An air filter for each concern

Air Purifiers

At any given moment, there are a lot of things going on around your home. The shower in your bathroom is still wet, and the bathroom window is closed, your dogs are playing outside, or your spouse is busy preparing food. All of these things influence the quality of the air inside your home. Your pets will bring dander and dust into your home, the cooking will leave a lingering odor after dinner, and the chances are that mildew will start forming in the corner of your shower within a day or two.

According to some studies, the air in your home could be five to seven times worse than the air outside your home. The quality of your home’s indoor air can affect you and your family’s health. If you or someone living in your house constantly sneeze, cough and experience irritations, the chances are that it is because of poor air quality.

Poor air quality can also trigger allergies or cause someone who never had problems with allergies to develop an overreactive immune system. Harmful particles in your home’s air can also result in severe medical conditions like asthma, shortness of breath, or harsh skin conditions.

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to have clean air in your home that smells fresh. By just adding an air purifier, you can transform the stale air that is filled with allergens and harmful particles into healthy, clean air. Since many things can influence the quality of air in your home, there are different types of home air purifiers. The most common types of indoor pollutants include dust, smoke, pet dander, and mold growth. There are also air purifiers available that aim to provide relief from allergies and asthma.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the different types of air purifiers.

For Dust

Dust Issues In House

Apart from allergies, dust can also be one of the most significant sources of frustration when you clean your house. Dust typically accumulates everywhere and is incredibly difficult to keep out of your home.

So, what is dust and where does it come from?

Dust is a dry powder that consists of skin cells, soil, pollen, and pollution. It is said there may even be matter in dust that comes from outside the earth’s atmosphere. Every time a light breeze blows through one of your open windows, dust comes into your home. Cleaning the surfaces and air in your home from dust can have a number of advantages. It reduces allergic reactions and prevents dust mites from multiplying your home. Many people think that dust mites form part of dust. This is not the case, however. Dust mites live off the dander and insect remains that constitutes dust.

The biggest problem with dust is that it is incredibly difficult to clean. Two hours after sweeping your floors and wiping your window sills, you will be able to see dust forming a layer on your clean surfaces. If you have the best air purifier for dust, however, this is a problem that you will never have to deal with again. An air purifier can capture dust around the clock and prevent it from settling on your floors, countertops, and difficult-to-reach corners in the first place.

An air purifier that is capable of removing all dust entirely from your house will have to meet specific requirements. Firstly, you need a unit with a True HEPA filter that can remove at least 99.97% of dust particles.  The minimum particle size that this filter can capture has to be at most 0.03 microns to ensure removal of all dust particles. Regular HEPA type filters are usually not able to remove particles sizes below two or three microns.

For Smoke

Cigarette smoke bad for helalth

Smoking indoors holds a variety of health risks to the occupants of a building, including the smokers. Many people are familiar with the dangers of second-hand smoke.

The dangers of third-hand smoke are relatively new, and the chances are that you are not even familiar with them.

Third-hand smoke is the residue of smoke particles that settle on interior surfaces and in fabrics fibers like carpets and curtains. These smoke particles are harmful and can linger in the air or on surfaces long after you put out your cigarette. The smoke particles that stick around can consist of many harmful substances, including nicotine, lead, carcinogens, and even cyanide. Exposure, be it limited or not, to these substances can be detrimental to a person’s health. Contact or inhalation of these particles can also increase the risk of cancer or severe cardiovascular and respiratory disease. The good news is that you and your family don’t have to live with these harmful particles in your home. By adding an air purifier for smokers to the room, you will be able to get rid of all these particles within a matter of days. 

To get rid of the smoke particles, you need a specific type of purifier. Smoke particles can be as small as 0.3 microns. Your purifier needs a True HEPA filter that can remove at least 99.97% of smoke molecules in the air to remove these tiny particles. Additionally, a purifier for smoke will be more effective if it has an ionizer and ozone generator. Ionizers give airborne particles a positive or negative charge so that they can move towards other particles and cling together. Ionization makes smoke particle removal much easier. I've reviewed the best air purifier for smoke in another article. On a budget? I've had a close look to options under hundred buck as well.

Your purifier should also have a high-quality activated carbon filter to get rid of old tobacco odors that still linger in your house.

For Allergies

Sneezing because of dust particles

If you regularly cough or sneeze or have problems with itchy eyes or skin, chances are that you came into contact with a foreign substance and that your immune system is overreacting in an attempt to keep you healthy, even though the substance is likely to be harmless.

Allergy triggers are called allergens and can include pet dander, mold spores, pollen, or dust. Many allergens can find their way into your home where you can inhale or swallow them. Allergens can also come into contact with your skin.  When your body interacts with an allergen, it may start to produce a protein called IgE, which hold on to the allergen. Histamine, which is the cause of the allergic reaction, will also be released into your bloodstream. In extreme cases, an allergic reaction can result in anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition with symptoms that include hives on your skin, trouble breathing, and tingling in your hands and feet.

Allergens are everywhere. Despite what many people may think, you are more likely to allergic to a substance in your home than in the outdoors. Common indoor allergens that you can find in your home include pollen, smoke from cigarettes and wildfire, dust and dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores. You may also be allergic to volatile organic compounds, for example, paints, adhesives, and glue. The good news is that you can trap most of these allergen particles with a suitable air filter. When choosing an air filter for allergies, there are some key features that you should prioritize, including a True HEPA filter and a pre-filter to trap larger particles such as hair and pollen particles.

Since odors are not a source of allergens, an activated carbon filter is not necessary. However, many high-end purifiers come with an activated carbon filter so it wouldn’t hurt to have one.

For Pet Odour and Dander

Pets can be a source of hair, allergens, and unpleasant smells. If you have pets in your home, chances are that you don’t mind living with the discomfort of an itchy nose and eyes most of the time. Fortunately, you don’t have to put up with the allergies that come with having the air in your room full of pet dander. 

A common misconception is that pet hair is the source of allergies. This may be the case if pet dander clings to the hair, but apart from settling in your floors and furniture, pet hair is harmless. Pet dander, however, is an allergen. If you consistently inhale pet dander, you run the risk of developing an allergy to it, if you haven’t already. An additional problem with having pets in your home is that they can be a source of unpleasant smells. Their gas emissions, breath, and occasional accidents can cause a slight odor in your home as time goes by. You can address both dander and odors in your home by adding an air purifier. The purifier should have a True HEPA filter that can trap airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns to eliminate dander effectively. A filter that can only capture larger particles will allow pet dander through back into the air of your home.

The air purifier needs an additional activated carbon filter to eliminate unpleasant smells of pets in your home. Activated carbon is a natural substance with a large surface. As a filter, it has an incredible ability to neutralize most household odors. If your pet sheds a lot of hair, your air purifier should have a pre-filter to capture larger particles as well. This pre-filter doesn’t only trap pet hair but also prevents it from reaching the HEPA filter where it can cause damage in the long run. Do you want to get rid of pet dander? Read my in-depth guide on the best air purifier for pets.

For Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are types of fungus that live on organic matter. In nature, mold plays an essential role in the regeneration of soil and other biological processes. When it comes it the inside of your house, however, mold and mildew can have a debilitating effect on you and your household’s wellbeing. I've reviewed 5 of the best air purifiers for mold in this post.

Mold and mildew flourish in environments that have high levels of humidity and poor ventilation. If you, for example, take a shower without opening a window afterward, you may start to see mold growth within a day or two. But, why does mold growth have such a negative impact on a household? The mold that grows on lemon, for example, is an antibacterial for Penicillin, so it can’t be all bad? Well, the most mold particles are not toxic, but mold spores are allergens. If you inhale these spores, you can experience hay fever or asthma. Your lungs are the ideal environment for nurturing the growth of mold since they are warm and moist. A type of mold called Stachybotrys, for example, can be quite detrimental to your respiratory health, and can even cause death.

Mold spores that are essential in the spread of mold colonies is an allergen. Even if you don’t inhale these spores, they can cause an infestation. Capturing mold spores is, therefore, essential to combat mold and mildew. You and your family need protection against mildew and mold growth. The best way is with an air purifier that dehumidifies your home and that captures mold spores. Humidity can encourage the development of fungi, bacteria, and viruses. A purifier that dries the air can prevent this from happening.

Your air purifier filter should also be able to catch mold spores before they can cause an infestation of mold and mildew. Air purifiers with a True HEPA filter or any other HEPA filter type will be sufficient.

For Asthma

Common symptoms of asthma include tightening of your chest and shallow breathing or feeling short of breath. Asthma is a severe condition that affects the respiratory system, particularly the smaller airways.

The smaller airways of your respiratory system consist of bronchi and bronchioles. The inner lining of these thinner airways is called mucosa, which is surrounded by smooth muscle. If you have asthma, these bronchi and bronchioles are chronically inflamed. Similar to your immune system, bronchi and bronchioles can be hypersensitive to certain triggers. These triggers can include pollen, pet dander, tobacco or wildfire smoke, and dust. If you have asthma, exposure to these triggers can trigger an exacerbation or asthma attack.

Since mucosa are surrounded by smooth muscle, a trigger can cause these muscles to contract and narrow your airways. A trigger can also make inflammation worse and cause the lining of these airways to swell up and block air flow. If you have asthma, exposure to triggers can result in the feeling of chest tightness. As the airways constrict, your breathing may also cause a wheezing noise. Although this may seem counterintuitive, you may find it easier to inhale than exhaling if you are having an asthma attack.  Eventually, you may have too much air in your lungs, which is a condition called hyperinflation. The result is that your body has to work harder to get rid of the access air. The most effective way to get rid of the air in your lungs is to prevent contact with triggers. An air purifier in your home can remove all the particles that can cause an asthma attack, including smoke, pollen, dust, and pet dander.

An air purifier with a True HEPA- and pre-filter is the most effective as it removes particles of all sizes from the air in your home.

All in all

Without you even knowing it, the air in your home can have an incredibly debilitating effect on you and your family’s health and lifestyle. Investing in a high-quality air purifier can go a long way to ensure that you breathe in fresh and clean air. A high-quality air purifier will not only clear the air in your home of harmful allergens, but also larger particles like pet hair, pollen, and soil grains, as well as unpleasant odors. A True HEPA filter is always a good option, regardless of the pollutant types that you want to get rid of. For dust and allergies, an additional activated carbon filter is not a necessity. When it comes to cigarette and wildfire smoke, however, an activated carbon filter can eliminate lingering smells.

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