Do Air Purifiers Work for Allergies?
Air purifiers are one of those inventions that make life easier for a lot of people. And while there are various health reasons to rely on an air purifier for your home, by far their most popular use is to prevent allergies in sensitive people.
That said, that does bring two questions to mind: Just how do air purifiers work? And how do they help with allergies?
Common Causes for Indoor Allergies
In the first place, we should properly define an allergy. The popular image we have is of people sneezing at dust and the like, but the symptoms can actually be completely different.
Being allergic means that simple and relatively harmless elements in the air can cause a health reaction in your body, even if by themselves, they aren't necessarily harmful.
While the most common symptom of allergies is still sneezing it's far from the only one. People with allergies can suffer from general itchiness, coughing, rashes, and even swelling. And while sneezing is the most common symptom it can also cause, itching, rashes or leave you with a runny nose.
The particles that cause allergies are commonly called "allergens" and can be found even indoors. Here's a list of some of the common allergens that can affect you even in your house:
- Insect Droppings
- Animal Fur
- Cleaning chemicals
Do Air Purifiers Actually Help with Allergies?
In general, air purifiers are great to help with your allergies, but many factors like the model or location can also affect their performance. So we shall try to cover all the possible angles on the topic.
The simple reason air purifiers are such a good help for your allergies is because they make sure allergens can't reach your body. An air purifier is at its core a specialized fan, but one designed to suck air rather than push it. When air goes into the purifier it passes through a serious of filters that trap and, in some cases, even eliminate allergens. And you can't get sick if there are no allergens anymore.
However not all filters work the same, and not all purifiers have the same amount of filters. In general, however to ensure the best results you will want to aim for an air purifier for an HEPA filter.
A HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter is a unique type of filter that uses randomly aligned fibers to maximize allergen capture. However, for a HEPA filter to be able to be categorized as such it needs to be able to remove up to 99% of particles in the air. So any model with a HEPA filter is bound to be leagues above than the average model.
You should also take into account the range of the purifier, as they have a limit to how much air they can clear. Depending on the severity of your allergies you might need multiple purifiers for your house. Or move yours from place to place, you'll start seeing what fits your needs better as you start using a purifier.
Ultimately your choice of air purifier should come to the intensity of your needs. If you only have casual allergies then trying a smaller model should be enough to test out how well it works for you. But if your allergies are particularly serious you should look for a purifier with a HEPA filter. These filters have a higher efficiency and should guarantee better result overall.
That said if you want the best results possible try not to rely solely on a purifier. Proper ventilation in the most common areas of your house can help your health dramatically by getting rid of allergens. And if mold or general humidity is playing a role consider looking into a dehumidifier as well. Air purifiers can filter mold allergens, but at the end of the day they won't stop it so a dehumidifier can be a huge help.
At the end of the day air purifiers are a great for your allergy issues. Their filters do work to capture many of the most common allergens and dramatically improve your health; but they aren't a "cure" by themselves. That's why taking into account their effective range and the filters they come with is so important.