During the allergy season, you might be tempted to lock all the doors and windows and hide away from the world. But no matter what you do, allergens will find a way to slip into your home. In fact, the air inside your home is two to five times worse than the air outside.
Even if you’re not an allergy sufferer, poor indoor air quality can cause headaches, migraines, and lead to chronic health conditions. For these reasons alone, you might be considering an air purifier.
But do air purifiers work? Absolutely — so long as you purchase the right one. Breathe easier with this look at how purifiers work and improve life at home.
How Do Air Purifiers Work?
The most common air purifiers rely on filters. A fan within the purifier pulls air through the filter, which is small enough to capture basic household contaminants. What the air purifier captures depends on the quality of the filter itself.
Most filters capture allergens, such as dust and pet dander. In addition, higher-quality filters are able to filter bacteria and viruses. If a purifier comes with activated carbon, it can also reduce dangerous organic compounds in your home.
For a more quiet option, some people prefer ionic purifiers. An ionic purifier doesn’t rely on a filter. Instead, it releases charged ions which attach to particulates and pull them out of the air.
With an ionic purifier, you’ll have to do the dirty work of vacuuming and wiping the walls clean of ionized dust and dander. Otherwise, they’ll eventually become free and cycle throughout the house once again. Some ionic purifiers use ozone, which should be avoided whenever possible.
Is an Air Purifier Worth It?
Now that you know what an air purifier does, you still might be asking, “Do I need an air purifier?” An air purifier isn’t the only way to improve the air quality in your home.
But it’s definitely one of the best options, especially during winter months where you can’t exactly keep the doors and windows wide open.
Here are a few benefits of air purifiers:
1. Improve General Health
We’ve all heard about the concerns of outdoor air pollution. But remember that we spend most of our time indoors, and indoor air quality is several times worse. So how does that affect our health?
Indoor air pollution has been associated with pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases, asthma, as well as certain kinds of cancer. Since air purifiers remove several sources of air pollution, you’d imagine they reduce the risk of these chronic diseases.
And you’d be right. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, air cleaners improve cardiovascular health and reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.
The EPA notes that an air purifier needs to be operating as much as possible to provide the best health benefits, but most people only use it for 25% of the year. Don’t be one of them.
2. Reduce Allergies
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, air purifiers are worth the investment. Even if you only experience allergy symptoms during allergy season, running an air purifier through those months can improve the quality of your life at home.
And it isn’t just about watering eyes and a runny nose. Allergies can reduce the quality of your sleep and weaken your immune system, increasing the likelihood of developing an illness. The inflammation that occurs from unchecked allergies may lead to pulmonary fibrosis or lung cancer.
Since pet dander is a notorious allergen, an air purifier is a great choice for any pet owner. As an added bonus, some air purifiers remove unseemly odors.
3. Avoid Illnesses
We often think of bacteria and viruses living on well-used surfaces: door handles, keyboards, hands, and more. But you might not know that these microorganisms can also be in the air you breathe. When someone coughs or sneezes, they release bacteria into the air.
This bacteria will circulate throughout your home and can infect other family members. With a high-quality air purifier, you can trap these illnesses before they get a chance to make someone sick.
If you share a living space with family or a roommate, an air purifier can make it less likely bacteria and viruses will spread throughout the house.
4. Remove Cigarette Smoke
Not every air purifier removes cigarette smoke, but many do. If you or a housemate smokes indoors, an air purifier can limit the health effects of second-hand smoke and remove the cigarette odor.
Since it neutralizes smoke, it can also prevent smoke from dirtying furniture, walls, and other household items.
Choosing an Air Purifier
There are so many different types of air purifiers, it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you. You’ll want to choose an air purifier that removes the particulates you are most concerned about, whether those are allergens, bacteria, or smoke.
Some models are louder and larger than others and have varying room coverage. And since air purifiers should be active 24/7, you should consider how much energy they consume to lower the impact on your electric bill.
Take a look at the following guide if you need help choosing air purifiers.
Make the Most of Your Home
Not only do air purifiers work, but they’re a staple for most homes. Especially if you suffer from serious allergies, an air purifier is one way to make indoor life healthier and more comfortable.
But it’s not the only way. If you’re interested in more home advice, check out the blog’s home section.