Spring and summer are when people typically think about allergies, but when you spend more time indoors during the winter, respiratory considerations start to resurface. The first time you turn the furnace on, light the wood stove, or bring out the blankets, you introduce billions of particles into your environment!
Often the allergy symptoms are miss-perceived to be the common cold. A great deal of study has been done in this area in recent years. Because the symptoms are similar, runny nose, sniffles, congestion, scratchy throat, etc, many people attribute these maladies to the common cold. But the cold typically lasts about ten days, and in many of our customers, these symptoms go on much, much longer. That is an indication that the problem is an allergic reaction to bad air, which does not improve until the source of the problem is removed.
In the winter, when the house is closed up, it is extremely important that allergy or asthma sufferers spend time in a clean home with fresh air. At the least, the bedroom should have a HEPA air purifier running at all times. The best air purifiers for winter allergies are going to be the same air purifiers that keep allergy symptoms in the spring and summer at bay.
If you already own an air purifier and did not maintain it or check your filters in the autumn months, it is particularly important that you do so before winter. Although it may not be time to change your HEPA filter, if your air purifier has a pre-filter which can be changed, it would be a good idea to do so.
The pre-filter in your air purifier is designed to remove the larger pieces of dust, dander, and hair that are pulled into the air purifier. Prepare before you turn that furnace on for the first time, or light up that cozy woodstove, or bring out winter coats, clothes and blankets, because you will indeed introduce billions of particles into your home that were sedentary during the warm months. It’s always a good idea, whenever you do any of these things, to turn your room air purifier on the highest speed for an hour or two to get the new whirlwind of particles. The dust itself can be loaded with pollens, mold spores, mites and mite fecal matter, so you want the air purifier to have full reign to pull that dust in. A clogged pre-filter will not allow this.
Pets and smoke of any kind (cigarette or woodstove) should be kept out of the bedroom. The door should be closed and the air purifier allowed to operate 24 hours a day. This will create a clean sleeping environment which will allow the respiratory system to truly rest from fighting the influx of allergens during the day.
When we realize the aggregate of all of the allergens, particles, irritants, and just plain pollution that is in our indoor air, it is a wonder that we can breathe at all. Thankfully, the human body is an extraordinary thing and a good deal of it is prevented from getting into our lungs through the design of our noses and sinuses and the cilia which catch particles before they enter our lungs. However, the number of people who suffer from allergies is growing exponentially every year, so the body does need help. Another reason to make sure your air purifier is in good working condition, and that you have air purifier units in the key locations of your home (the places where you spend the most time) is that with winter, the last vestiges of ragweed (which can last until the end of October) and mold in dying leaves add to the list of irritants that can cause allergy symptoms.