If sneezing, coughing, sinus congestion, or itchy eyes are plaguing you, then you might be dealing with allergies. Allergies can range from mildly irritating to almost debilitating. In a nutshell, you experience allergic reactions because the air you breathe has tiny particles that can cause skin and respiratory complications.
Making your home allergen-free might be on your to-do list, but how can you do that? In this blog, let’s talk about how an air purifier can help with allergies and what types of particles might be giving you a hard time.
How Does an Air Purifier Filter Allergens?
Allergies happen when you come into contact with an allergen that your immune system identifies as harmful, even though it isn’t, and it makes antibodies in response. So, when you encounter an allergen, your body reacts with inflammation, congestion, and other irritating symptoms. This is why your eyes water, your nose runs, and you start to sneeze a lot.
How does an air purifier help with this? Well, put simply, it sucks in air from the environment and passes it through different filters that make it cleaner and safer to breathe, which can thus help to keep your allergies at bay.
Air purifiers often offer multiple layers of protection. For instance, a pre-filter might target larger allergens such as dust and pet hair/dander. A medical-grade HEPA 13 filter targets 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns and 99.95% of allergens as 0.1 microns. This is where a good bulk of the work is done within the technology.
You might find an activated carbon filter in your air purifier. This works to neutralize harmful allergens and gases floating in the air, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Finally, your device might also use UV-C light.
All of these filters work in harmony to purify your breathing air and protect you from allergies and other nasty airborne particles. You can leave a purifier running all day, if necessary, and simply replace the filter as needed to ensure it continues operating optimally.
5 Types of Allergens that Air Purifiers Target
You now have a basic understanding of how an air purifier can help with allergies. But what pesky particles are lurking in your breathing air, anyway? Despite your best efforts to keep your house spotless, allergens still somehow find their way into your home and make themselves comfortable. Here are some of the more common allergens found inside homes and offices.
1. Pet Fur and Dander
Pets shed fur and dander, which circulate in the air. These particles are very small, light, and sometimes invisible, so they often go unnoticed. They also spread easily around your house, making it harder to contain them. This is why a HEPA 13 filter is so vital to air purification.
If you have a pet, here are a few basic recommendations:
- Have a designated spot for bathing, combing, and de-shedding them.
- Vacuum your floors and carpets a couple of times a week.
- Avoid letting them on the furniture you use.
- Wash their bedding weekly.
Mold is a common trigger for allergies. Mold occurs naturally in the environment and is mostly found in damp places. In fact, in nature, it can be beneficial. In the home, however, not so much. Mold reproduces and spreads in the air by releasing tiny spores, which trigger allergic reactions and even mold sickness when inhaled.
The common areas where you can find mold in your house are bathtubs, sinks, the basement, along walls, leaking pipes, and ceilings — anywhere prone to moisture.
The best way to control the spread of mold in your house is to fix the moisture problem at its source and use a HEPA air filter. Here are a few basic tips:
- Crack a window or leave the door open after bathing so that the steam can clear out.
- Keep carpets and rugs dry.
- Fix any leaks, however tiny they are, that might be the source of mold.
- If you notice any condensation around windows, make sure they’re properly sealed.
Smoke can enter your house in different ways. It might come from wildfires, tobacco, cooking, fireplaces, candles, vehicle exhaust, lawn equipment, your chimney, and even power tools.
Smoke contains particulate matter that’s very dangerous when inhaled. Particulate matter is a mixture of solid and liquid particles too small to be seen. When you inhale smoke, you might experience reactions such as watery eyes, difficulty in breathing, and coughing. (And yes, secondhand smoke is still dangerous.)
Pollen is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Pollen grains are tiny seeds spread by trees, plants, weeds, and grass. It can enter your house in several ways:
- Open windows.
- On your clothes.
Exposure to pollen can trigger hay fever and allergic conjunctivitis and can worsen asthmatic conditions. Common pollen allergy symptoms are:
- Watery eyes.
- Swelling of the nose.
- Itchy throat.
5. Dust and Dust Mites
Dust is a combination of various fine particles including pollen, pet dander, and fibers from clothing or soil. Dust seems harmless (and normal) but can be quite irritating. When inhaled, it agitates the lungs, nose, eyes, and respiratory system and worsens asthma.
Dust mites are another common allergen found in your home. They prefer warm and humid environments, mostly setting up shop in bedding or other fabrics, upholstered material, mattresses, and pillows. Regular cleaning is key:
- Vacuum and mop weekly, at least.
- Wash your bedding once a week.
- Wipe down surfaces weekly, especially in high-traffic areas.
- On windy days, keep the windows and doors closed as much as possible, so particles aren’t swept inside.
Along with keeping your home clean, air purifiers can be one of your best allies in keeping allergies at a distance. Learn more about how Sans works and take the next step toward perfectly purified air.