According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 19 million adults in this country suffer with asthma. If you are one of them, you know how frustrating and scary living with this condition can be.
Common Asthma Triggers
You also know that to stay healthy you’ve got to avoid your asthma triggers as much as possible. And unfortunately, most of the things that trigger an asthma attack are very common, which means they are found everywhere, inside your home and out. Here are some of the most common asthma triggers that may be lurking inside your home:
- Pollen (grass, flower, tree)
- Mold and mildew
- Air pollution
- Cigarette smoke
- VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
Air Purifiers and Asthma
Your doctor has most likely told you to avoid your asthma triggers as much as possible. But, unless you live in an actual antiseptic bubble, you’re going to run into your triggers more often than you’d like.
While there is no cure for asthma, you can control your flare-ups by identifying what triggers you personally, and then taking steps to remove those triggers from your environment.
So for instance, if you live with a smoker, they should A) quit smoking for both of your sakes, and B) if they don’t want to quit, they should only smoke outside, away from the house.
But what do you do with those triggers that you can’t easily remove from your environment, like dust mites? That’s where an air purifier can make a world of difference.
Air purifiers are designed to clean the air in your home by removing harmful particulates such as pet dander, dust mites, mold spores and more. But not any old air purifier will get the job done. There are some specific features your unit will have to have to fully remove your asthma triggers.
HEPA filters are considered the gold standard of air filtration and for good reason: They are able to trap 99.97% of microscopic particulates in your home’s air. And when I say microscopic, I’m not kidding.
Consider this: a HEPA filter can remove particles that are only 0.3 microns in diameter. To give you some perspective on just how small that is, the average human hair is about 50-150 microns in diameter. So a HEPA filter can trap pollutants that are several hundred times smaller.
HEPA filters are efficient at removing dust mites, mold spores, pollen, cigarette smoke, pet dander, bacteria and even some viruses from the air. But a HEPA filter alone won’t do the whole job, because HEPA filters can’t remove those VOCs in the air.
Activated Charcoal Filters
VOCs are gases – not solid particles, and so as great as HEPA filters are, they still can’t trap gas. But where does this gas even come from?
VOCs are off-gassed from a variety of things in your home such as cleaning products, furniture, electronics, flooring, and building materials. The really scary part is, some of these products will off-gas VOCs for up to 6 years!
You will need to look for an air purifier that comes with both a HEPA filter as well as an activated charcoal filter to trap those VOC gasses. And, as you can imagine, it is very important to change these filters regularly so they can continue to clean your air.
Choosing the Best Air Purifier for Asthma
Beyond choosing an air purifier that includes both HEPA filtration and an activated charcoal filter, there are some other important things to consider:
Imagine trying to dust home entire home using a rag the size of a postage stamp. This gives you an idea of how important SIZE is when choosing an air purifier to clean your room.
You’ll want to select a unit that has been built with a room’s square footage in mind. To do this you’ll want to pay close attention to the unit’s clean air delivery rate (CADR). Generally speaking, the higher the CADR, the bigger the room it can handle. Most air purifiers will also tell you right on the box the square footage it can handle. So, in other words, don’t buy a unit that was built to handle a 200 sq. ft. bedroom and expect it to clean your 600 sq. ft. living room optimally.
Ask a sales rep how much can you expect to pay in energy bills to run the unit continuously for a year. Remember, these are not machines like an air conditioner that you will only use part time. To stay healthy and keep your asthma at bay, you’ll want to run your air purifier(s) continuously.
Also check to see how often the filters need to be replaced and how much replacement filters cost. There are numerous air purifiers on the market and you are sure to find one that will fit your budget.
That CADR rating I mentioned a little while ago? That refers to the unit’s ability when it is run in the highest setting, and that will mean you will hear the noise of the fan. To most people, this isn’t a big issue. But, if you are sensitive to noise, or you are looking for a unit for your bedroom, you may need one that is a bit quieter. A sales rep should be able to help you with this question.
If you follow these guidelines, you will be able to purchase one or more air purifiers for your home and feel confident that they will help you or your loved one with asthma breathe easier. And that will greatly cut down on the fear factor of something triggering an attack.
Take a minute now to look through our air purifiers that were designed with asthma sufferers in mind.
Need Help Choosing?
We understand you may have questions about which air purifier(s) will work best for your particular situation. We invite you to contact us so we can answer any questions you may have regarding size, filter changes, efficiency or noise levels. We’re here to not only help you choose the right air purifier but to help you and your family breathe easier.