Do you wake up every morning with a stuffy head or itchy eyes? Do you find yourself sneezing way too often throughout the day, even when you’re indoors?
An air purifier may help. It can remove many of the triggers causing allergies, easing symptoms, and improving your quality of life. Let’s explore exactly why you should consider getting a purifier for your home.
Reduce Indoor Pollutants
Nowadays, we’re spending more time inside than ever before. You might think staying inside will help your allergies, but indoor air, like outside air, can contain pollutants.
In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency found the indoor concentration of some pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor concentrations. This is bad news for those of us with asthma or allergies. Indoor air pollutants can affect human health in a variety of ways, including headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Those health effects are only on the mild end, too—pollutants can lead to even worse respiratory complications for those particularly susceptible to them.
The good news is air purification can reduce the concentration of indoor pollutants in your home, and a purifier plays an important role in that process.
Purify Your Air
To purify your home air, you first need to understand the different types of indoor pollutants and their sources.
Here are a few common pollutants you should watch out for:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Mold spores
- Harmful gases
Most of these pollutants come from sources inside the home. For example, you might burn food while cooking in the kitchen and release smoke into the air. That smoke doesn’t dissipate on its own; it becomes part of the indoor environment. Cleaning supplies, paints, and similar products can also introduce harmful gases and chemicals into your home’s air.
You should consider outdoor sources, as well. Air pollutants may enter the home through open windows, doors, or ventilation systems. Someone with dirt or dust on their shoes could bring those pollutants inside with them, without even realizing it.
A home air purifier can catch many of these pollutants, including dust mites, pollen, and mold spores.
Improve Air Quality
So, you have all these air pollutants in your home, and you want them gone. Should you buy an air purifier and call it a day?
Not quite. While a purifier can definitely help reduce indoor pollutants, it can’t capture every single one. To truly purify your home air, you’ll need to attack contaminants on multiple fronts.
One of the easiest ways to improve air quality is to increase ventilation in your house. If you just wiped down your kitchen counter with a cleaning agent, open a window and wave goodbye to the harmful gases. Increasing airflow can go a long way toward purification. If you’re dealing with mold, then you should try to regulate the humidity levels in your home. Mold thrives in high humidity, so you may want to buy a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier can help you keep indoor moisture under control.
A purifier can make a great addition to these efforts. If you have a room with poor air circulation or a low air exchange rate, then it is the perfect place for a purifier. A purifier will suck in the stale air, filter it, and send the clean air back into the room to get the air circulating.
Buy an Air Purifier That’s Right for You
Before you buy a purifier, you should put some thought into selecting the right one for your home. Purifiers come in all shapes and sizes, and to get the most out of your purifier, you should choose one that fits your needs.
For instance, if you want to purify the air in a large room, a small purifier won’t be as effective as a larger model, so size plays an important role. Portability also comes into play: If you want to use a purifier in multiple rooms, then a portable air purifier may be right for you. Noise may also be a factor. Purifiers are designed to be on and running at all times. The last thing you need is a loud purifier in your bedroom keeping you up at night. Keep an eye out for a purifier that advertises low volume or has received good ratings for minimal noise.
The most important feature of all is the type of filter you go with.
Choose an Appropriate Filter
There are several different types of filters in purifiers, and some are more effective in certain areas than others.
Mechanical filters are, by far, the most common type of filter included in purifiers. To ensure your purifier is of the highest quality, look for a mechanical filter designated as a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter by the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology. This rating represents the effectiveness of the filter’s ability to remove particles from the air. For those with allergies or asthma, this is your best bet to eliminate as many pollutants from the air as possible.
If you are aiming to eliminate odors, then you need to buy a purifier with an activated carbon filter. This filter absorbs odor-causing molecules in the air. However, you have to replace activated carbon filters more often (every 3 months) than mechanical filters (every 6-12 months). Some purifiers use ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) technology to kill airborne viruses, bacteria, and fungal spores. Purifiers that use UVGI technology come equipped with UV lamps. If you want a powerful filter, this is a good choice, but note that there is some debate around the effectiveness of this technology in portable purifiers.
Picking the right filter in your purifier is key to getting the results you’re looking for.
Continue to Enhance Your Quality of Life
Buying an air purifier is only one way to improve the quality of life within your home. If you’re looking for other ways to enhance your home, check out these home maintenance tips.