Indoor air quality is getting a lot of attention these days, and for good reason. According to the EPA, levels of pollutants in indoor air can be two to five times higher than outdoor air.
Unfortunately, inside exposure to pet dander, dust mites, and other airborne particulate matter can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. That’s why it’s important to follow a simple, three-step solution to improving the quality of the air in your home.
These steps include:
Removing, reducing, or eliminating sources of airborne pollutants.
Ventilating living areas in your home using available kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans.
Adding air filters or air purifiers to help clean the air.
When researching or purchasing air purifiers for allergies, keep in mind that while air purifiers don’t treat allergies, they can be highly effective at removing allergens like pet hair and dander, pollen, and dust. It’s also important to know that the most effective solution includes taking additional steps to protect yourself.
As the indoor comfort experts, Short Pump Heating & Air wants to offer some insight on reliable solutions for improving indoor air quality.
Do Air Purifiers Help Allergies?
The answer starts with understanding how air purifiers work. In most cases, an air purifier uses a fan to circulate air into a filter or series of air filters. Depending upon the capability of the filtration system, airborne particles of various sizes are trapped, letting cleaner, or “purified” air back into the room or home.
The air purifier’s effectiveness is directly related to the capability of the filter or filters. For example, a HEPA filter has been verified to capture 99.97% of airborne pollutants sized 0.3 microns in diameter.
Other air cleaning and purifying units may use electronic methods of collecting airborne particles. These units place an electrical charge on incoming particles and capture the charged particles on oppositely charged collector plates or filters. These models often include a mechanical pre-filter, which must be replaced regularly.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, air filtration has shown an ability to reduce airborne allergens. Regardless of how they do it, air purifiers can help trap allergens including dust mites, pet hair, pet dander, and smoke.
While avoiding these pollutants altogether is the best solution, that’s often not possible. You can, however, reduce exposure to airborne pollutants in your home by:
Banning indoor smoking
Reducing or minimizing the use of fireplaces
Turning on the exhaust fan when cooking
Replacing carpeting with hardwood floors or other hard surfaces
Removing cloth-covered furniture and replacing with leather or other non-cloth furniture
Minimizing or removing other “soft” surfaces like decorative pillows, stuffed animals, and throws
Cleaning all heating and air conditioner filters as required
When you’ve done all you can to eliminate sources of airborne pollutants in your home, be sure to consider the air purifier options available through Short Pump Heating & Air.
Questions To Ask Before Purchasing an Air Purifier for Allergens
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of air purifiers for allergies and how air purifiers can help filter out allergens, let’s take a look at some questions you should ask before making a purchase.
How often will the unit clean the air in my room/home? The answer will depend upon the size of the room or home (square feet) and the air purifier’s available fan speeds.
What substances will the air purifier clean in my home? This will depend on the type of filter or filtration system. HEPA filters can capture 99.97% of dust, pollen, pet dander, and other particles 0.3 microns or larger. For non-HEPA filters, check for the MERV rating – the higher the number, the more effective the filter and the more types of pollutants it can capture.
How often does the filter need to be changed? As a general rule, many air purifier filters need to be replaced once every six to 12 months. However, this will depend upon the type of filter and the manufacturer’s recommendations.
What air filtration system should the air purification system have to clean your home effectively? Some of the best air purifiers on the market include technologies that can deactivate particles trapped in the filter, combine HEPA filtration with a prefilter of some kind, and/or an absorbent filter such as activated carbon, which helps remove or reduce odors.
What is the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) of the air purifier? Portable room air purifiers have a CADR rating. This is a rating that was developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) to measure the effectiveness of an air filter based on room space, and the volume of clean air produced per minute. CADR ratings are recorded for the three most common indoor pollutants: dust, pollen, and smoke.
What air purifier is suited for smaller rooms/bigger rooms? Portable room air purifiers often include published recommendations for appropriate room size. For example, our room air purifiers are available in two sizes, one for moderately sized rooms and one for larger rooms. Whole-home air purifiers, like the Carrier Infinity air purifier, are tied into your home’s HVAC system to provide air cleaning capabilities for the entire home.
Best Air Purifiers for Allergies?
If you’re wondering what the best air purifiers for allergies are, remember that air purifiers don’t treat allergies. They filter out allergens that can cause allergy symptoms.
You might consider air purifiers that are most effective at capturing the pollutants you and your family have sensitivities to. They also need to match your budget needs and whether you prefer a whole-home solution or one that focuses on one room.
Short Pump Heating & Air offers several types of air purifiers or air cleaners.
Call 804-364-9040 today to learn more and speak with our technicians who can help you choose the best model for you and your home.