Well, MacDonald’s is already advertising their shamrock shake, and that means that spring is nearly here. And THAT means that allergy season is just around the corner.
Springtime pollen is one of the most common causes of allergic reaction in the United States. If you suffer from a pollen allergy, you know how dreadful it can make you feel. Some of the annoying symptoms of springtime allergies are:
- Stuffy nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy throat
- Reduced sense of smell and taste
What Types of Pollen are People Allergic To?
Well, specific types will vary based on where in the country you live. But generally speaking, when plant life comes back to life in the spring, trees, flowers, weeds and grasses all release a very fine powder to propagate their species.
When we breathe in this pollen, some of us have an allergic reaction because our immune systems interpret the pollen as a foreign invader. In this regard, our body sees the pollen like it does harmful viruses and bacteria, and fights an all-out war to keep us safe.
Some people experience pollen allergies during certain times of the year, such as spring and fall, and some poor souls live with pollen allergies all year long. Again, some of it is dependent on where in the country you live.
Now, the not so good news is, once an allergy has developed, it’s unlikely to go away. The good news is an air purifier can help may your life far more bearable.
How Can an Air Purifier Help with a Pollen Allergy?
Air purifiers clean your home’s air, removing pollutants like grass, tree and flower pollen, as well as other allergens like dust and pet dander. Air purifiers use powerful filtration systems to trap these particles, then the unit sends the cleaned air back out into the room.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about some of the specific features you will need to look for to buy an air purifier that can help you breathe easier this spring.
It Must Use a True HEPA Filter
You’ve probably heard of HEPA filters. They are pretty much the gold standard when it comes to filtration systems. But not all HEPA filters are created equal, that’s why it’s important to make sure the unit you purchase uses what’s called True HEPA filters.
Only “true HEPA” filters have been tested and certified as meeting the standards set by agencies such as the US Department of Energy. And only these filters have a removal rate of 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size.
Now you might be wondering how small or how big is 0.3 microns? Well, consider that the average human hair is 75 – 100 microns in size and you get an idea of just how powerful a True HEPA filter is. When you consider that the average pollen grain is 25 microns in size, you understand that pollen doesn’t stand a chance against the proper air purifier filtrations system!
Remember to Replace Those Filters!
Now you understand that you need an air purifier that uses a True HEPA filter and you know how powerful these filters are. Well, they can really only work if they aren’t clogged.
Remember, those filters are constantly trapping and removing pollutants from your home’s air. But all of that “stuff” even though small, accumulates over time and clogs your filter until it can no longer do its job.
That’s why it’s important change your filters as often as the manufacturer recommends. You may find you need to change your filter more often than the recommendations if you have pets or a smoker in the house, as these pollutants will gunk up your filter even faster.
If you are very busy and don’t think you will remember to change the filters when necessary, then we suggest buying a unit that has a “change filter” indicator on it. And always keep a few new filters on hand so you can just swap one out.
Determine How Large and Where the Unit(s) Will Go
While whole house air purifiers are available, they can be pretty pricey. You’ll also need to pay to have an HVAC person install it for you.
Our customers have found it’s easier and more affordable to buy single units and place them only in those rooms where they spend the most amount of time. So for instance, placing a unit in the bedroom and one in the TV room makes sense. If you have a home office, you may also want to place a unit in there as well.
Small units can be purchased for as low as $100, so even if you had 3 small rooms, you won’t break the bank buying 3 units.
And since we’re on the topic of room size, it’s important to buy a powerful enough air purifier for your space. If you have a large 800 square foot living room you can’t place a unit in there that was built to handle a small 250 square foot bedroom. It just won’t be powerful enough and will take FOREVER to clean that room’s air.
So before shopping, be sure to measure the rooms that need an air purifier, and then look on the unit’s specs to be certain it can handle that sized room.
Don’t Make Your Air Purifier Compete with the Outside Air
You wouldn’t run your air conditioner with windows open, would you? Well, there’s no sense in letting all of that outside air that is carrying tons of pollen into your home, either. So be sure during pollen season to keep doors and windows shut to help your air purifier do its job.
If you’re in the market for an air purifier, take a look at the models we have that have been specifically designed to help people with allergies. This is the year you and your family will finally breathe easier!