Air purifiers can significantly improve the quality of life in your home, but if you suffer from allergies or other respiratory problems, you may want more specific information about them. In this article, we answer the most common questions about the effects of an air purifier on allergies.
Do air purifiers really work against allergies?
Air purifiers reduce the amount of pollen in the air, which increases at certain times of the year, which should reduce allergy symptoms. However, results vary from person to person.
The effectiveness of these devices depends on the size of the room you are in, the local climate, the capacity of the model of air cleaner and your health.
For best results, make sure your air cleaner is in the room where you spend the most time, has a proper HEPA filter and runs all day.
Pollen will filter through windows over time or settle on carpeting to be released later. An air purifier will not work if you leave it running for a few hours and then turn it off.
Air purifiers also do not work alone. As a first defense against allergies, you should close the windows in your home and change your clothes when you come home from the outdoors. This may seem like a lot at first, but you'll see the difference.
Can an air purifier make allergies worse?
Only ionizing air cleaners can exacerbate allergies. In addition to lessening the effects of allergies, air filters can eliminate odors and help you sleep better.
Studies have shown that air purifiers can help common allergy sufferers by trapping pollen and other irritants inside their filters, but there is no consensus on this yet.
Effectiveness varies depending on the type of filter used. For example, activated carbon filters are more effective at removing odors, but less effective at removing pollen from the air. High-end air purifiers include several types of filters to cover all needs.
What are the side effects of air cleaners?
The only time an air purifier can do more harm than good is with the ionization system. Ionizing air cleaners attract pollen to their filters by electrification.
This has the side effect of binding oxygen atoms together and creating ozone. Even small amounts of ozone can irritate the lungs and aggravate respiratory problems.
Air purifiers also require energy to operate, so they produce some background noise. You will need to replace filters from time to time, but this is more of a maintenance task than a side effect.
Are air cleaners effective against COVID-19?
Air cleaners are not a foolproof deterrent to COVID-19, but they can be part of a broader range of indoor protection, including matching the capacity of the unit to the size of the room or office.
COVID-19 spreads through airborne droplets, called "aerosols," and air cleaners can trap these droplets, provided the filters are designed for particles smaller than 1 micrometer.
Good ventilation is a better form of protection, but if you're in an office or a room that's difficult to ventilate for whatever reason, an air purifier can help.
Air purifiers can help with respiratory health, and not just with allergies. Just make sure you buy one that uses a proper HEPA filter and avoid those that produce ozone.