Do Air Filters Help Allergies? An Expert's Perspective

Do air filters help allergies? This is a question that many people with allergies and asthma ask. The answer is yes, air filters can help reduce the amount of allergens in the air and provide relief from allergy symptoms. HEPA filters are one of the most effective types of air filters for allergies, as they are designed to trap harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. However, it is important to note that results may vary from person to person.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and doctors advise against using air purifiers that generate ozone, as it can worsen allergy or asthma symptoms. Air purifiers work by reducing the amount of pollen in the air, which should help relieve allergy symptoms. However, it is important to be aware of exaggerated claims from manufacturers, as Honeywell got into legal trouble for making false claims about the effectiveness of their air purifiers. Air purifiers are not a guaranteed way to protect against COVID-19, but they can be part of a wider range of indoor protective measures.

The type of air filter you get is also important, as some work by capturing and filtering larger allergen particles, such as dust, while others, such as UV purifiers, work better at killing mold and bacteria. A small-scale study conducted in China found that air purifiers reduced fine particles in the air (dust, pollen, dander) and improved participants' blood pressure levels and lung function. Filters such as ULPA (Ultra Low Penetration Air) used in certain industrial or scientific environments or in cleanrooms are not suitable for the domestic environment. When choosing an air purifier for allergies, there are several factors to consider.

You should consider the size and power of your air purifier, as you may want one that you can move from your bedroom to your home office depending on where you spend the most time. Additionally, you should look at the maximum square foot rating or product description to determine if it is suitable for a small, medium, or large room. If routine allergies or asthma symptoms adversely affect your life, evidence that a HEPA filter improves respiratory health may encourage you to seek an air purifier. Some filters are reusable and washable but require meticulous maintenance so they are not usually found in the most effective air purifiers.

When I asked Ted Myatt, an environmental microbiologist who works at the University of Rhode Island and consults for Honeywell, if I would feel healthier after using a household air purifier for an extended period of time, he covered. If you want an air cleaner to remove particles such as dust, dirt and soot, refer to the packaging or product description for a clean air supply rate (CADR). They are designed for enclosed environments where the air is cleaned before entering the room and then vented outside the building.

Janette Tiotuico
Janette Tiotuico

Hipster-friendly pop culture enthusiast. Infuriatingly humble twitter trailblazer. Friendly music junkie. Wannabe food ninja. Typical internet fanatic.

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