Our home should be a safe place to feel secure and breathe clean air. Yet many allergens are present in our home environment without being seen.
People who are allergic to dust mites or pet hair have symptoms that make it difficult for them to be comfortable in their own homes. Eliminating the causes of allergies is not always easy, a good cleaning is not enough. In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about air purifiers for allergies. But do air purifiers help with allergies?
Let's take a closer look at the causes of home allergies and see if an air purifier can help prevent and reduce allergy symptoms.
What causes allergies in the home?
There are several triggers that can cause allergies in the home. Some people are sensitive to all of these allergens, others to only some of them.
Dust mites are the most common cause of home allergies. Dust mites prefer warm, moist places. Their preferred environments are climates with humidity above 50% and temperatures above 20°C.
One of the most common misconceptions is that they can be eliminated with a good cleaning. This is not the case. Dust mites live in carpets, upholstery, mattresses and pillows. They live there and when we walk on a carpet or move around in a bed, they rise and float in the air. Dust mites can live in a clean place, and in some cases, even cleaning can raise these particles and make allergies worse.
Mold is another cause of allergies in damp areas. It is a fungus that produces spores, small mold particles, and their spores float in the air and become part of the dust. The areas most affected in the home are usually the bathroom and kitchen because of their humidity.
Pollen is another common allergen that can be found in house dust. This usually comes from outdoor trees and flowers that have come indoors, but some indoor plants can also trigger a pollen allergy. This is usually a seasonal allergy and not everyone is allergic to all types of pollen.
Pets (fur, feathers, coat, skin scales)
Pets can trigger allergies in some people. Although dog and cat hair is often considered the culprit, it is actually the dander or scales of these animals that usually cause allergies. These dander particles come from dead skin, but also from a protein found in the saliva and urine of some pets. Although this particle is harmless to humans, the immune system of some people perceives it as a threat and an allergic reaction develops.
Symptoms of allergies to animals, dust and pollen
Runny or stuffy nose
Red, itchy or watery eyes
Rash or hives
How to reduce allergies at home
Avoid using carpets and curtains that collect particles.
Use dust mite-proof pillowcases and mattresses.
Keep pets out of the bedroom where you sleep.
If you live in a high humidity climate, reduce the humidity to less than 50%.
Vacuum your home to remove pet hair and dust.
Use a HEPA air purifier to reduce airborne allergens.
The air purifier and allergies
Do air cleaners really help with allergies?
Yes, the right air purifier can help prevent allergies in the home.
Allergenic particles are small and float in the air, falling and sticking to surfaces. When we walk around the room, sit down, pick things up, turn on the fan, they are lifted up and float in the air. As long as they are deposited on a surface, they don't cause any symptoms, but when they are in the air, they are inhaled and that is when they can cause an allergic reaction.
A good air purifier traps these particles and prevents them from floating back into the air.
Do all air cleaners work to prevent allergies?
No, not all air cleaners use the same method to clean the air and not all methods remove allergens.
Which air purifier is best for allergies?
There are several types of air purifiers depending on the method they use to purify the air. Here are some of the most common ones:
Ozone Generating Air Purifier.
An ozone air purifier has the ability to eliminate mold and bacteria. However, ozone irritates the lungs, which can be more harmful than allergies. To use this type of purifier safely, it is advisable to evacuate the house. It is not recommended to use it at home to prevent allergies.
Ultraviolet light air purifier
This type of purifier kills bacteria by emitting short-wave ultraviolet light. Unlike the previous ones, they are not harmful to health. They are often used in medical and hospital environments. However, they are not the most effective for use in the home environment to help reduce allergies.
With this type of purifier, it is difficult to reach every corner of a room. In addition, the particles must be exposed to light long enough for this method to be effective.
Activated carbon air purifiers
The activated carbon used in these air cleaners absorbs odors, smoke and chemical compounds. It traps relatively large particles and purifies the air, but does not remove allergens from the air. Some purifiers combine activated carbon filters with HEPA filters, eliminating odors and allergens.
HEPA air purifiers
Air purifiers with HEPA filters are the most commonly used air purifiers in the home and are currently the most effective at removing allergens. HEPA stands for "High Efficiency Particulate Air", which means high efficiency against airborne particles. It works with a filter that captures tiny particles, as small as 0.3 microns. It is very effective against mold, dust mites, pollen, hair and pet dander.
Depending on the manufacturer and model of the air purifier, it may be necessary to clean or change this HEPA filter regularly. In most cases, it lasts for more than a year, or even more than three years for some. There are also permanent filters.
This type of HEPA filter is also found in some vacuum cleaners to trap allergens when cleaning the house.
So what is the best air purifier for allergies?
Air purifiers with HEPA filters are best for allergy prevention in the home.
The power of the purifier is important
The size of the room in which the air purifier is to be used must be taken into account. It is usually specified in square meters or cubic meters. The recommended power is sufficient to renew the air in the room at least twice an hour at low power and between 4 and 5 times at maximum power.
Where to place the air purifier?
For an air purifier to be effective against allergies, it must be placed in the right place in the house. Many people think that the living room is the most appropriate place to put it. Enjoying a few hours on the couch in front of the TV with fresh air seems ideal, but it's only a few hours a day.
We spend more hours in the bedroom sleeping than in the living room. We spend a third of our lives sleeping. We sleep between 7 and 10 hours a day, children even more. Placing the air purifier in the bedroom, where we spend the most time, is usually the best way to reduce allergies.
Myths about air cleaners for allergies
An air purifier does not remove pet hair, but it does remove the tiny particles that cause allergies.
Not all air cleaners prevent allergies.
The living room is not the room where an air purifier will be most effective in fighting allergies.
What should I consider when choosing an air purifier?
If you've decided to buy an air purifier for allergies, consider the following points to choose the most suitable and effective air purifier for your home. What do you want to use the air purifier for? If the goal is to remove allergens from the air, a purifier with a HEPA filter will be the most appropriate.
Where will you place the air purifier? The size of the room where you are going to place the purifier is important, you need to choose a purifier with the right power to cover the whole room. The noise level is also a factor to consider, as the air purifier will be running while you are in the room.
We hope you have found this article on allergies and air purifiers very helpful and for more To learn more about our air purifiers, please click here!