It’s estimated that up to 30% of the world’s population suffers from allergies. Approximately half of all school children now have sensitivities to environmental toxins like smoke, pollen, and mold. Allergy medications – either over-the-counter or by prescription – are easily obtainable, and are often turned to at the first sign of irritation. However, these drugs can have side effects in some people, like fatigue, brain fog, drowsiness, and nausea. In some cases, these side effects often rival or outstrip the malaise caused by allergy symptoms.
Do Air Purifiers Work For Allergies?
Enter the air purifier. Running a high-quality air purifier in your home can help with allergy symptoms by removing dust, mold spores, bacteria, dander, pollen, and other allergens before they have the chance to irritate your system. As the first line of defense against mild allergies or as a supplement to your doctor-prescribed antihistamine regimen, air purifiers can ease your symptoms by keeping the air clean, fresh, and allergen-free.
How Do Air Purifiers Work to Relieve Allergies?
When you plug your air purifier in, you may notice that it blows air out like a fan. What’s less noticeable is that the air purifier is actually sucking air in, too, and passing it through for cleaning it of airborne allergens and irritants. Some air purifiers are effective at eliminating more than 99 percent of allergens from the air in a closed room. Those allergens and irritants are removed from the air, and remain caught in the filter until disposed of after 6-12 months of use.
Many people suffering from persistent seasonal allergens have to take antihistamines before bed just to prevent their eyes from itching or their nose from becoming congested throughout the night. However, countless air purifier owners report that after putting a high-performance air purifier in their bedroom, that they can finally breathe freely and wake up uncongested without the use of antihistamines. In short, no airborne allergens equals no allergies.
What Can Air Purifiers Remove?
In addition to airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, and mold, many air purifiers are able to eliminate chemicals, odors, and even bacteria and germs from the air, using different types of filtration processes. HEPA or HEPA-like filters are the most efficient filters for allergens of all varieties, trapping up to 99.97 percent of the allergens that get sucked into the air purifier. Your air becomes cleaner with each trip through the filtration system, so the more you run your purifier, the more efficiently it will work.
Selecting an Air Purifier for Allergies
It’s important to size your air purifier according to the space that you want it to treat. Whole-house air purification systems that work in your HVAC system can cost thousands of dollars and require professional installation. However, stand-alone air purifier units that work for individual rooms are the best way to start filtering your air and providing an improved quality of life.
You can make this investment fit your budget by starting with one high-quality HEPA air purifier for the room or area of your home in which you spend the most time. You can add air purifiers to other rooms and areas over time until your entire home is protected by high-quality air filtration. Managing your allergies just got a whole lot easier!
See our Best Air Purifiers For Allergies page for recommendations on our top units.
Additional Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Air Purifier For Allergies
Spring is the most common season for allergies, but many people have allergic reactions all year long. Whether you suffer from dust, pollen, mold, or pet allergies, here are some things that you can do to make your home an allergy-free zone.
- Run an air purifier in each major room in your home at all times. It can take just one hour for allergens to be kicked back up and air to return to dirty levels, but consistent purification will keep the level of allergens in check. Don’t wait for the sniffling and sneezing to start before turning on the air purifier.
- Make sure that you change the filter in your home air purifier before your allergy season hits. You should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when changing filters throughout the year, but it’s beneficial to change just before your season so that you’ll know your air purifier can perform at its peak when it’s time to get serious.
- It’s best to keep at least one spare filter on hand at all times for each air purifier in your home. Many local news channels report levels of pollen and other seasonal allergens each day, or you can check for yourself through the National Allergy Map at Pollen.com. If you want to open your windows to enjoy the fresh air, do so at times when the allergen counts are low, if possible. You may then need to run your air purifier on high for a big so it can handle the influx of outdoor air.
- Don’t wear your shoes in the house. Your shoes and clothing will pick up allergens from the outdoor air, and when you go inside you bring them in with you. Leave jackets and shoes near the front door or in a mud room, and make sure that you have adequate air purifier coverage in that area. Bonus: cleaning will be a little easier when you and your family members aren’t tracking dirt inside!
- If someone in your family suffers from extreme seasonal allergies, you may want to change your clothes after spending a significant amount of time outdoors. Having clothing that you wear primarily indoors will limit the allergens that you track into your home.
- Make sure to rub down or wash pets to avoid the transfer of allergens from their fur to your home. Most people don’t have to go to this extreme when they have effective air purifiers operating in the main living areas of their home, but it’s a good excuse to change into those sweatpants anyway.