We spend a lot of time indoors. As a matter of fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated being indoors accounts for 90% of our time. However, the EPA also has found your indoor air can be three to five times dirtier than outside.
That’s since our homes are firmly sealed to increase energy efficiency. While this is great for your utility expenses, it’s not so good if you’re a part of the 40% of the population with respiratory allergies.
When outdoors ventilation is restricted, pollutants such as dust and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can get stuck. As a consequence, these pollutants may worsen your allergies.
You can boost your indoor air quality with fresh air and regular dusting and vacuuming. But if you’re still having issues with symptoms during the time you’re at your residence, an air purifier may be able to provide relief.
While it can’t remove pollutants that have settled on your furniture or flooring, it can help clean the air traveling across your residence.
And air purification has also been scientifically verified to help reduce some allergic symptoms, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. It might also be useful if you or a loved one has a lung condition, such as emphysema or COPD.
There are two options, a portable air purifier or a whole-home air purifier. We’ll go over the advantages so you can determine what’s appropriate for your residence.
Whole-House Air Purifier vs. Portable Air Purifiers
A portable air purifier is for one room. A whole-house air purifier works alongside your heating and cooling equipment to treat your entire home. Some types can clean on their own when your HVAC unit isn’t running.
What’s the Best Air Purifier for Allergies?
Look for a model with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filters are used in hospitals and provide the best filtration you can buy, as they catch 99.97% of particles in the air.
HEPA filters are even more useful when combined with an ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light. This powerful mixture can destroy dust, dander, pollen and mold, all of which are standard allergens. For the best in air purification, evaluate a system that also has a carbon-based filter to reduce household vapors.
Avoid using an air purifier that generates ozone, which is the main component in smog. The EPA advises ozone may worsen respiratory troubles, even when discharged at low amounts.
The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America has compiled a list of questions to ask when getting an air purifier.
- What can this purifier take out from the air? What doesn’t it take out?
- What’s its clean air delivery rate? (A bigger amount means air will be purified faster.)
- How frequently does the filter or UV bulb need to be changed? Can I finish that without help?
- How much do replacement filters or bulbs cost?
How to Reduce Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
Want to have the most excellent performance from your new air purification equipment? The Mayo Clinic advises completing other steps to limit your exposure to seasonal allergy triggers.
- Stay inside and keep windows and doors sealed when pollen counts are heightened.
- Have other family members trim the lawn or pull weeds, since these tasks can worsen symptoms. If you have to do these jobs on your own, you might want to consider wearing a pollen mask. You should also bathe without delay and change your clothes once you’re completed.
- Avoid hanging laundry outdoors.
- Run the AC while at home or while driving. Consider using a high-efficiency air filter in your home’s HVAC equipment.
- Equalize your home’s humidity levels with a whole-house dehumidifier.
- Hardwood, tile or linoleum are the best flooring types for reducing indoor allergens. If your house has carpet, use a HEPA filter on your vacuum cleaner.
Let Our Pros Take Care of Your Indoor Air Quality Needs
Ready to progress with adding a whole-house air purifier? Give our professionals a call at 205-208-8090 or contact us online to get an appointment. We’ll help you choose the best equipment for your family and budget.