Do air purifiers actually help with allergies? Can an air purifier remove pollen particles from your home? What about dust? Do air purifiers help relieve nasal congestion and headaches?
The time has come to clear the air by answering your questions about air filters and allergies.
Yes! According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, air filters can be useful for people with allergies. Since they are able to reduce the airborne allergens in your home, such as mold, dust, and animal dander, they can improve your allergy symptoms.
Air purifiers can also be beneficial for people with asthma and other respiratory problems. They can trap pollutants too, such as smoke, so if you live in a busy city with a high level of air pollution, an air purifier can make sure you breathe clean air, at least when you’re at home.
If you have watery eyes, a runny nose, and can’t stop sneezing even when you’re at home, you may be wondering if air purifiers can help with pollen allergies. Can they clear your indoor air of these tiny pollen particles? The answer is yes. Studies proved that air purifiers can help with common allergies, including pollen allergy. By filtering the air, they can remove pollen and other air pollutants — so using an air purifier can provide relief from pollen allergies when you are in your own home.
That’s a tricky question — it depends on what’s causing the congestion. If nasal congestion is the result of a common cold, an air purifier is unlikely to improve your symptoms. But if your stuffy nose is caused by allergies, an air purifier can definitely help.
If you are allergic to dust, pollen, or other airborne allergens, they can irritate your sinuses as you breathe them in, causing your nasal tissue to swell. Air purifiers can reduce the amount of these triggers in your home, lowering your chance of an allergic reaction and nasal congestion.
When you’re choosing an air purifier for your home, the most important thing to consider is what filter it uses to clean the air. You have several types of air filters to choose from:
Some of them like UV light filters are effective at killing viruses and bacteria, and some are great at removing bad odors — like carbon filters. But they may not clean the air of allergens and other pollutants.
So when it comes to removing small allergen particles from the air, HEPA filters are your best option.
They can capture up to 99.7 percent of all tiny particles that cause an allergic reaction or an asthma attack when they get into your airways and lungs. Most freestanding air purifiers are fitted with HEPA filters, so they are able to remove common allergens, such as pollen, mold, and dust mites from the air, along with some small smoke particles and other air pollutants.
If you want your indoor air to be particularly clean, especially during pollen season, you can also use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. But keep in mind that the amount of allergens in the air may temporarily increase after you vacuum, so allow some time for them to settle before deeming your HEPA filter appliance ineffective.
Although most air purifiers improve allergy symptoms, some of them, namely ionizing air purifiers, can make them worse.
Air ionizers stir up the air pollutants like pollen and dust and charge them making them heavier, so they can settle on surfaces. During this process, more allergens can get suspended in the air, and if the air purifier isn’t powerful enough and has a limited ability to filter the air, this can make your allergies worse. Think of how you start sneezing after cleaning and dusting your room — these ionizers can have the same effect.
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But there is another reason why ionizing air purifiers can sometimes aggravate allergy symptoms — they actually produce ozone which is a lung irritant and can trigger allergies in some people. So if you're looking to improve the air quality in your home, an air purifier with a HEPA filter is your best bet.
Headaches are a common symptom of allergies, so air purifiers should help, right? Well, it’s not always the case.
There are many causes of headaches; if you’re sensitive to certain chemicals and smells like tobacco smoke or are allergic to pollen or dust, your sinuses can become irritated and swollen, which in turn puts pressure on your trigeminal nerve and nearby areas causing a headache. Most air purifiers can filter the air and remove these triggers, relieving your symptoms.
But some can actually produce by-products that can have the opposite effect.
And that’s when we go back to the ionizers and other emitting air purifiers like ozone generators. As part of their air cleaning process, they release ozone or ions that can trigger a headache in some people.
Another instance where an air purifier may give you a headache is if it is old or faulty. That’s why it is crucial to properly care for your air purifier and stop using it when you can smell burning or other unpleasant odors after turning it on.
To make sure your air purifier serves you for a long time and is as effective at cleaning the air as when you first got it, you need to follow a few simple maintenance steps:
If the humidity level in your home is high, you should also check your air purifier for mold — it can grow very quickly in damp areas. Remove the filters from time to time to check if there’s mold on them and consider using a dehumidifier to control humidity levels in your home. It can help your air purifier serve longer and also make your home more comfortable in general.
If you have allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems, air purifiers can help improve your symptoms. However, some emitting air purifiers like ionizers can make your allergies worse. When it comes to choosing an air filter to improve your allergies, HEPA filters are the best at cleaning the air. They can efficiently remove small pollutants and allergens from your home and give you a breath of fresh air.