Those who suffer from allergies often look for ways to alleviate their symptoms and eliminate allergens in the home. While keeping items clean and free of dust can help keep the level of allergens down, indoor air quality is a major factor and largely determines the likelihood of one’s home environment contributing to allergy attacks. One way to cleanse indoor air and bring relief to allergy sufferers is using an air purifier.
How Air Purifiers Work
Air purifiers work by circulating indoor air through a filter, which removes contaminants and allergens before the air is forced back into the house. This process is why some people call purifiers air cleaners. Some of the most efficient air purifiers use a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. HEPA filtration systems remove small air particles and must meet Department of Energy standards. Air purifiers with ULPA (ultra-low penetration air) filters work even more efficiently and remove smaller particles.
Ionizing air purifiers are also common, and use the corona discharge method to remove large particles from the air, such as dust. To add functionality and health benefits, many air purifiers incorporate adsorbent material such as activated charcoal into their filtration systems to remove smoke, fumes, chemicals, and odors from the air, which can also trigger allergy symptoms. Purifiers with highly effective filters and adsorbent material are best for allergy sufferers and are more likely to create a allergen free home environment.
The aforementioned devices are most effective for allergy sufferers who are especially sensitive to airborne particles. Allergens that do not remain airborne, including dust mites, are more difficult to eliminate from the air. Dust mites in particular are a leading cause of allergy symptoms due to their waste containing an enzyme that’s an allergy trigger. If you have difficulties with such allergens, it’s important to look for an air purifier with a filtration system that specifically aims to capture dust mites. Most quality air purifiers with a HEPA or ULPA filter are effective at trapping dust mites, dander, and spores.
If you’re concerned about how effective a particular air purifier will be at combating allergens, check its Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) on the packaging or manufacturer’s website. This number will tell you how well the purifier removes pollen, dust, and tobacco smoke from indoor air. The higher the CADR, the more effective the purifier. The maximum rating for smoke and pollen is 450, while the maximum CADR for dust is 400.
When choosing an air purifier with the aim of alleviating allergens, also consider the size of your home. Air purifiers specify the capacity of their filters, which will tell you if it can handle the square footage of your house. One affordable option is to keep a quality air purifier in the room where you spend the most time, but in larger homes, it may be necessary to place multiple devices around the house. Buying a high capacity air purifier is another way to help ensure that the air in your home is clean and healthy with a low level of allergens.
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