Are Allergy Air Filters Worth It?

Air purifiers are designed to trap dust, pollen, and other contaminants that are present in the air we breathe. This can be effective in eliminating the source of allergies, but it is important to note that they should not replace prescription drugs. Outdoor air quality is affected by particles such as pollution, construction dust, ash, exhaust gases, and outdoor allergens like tree pollen. Gases build up from burning coal or diesel, car exhaust, and industrial waste.

The air quality index and pollen count are two useful measures of outdoor air quality. When looking at air filters, it is important to consider all the options. Do you have long-haired pets that shed their hair? Does anyone in your family have environmental allergies? Generally, more expensive air filters are more effective, but a single person without pets and allergies may not need as much filtration as a family of five with three pets and a child with asthma. Air filters in your home's central heating and air conditioning ducts or in your room's portable air purifiers can help eliminate contaminants. My allergist recommended a good brand of mattress covers and pillows for my bed, and we have air filters in the attic and downstairs.

I hadn't noticed any respiratory problems around the dust, but I'm taking precautions just to be safe. Some air purifiers can actually irritate allergies instead of helping them. Ionic electrostatic cleaners release ions that force particles to adhere to walls or surfaces, but they don't remove all particles from the air and the ozone produced is a known irritant. Low-cost fiberglass oven filters have also proven to be ineffective.

Not changing the filter regularly can also cause more harm than good. Many air purifiers designed for home use claim to control allergy symptoms, but there is no scientific evidence that air purifiers with ionizers or UV light that supposedly kill bacteria are effective for allergies. In the case of pet dander, particles that cause pet allergies can be removed by using an air purifier equipped with a HEPA filter. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that HEPA filters can remove up to 99.97% of dust, pollen, and any particles in the air with a size of 0.3 microns. For more information on indoor air quality in your home, see the EPA guidance. That's why you need special allergy air filters that are designed to stop those tiny particles.

Some days are worse than others for air pollutants, and the government occasionally issues warnings for the elderly, sick, or young children. Paper filters commonly used in ovens and air conditioners are designed to trap large particles like dust that can build up in motors and fans and reduce efficiency. Dirty or clogged filters are never good for your system, and if you choose to use an expensive air filter instead of a cheaper one it can be quite expensive. Many experts recommend a combination of methods to manage allergies and asthma including a cleaning routine, mechanical filters, and portable air purifiers. Learn how to relieve indoor allergies and asthma symptoms by simply updating your air conditioner or boiler filter. Air filters can be beneficial in reducing the risk of acute respiratory attacks by trapping irritants trying to pass into ventilation system ducts so you can breathe better.

Once you know the filter size you need comparing different filters in person or online will help you familiarize yourself with available options and price ranges. But without the right allergy air filters you'll keep smelling and sneezing all season long. With the MERV classification system generally the higher the numerical rating the greater amount of smaller particles you can filter out of the air. For people with allergies scientific studies have shown that air filtration reduces airborne allergens and can provide some relief. Cheri Wright marketing director at Kaz which makes Honeywell air purifiers said their devices clean indoor air of microscopic dust pollen mold spores and other particles. MERV ratings or minimum efficiency rating values are numbers assigned to air filters to determine their efficiency when it comes to removing particles from the air. Elizabeth Matsui professor at Johns Hopkins who is also chair of the committee on indoor air pollution and allergens at the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology noted that pollen doesn't stay in the air for long it tends to settle quickly on the ground.

Kristy Letman
Kristy Letman

Typical music practitioner. Professional beer enthusiast. Hipster-friendly pop culture buff. Proud travel geek. Proud social media fan.

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