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Spring and fall allergies are quite common thanks to pollen and mold on the leaves, but if you feel like your personal allergy season is also summer and winter, you may not be dealing with seasonal allergies alone. You can also suffer from indoor or environmental allergies caused by anything from dust mites and insect droppings to mold and pet dander . If so, you can buy an air purifier to improve the air quality in your home. Before you dismiss this as a luxury purchase, know that ignoring your current allergies can cause more serious problems down the road.
"Uncontrolled allergies can lead to asthma," says Kathleen Dass, MD, a Michigan-based allergist and immunologist. "While most studies are generally small, the evidence shows an improvement in allergic rhinitis with [air purifiers containing] HEPA filters."
It sounds simple enough, but a search for air purifiers on the internet is enough to get you dizzy. There are many options, each with more "required" features than the other, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Don't worry, we've made it easy to find – here are nine of the best indoor allergy air purifiers to keep you from running your nose all year long.
These are some of the best allergy air purifiers on the market.
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What to Look for in Allergy Air Purifiers
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air, and Dr. Dass says that HEPA filter purifiers have been the most researched and the only type that has been shown to filter particles down to 0.3 micrograms. This makes them one of the best tools for treating indoor allergens.
When we talk about the size of air purifiers, we are referring to the square meters that a device can cover and purify the air around you. If your device only covers a small area in a large room, it is not doing the work necessary to remove allergens. Air purifiers have a Clean Air Supply Rating (CADR), which measures how efficiently a device cleans the air. "AHAM (Association of Home Appliances) has shown that the CADR of your air purifier should be at least two-thirds of the area of the room," says John McKeon, MD, CEO of Allergy Standards. Limited speaking on behalf of the AAFA's Asthma and Allergy Friendly Certification Program.
Some air purifiers are electrically charged or ionized with UV technology to further purify and disinfect the air. This is a feature that some people benefit from, but others, such as those with asthma, should avoid these types of purifiers, says Dr. Dass, as they have been shown to create ozone [which] can actually cause or make asthma symptoms worse. … "
Frequently asked questions
Air purifiers can be helpful for allergy sufferers because the device is capable of removing allergens and other debris from the environment. Since these machines can be expensive, it is important to place the device in the room that the user uses most often. "Portable air purifiers are best for the rooms you spend most of your time in, like your bedroom or home office," says Melanie Carver, mission leader for the American Foundation for Asthma and Allergy. (AAFA). The size of the room should be taken into account when choosing a machine and where to place it, because cleaners can only clean a certain radius. "Air filters have ratings that indicate how much air they can purify," says Carver. "The device should fit the size of your room."
Air purifiers and humidifiers serve different purposes in fighting allergies. While air purifiers help remove allergens, dust, and other particles from the air, humidifiers provide moisture in the air while removing some of the larger particles from the environment. However, Carver cautions against constant use of humidifiers, as the added moisture can exacerbate allergies. "Too much humidity can lead to mold growth and an increase in dust mites, which cause asthma and allergy symptoms," says Carver, adding that mold and dust mites thrive in environments with humidity greater than 50 percent. hundred. 'Mold spores can enter the nose and cause allergy symptoms. The spores can also enter the lungs and cause asthma, ”he says. Humidifiers are recommended to keep humidity between 30 and 50 percent. Otherwise, according to Carver, some people may need a dehumidifier if they live in a humid environment because "if the air is too humid, the air purifiers will not work properly."
Indoor plants can improve the oxygenation of a room and remove some pollutants from the air. But Carver cautions that adding greenery won't make a significant difference to the air quality in a room unless it's "full of plants." This does not mean that someone should not add greenery to their space. Carver says it's important to research plants because some of them collect more dust or require moist potting soil, which can lead to mold growth. "You can also focus on greening the environment outside your home," says Carver. Some plants that are most beneficial for allergies include bamboo palm and dracaena, which help purify the air and trap certain allergens.
Experts recommend leaving your portable air purifier on overnight to create an environment free from most allergens and other irritants. In fact, people notice the difference in air quality more if the air purifier is left on for a long time rather than turning it off every few hours. There is a concern that an electrical device, such as an air purifier, will operate at night without paying attention to it, but in fact, these devices were designed to work all the time. "Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations on where to place the air purifier and keep the front and back of the unit clear," Carver recommends.
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