that cause the irritation, because not all units produce the same results.
Sources of Indoor Allergy Triggers & Effectiveness of Air Purifiers
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a non-profit patient advocacy group
If these particles stay suspended in the air, some air purifiers can filter them. However, pet dander and dust mite feces in particular are heavier particles that often settle quickly and do not stay suspended in the air for long. Air purifiers are effective at removing tobacco smoke but the best recommendation is not to allow smoking in the house at all.
Strategies For Reducing Indoor Allergy Triggers In Addition to an Air Purifier
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does recommend air purification products as part of the solution to tackling indoor air pollution that causes allergies, but considers it just part of a overall strategy that includes:
- Adequate ventilation
- Removal of on-going pollution sources like pets, smoke and mildew
- Replacement of materials that emit VOCs
- Air purification devices either for single rooms or whole house systems
Of course, many allergy suffers are affected seasonally by pollens and other environmental factors. In this case, the correct type of air purification device can prove very beneficial since these irritants are typically large particles that can easily be trapped by a filter.
Air Purifier Filter Technology
Air purification technology uses a number of different methods for air filtration, and it is recommended by the AAFA that you consult with your doctor to determine which type of system will eliminate the specific allergens that trigger your symptoms. AAFA cautions consumers about accepting the manufacturer’s claims and urge them to investigate the pros and cons of different methods fr themselves with their doctor’s guidence. The following air purification products are the most common for residential use:
- HEPA Filters – and must be replaced every 6 months to a year and are typcially effective for seasonal allergies.
- Electrostatic Filters – May produce small amounts of ozone so these are rarely recommended.
- Hybrid Filters – Using barrier filters like HEPA and material such as activated carbon to filter gasses provides an effective combination to reduce some types of allergen triggers
- Ozone Generators –
For maximum protection, whole house air purification systems installed as part of the HVAC unit are highly recommended to filter larger particles combined with portable units with HEPA filtration to filter the smallest particles in rooms where allergy sufferers sleep.
Air Purifier Feature Considerations
Once you have determined the correct type of air purification system that works best for your particular allergies, you also need to consider the following factors before purchasing:
- Coverage area –
- Noise level –
- Cost and ease of filter change –
- Efficiency rating –
For Further Information:
WebMD on Air Filters – http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/do-you-need-an-air-filter Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America – http://www.aafa.org/ Mayo Clinic (Asthma Friendly Products) – http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/asthma-friendly/AS00033/NSECTIONGROUP=2