Do Air Purifiers Help with Allergies?

April 10, 2020

We spend lots of time in our homes. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated being within a building comprises 90% of our time. Although, the EPA also has determined your indoor air can be three to five times more polluted than outdoors.

That’s because our residences are firmly sealed to boost energy efficiency. While this is good for your utility expenses, it’s not so great if you’re among the 40% of the population with respiratory allergies.

When outdoor ventilation is insufficient, pollutants such as dust and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) could get trapped. As a result, these pollutants can aggravate your allergies.

You can improve your indoor air quality with clean air and routine housework and vacuuming. But if you’re still having problems with symptoms while you’re at your house, an air purifier may be able to provide assistance.

While it can’t eliminate pollutants that have landed on your couch or carpet, it might help purify the air circulating across your house.

And air purification has also been scientifically verified to help lower some allergic symptoms, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. It could also be appropriate if you or a loved one has lung issues, like emphysema or COPD.

There are two models, a portable air purifier or a whole-home air purifier. We’ll examine the distinctions so you can determine what’s right for your residence.

Whole-House Air Purifier vs. Portable Air Purifiers

A portable air purifier is for a single room. A whole-house air purifier works alongside your heating and cooling unit to clean your full home. Some types can purify by themselves when your heating and cooling system isn’t operating.

What’s the Best Air Purifier for Allergies?

Go after a purifier with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filters are installed in hospitals and provide the best filtration you can find, as they trap 99.97% of particles in the air.

HEPA filters are even more powerful when combined with an ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light. This powerful mixture can destroy dust, dander, pollen and mold, all of which are standard allergens. For the best in air purification, evaluate a system that also has a carbon-based filter to decrease household vapors.

Avoid purchasing an air purifier that creates ozone, which is the top component in smog. The EPA warns ozone could aggravate respiratory issues, even when released at low concentrations.

The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America has made a checklist of questions to think over when purchasing an air purifier.

  • What can this purifier take out from the air? What doesn’t it remove?
  • What’s its clean air delivery rate? (A bigger number means air will be freshened more quickly.)
  • How regularly does the filter or UV bulb need to be switched? Can I finish that without help?
  • How much do new filters or bulbs cost?

How to Decrease Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Want to get the best performance from your new air purification equipment? The Mayo Clinic advises taking other steps to limit your exposure to problems that can cause seasonal allergies.

  1. Stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed when pollen counts are heightened.
  2. Have someone else mow the lawn or pull weeds, since this work can worsen symptoms. If you have to do this work yourself, consider trying a pollen mask. You should also rinse off immediately and change your clothes once you’re done.
  3. Avoid drying laundry outside your home.
  4. Run air conditioning while at your house or while driving. Consider installing a high-efficiency air filter in your house’s HVAC unit.
  5. Balance your home’s humidity saturation with a whole-house dehumidifier.
  6. Hardwood, tile or linoleum are the suggested flooring materials for decreasing indoor allergens. If your house has carpet, install a HEPA filter on your vacuum cleaner.

Let Our Pros Handle Your Indoor Air Quality Needs

Prepared to move forward with installing a whole-house air purifier? Give our professionals a call at 540-369-3790 or contact us online to get an appointment. We’ll help you locate the ideal equipment for your house and budget.