If you are like us allergies are one of those things you deal with. You want to feel better. Feel rejuvenated. We get it since we are the same. Keep reading below if you want to learn more about allergies. Learn how to choose an air purifier that will really work for allergies.
Growing up in New York I had no allergies as a child. After moving to the South, it only took a few years for me to have an appreciation for what allergy sufferers go through. And after my son suffered with asthma it became clear how allergies can have a huge impact on your health. And how much a good air purification system can help to relieve asthma and allergy symptoms. This was especially true after a bout of exercise-induced asthma and an allergy free haven was invaluable.
In this guide we will explain what allergies are and how to find the best air purifier for allergy relief. Once you read this article, you’ll understand the importance of air purifying filters and how air purifiers work.
Sadly, airborne allergens are everywhere. Whether you're indoors or out, you are in contact with allergens. Your allergies are set off by a mix of pollen, dust, pet dander or other pesky particles.
Allergies affect as many as 30 percent of American adults and 50 percent of children. It's no wonder there is a link between allergy and asthma.
Here will discuss how an air cleaner can help your allergies, what to look for and how air purifiers work.
The high level concept is that you need high quality filters and sufficient air flow for your room or living area to have an effective air filtration system. We'll start first with the filters.
Any good air purifier will have high quality filters. For allergy relief we are mainly interested in removing particulates from the air and the best filter for this is a HEPA filter.
Air purifier filters are referred to in a variety of ways. This includes HEPA filters, HEPA-type filters, true HEPA filters, plus a variety of other names that have HEPA as part of them.
A true HEPA filter means it removes at least 99.97% of airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. While technical, there is a better way to compare filters.
This would be by looking at the MERV Rating for the filter. Most air purifiers have filters that are rated MERV15 or 16. The EJ120 Air Purifier that we make is MERV 17. The Erik room air purifier is MERV 18.
A true HEPA air cleaner will remove the most difficult airborne particulates. Meaning the smallest sized particles - those with the smallest since in microns.
The other HEPA filters like HEPA-type filters do not meet the criteria for being called a HEPA filter. In some cases some brands will call their filters HEPA filters. In this case they are referring to their filters being a pleated filter. As opposed to other technologies such as negative ions, plasmawave technology, electrostatic, air ionizer, uv-c light, etc.
The point is to really know what you are getting look for the filter MERV rating.
In addition to the HEPA air filter, most room air purifiers also have a pre-filter. In some cases the pre-filter has carbon. If the carbon pre-filter is a foam filter with sprayed on coating of activated carbon the effectiveness will be low. If it is a granular activated carbon pre-filter (which are the carbon pellets), you will get much better odor removal.
Since allergies are from airborne particulates you just need the HEPA filter.
Do you need a carbon filter? If you would also like odor or tobacco smoke removal then a carbon filter that is activated is a must.
As we have mentioned in some other articles, to activate carbon it is specially baked. This creates hundreds, and sometimes millions of cracks and crevices that then adsorb a wide variety of odors.
Now that you know the filter basics, let's move on to room coverage.
Just having a top notch filter is not enough. You need to circulate the air through the filters to get clean air. With HEPA filtration this can be difficult. It gets even more challenging when you have a large room.
Room coverage is in fact one of the most important aspects of air purifier performance. When you are trying to find the best air purifier for allergies for your home, you can find stats such as Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) and MERV scores, but total room coverage is an important and easy-to-understand aspect of air filters.
Basically, you need to find an air purifier that will provide the total room coverage you need for your home, and the room air coverage rating should be more than the space you need to clean. For example, if you need to clean a space of 1,200 square feet, an air purifier for allergies with a room coverage of 800 square feet will not be enough.
Most air purifiers have their total room coverage listed on the website. For example, you can find all the room coverage statistics for every Oransi air purifier on the product’s page. This gives you an easy way to decide which air purifier for allergies is right for your home. Again, make sure the purifier is rated for your space or more to ensure complete and effective cleaning.
The more efficient the filter is, the more difficult it is to move air through it. This is because of the added air flow resistance.
Another thing that comes into play is noise level. What we have found is that you can get good air flow to clean a large room in a home provided the filter is larger and you use a better motor.
This is precisely how we make our home air purifiers.
The industry standard for assessing room coverage is the Clean Air Delivery Rate. This is also known as the CADR or the CADR rating.
It is a way to show how much air flow there is through the air purifier. In a sense a filtered air flow.
For example, if the fan can move 100 cfm (cubic feet per minute) of air and the filter removes 80% of particles, the CADR would be 80.
It's a simple calculation of air flow times the HEPA filter efficiency.
A higher CADR rating means the air cleaner can clean a larger area. For example, our EJ120 Air Purifier has a pollen CADR of 384. In comparison it will filter twice as large of an area as an air purifier with a CADR of 192.
You will want at least 2 air changes per hour. If your allergies and asthma are serious we suggest at least 4 air changes per hour.
If your ceiling is 8 ft high, then 384 cfm will filter 48 sq ft every minute. We get this by dividing 384 by the 8ft ceiling. So, it will clean an area the size of 1,440 square foot every 30 minutes (2 times per hour). It will clean 720 square foot every 15 minutes (4 times per hour).
To learn more to make sure the air purifier can clean the square footage of your room, see our Air Purifier Room Size Guide.
Note, this is on the highest fan speed. That is how the CADR is measured. What's interesting is that most air purifiers are loud on high.
So, in a way it needs to be considered with the noise level of the air purifier. If the air cleaner is so loud that you would never run it on that speed, then it may be meaningless.
We recognize this in an issue with air purification in general, so that is one reason why we use bigger filters and better motors. I can't help but point out that the EJ120 is the quietest air purifier we have seen for this level of air flow. To have better air quality you need this combination of quiet air flow and air filtration efficiency.
This is one of the best air purifiers for allergies, and it makes an excellent addition to your home, especially if you or someone in your household with allergies. With an excellent motor, world-class filters, and some of the best control settings you can find on an air purifier, this is one of the top machines you can find, and it’s easily in the conversation for best air purifier for allergies.
If you are wondering how to choose, you should first start with the filters. The filters in this purifier start with a 1-inch deep pleated activated carbon filter. This component acts to remove many of the larger particles, such as large dust particles. By using a pre-filter to remove larger airborne particles and air pollution, the second air purifier can focus on smaller particles.
The next filter, of course, is the 3-inch-deep main true HEPA filter. This is the component of the air purifier that significantly increases the cleaning power of the entire machine, and puts it in contention for the best air purifier available today. With these two exceptional filters, the EJ120 is able to achieve a 17 score on the MERV scale. This is simply a way of measuring a filter’s performance, and it has been tested to remove over 99.99% of all particles down to a tiny size.
This purifier is strong and reliable, capable of cleaning the air in a space measuring 1,250 square feet. This means you can clean the air in bedrooms, offices, living rooms, and many other areas. It’s effective for numerous allergens and airborne pollution, including dust, dust mites, mold spores, smoke particles, and even airborne bacteria. It has replaceable filters that are easy to remove, giving you a convenient machine as well.
This is not only a candidate for the best air purifier for allergies in a bedroom, it’s also one of the most affordable purifiers you can find while still getting the performance and reliability you deserve.
This air purifier has many features that make it extremely useful for the home, starting with a three-stage filtration system. The air first enters the purifier and passes through the pre-filter, which removes many of the large airborne particles such as dust. The air then passes through the HEPA filter, where many of the tiniest particles are removed. Once this phase is complete, the air passes through one more filter to ensure outstanding removal of particles. With these combined filters, the OV200 is able to remove over 99% of all particles from the air.
Despite the exceptional performance, the size of this machine makes it one of the most convenient appliances for your home. It is only 23 inches tall, 13 inches wide, and 7 inches deep, which means you can place the OV200 in many different areas and not block the room or make the space feel crowded. Whether you place it along a wall, beside a couch, or in the middle of the room, you’ll get the performance you need while keeping a clean, comfortable home.
One of the most unique features for this air purifier is the air-quality sensor. With this feature, you can get a reading of the air quality directly from the purifier itself. The display shows green, yellow, and red, giving you an easy-to-understand way to interpret the information. Green means that particles are low, while yellow means there may be a problem. If the indicator is red, the purifier is sensing a high amount of airborne particles, which means you may need to run the purifier on high.
Altogether, these features combine to create an air purifier that can be used for allergies and mold removal, even in a small space. It’s one of the best types of air purifiers for allergies, giving your home clean, refreshing air, and with a great price and affordable replacement filters, it’s a wonderful value for your home.
Merriam-Webster defines an allergy this way: “a medical condition that causes someone to become sick after eating, touching, or breathing something that is harmless to most people."
In other words, our bodies are protecting us from something that is harmless. It’s like a false alarm.
What happens is our immune system produces antibodies to protect us. In the case of a real threat this is vital. In the case of allergies, it is more of a nuisance. And can wreck havoc with your sinuses, skin and respiratory system. For someone with asthma it can be dangerous. In some cases, allergens can even impact your digestive system.
A food allergy works the same way. For example, for some people (often children) with a peanut allergy coming into contact with peanuts can be life threatening. There can be an immediate over-reaction that effects the airways that can be serious. What is happening is our bodies produce antibodies to protect the immune system from invaders called antigens. Our bodies are programmed to fight bacteria, viruses and fungi that cause disease or infections.
In the case of allergens, our systems think the pollen, pet dander or whatever is causing the reaction is a threat to our immune system. In fact, this mis-calculation (reaction) can be more of a threat to our well being. For some people the reaction is mild and for others like my asthmatic son it was sometimes an emergency.
There are certain risk factors that increase your chances of having allergies. They include whether other family members have allergies, your age as children tend to have more allergies and whether you have allergies. Your chances of having allergies are 33% if one of your parents has allergies. If both are allergic the odds increase to 70%.
Often you will know whether you have allergies, especially if you grew up with parents with allergies. It can be a little tricky to determine this on your own because allergies can feel like a cold. Chance are if your symptoms last for an extended period of time (longer than a normal cold) or are worse with high levels of pollen or increased exposure to dust or other triggers then you likely have allergies.
What is interesting is that as we move around the country we come into contact with new allergens. This can result in new allergic reactions. Or we may experience allergies for the first time at an older age. We frequently talk with people in their 50’s or 60’s who are now developing allergies for the first time. It's clear that an allergy symptom can appear at any time. Even if you did not have allergies before.
To know whether you have allergies a doctor exam may be needed. As part of their evaluation the doctor will want to know your symptoms, any possible triggers and medications you are taking. You may need to get referred to an allergist. They can perform more detailed tests such as a skin or blood test to learn more specifically what is causing the allergies.
We find it interesting that different people react with similar symptoms to a variety of triggers. This can be from a mold spore, pet allergy, dust pollen, pet hair, or really any airborne particle.
It is classified this way. The National Institutes of Health states “asthma and allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), food allergy, and atopic dermatitis (eczema), are common for all age groups in the United States.”
There is no cure for allergies. It’s more about managing your symptoms through avoiding the allergen, medication or immunotherapy.
The most effective way is to avoid the allergens in the first place. This is often accomplished by minimizing your contact. This includes changing your clothes when you first come home, washing your face and hair and cleaning the air with a HEPA filter. If you have a pet, then a high quality HEPA vacuum cleaner and a home air filtration system can really reduce the amount of allergens in your home. This is important since we spend most of our time at home. For more ideas check out 19 ways to relieve congestion from allergies. Here are ways to boost your immune system.
Many of the people we talk with just want a good night’s sleep and to feel better. So, they use an air purifier in the bedroom to sleep peacefully without being stuffed up.
The costs related to allergies are big.
There are many allergens that can impact our health, and we need to be aware of the most common and the most problematic so we can make the appropriate changes for our health. Whether you are an allergy sufferer yourself, or you have someone in the home with significant allergies, understanding what you are allergic to will help you choose the best allergy air purifier.
Dust is a common allergen and HEPA air filters are the best way to remove dust from the air in your home.
This may be surprising to you but we see an increase in air purifiers being purchased for dust removal in the winter. In many cases this is due to the heat being turned on and dust that has accumulated in the air ducts is then blown throughout your home.
The furnace filter may catch some of the large dust particles however it is not meant to remove the smaller dust particles. To do this effectively you should go with a room air cleaner with a true HEPA filter. This is because the true HEPA filter has the highest efficiency, meaning it can remove more of the smallest of particle sizes.
All of this begs the important question: do air filters really collect dust, and if they do, does this help the overall health and well-being of allergy sufferers?
To find out, let’s look at a few important studies that have been conducted over the past years. One useful scientific report, which looked at a long list of studies, concluded that the use of air filters can have a positive effect on overall health and wellbeing, allowing people to breath easier. This report looked at 45 different studies related to air quality, allergens, air filters, and overall health, and concluded that air filters are indeed an important part of maintaining excellent health.
A few studies in particular stood out an important parts of this conclusion. First of all, there was a study from Denmark that found that reduction of airborne particles through the use of filters was able to improve the breathing performance of elderly patients, “suggesting that (purifiers) may be a feasible way of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Another study found that air filters could be useful for reducing the impact of smoke from wildfires and other sources of woodsmoke. In this study, air filtration was connected to an improvement in overall health, including endothelial functions. “Endothelial” means the interior surface of blood vessels, and it’s an important part of health. Basically, the study concluded that harmful effects from woodsmoke can be reduced by decreasing the amount of particles in the air through the use of air purifiers.
If you have an air purifier for dust, you will help reduce allergens in your home.
Inside, mold is one of the most common indoor air pollutants that can impact your health. It is often found in moist and dark corners of the home, especially basements. It can also be found under stinks and faucets, especially if there is any leaking from the pipes. Mold appears stationary, but it actually loves to travel.
Specifically, it sends out spores that are meant to create colonies in different areas. These spores are light and microscopic, and they can be inhaled, creating numerous health concerns for even healthy individuals.
Mold comes in many different forms, and removing it generally requires simple but labor-intensive steps. Thorough cleaning is important to remove mold from the home, then maintaining a clean, dry house will reduce the chances of mold growth. You may also want to use an air cleaner to capture mold spores, which will increase the air quality in your home.
Pollen is another common airborne allergen, and while it’s usually associated with the outdoors, pollen can make its way into your home and create problems for allergy sufferers.
Throughout different times of the year, trees, weeds, and grasses will release their pollen into the air, which is used to create new growth. The air can become thick with tiny specs of pollen, but even if you limit your outdoor time, there is a good chance that these particles can make their way inside.
If you suffer from pollen allergies, avoid areas where there is lots of pollen growth, such as grassy areas or woodlands.
Flowers do not cause pollen issues. It’s actually trees, grasses, and weeds that create the airborne pollen that causes hay fever and other issues.
Pet dander is another issue that gives allergy sufferers problems. Many breeds of cats and dogs are prone to shedding their fur, but it’s actually the small skin flakes, known as dander, that creates a variety of problems for people with pet allergies.
When a dog is in the home, their dander can be in the air, causing sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Bathing the pet helps control dander, and allergy sufferers are encouraged to keep their pets out of the bedroom and off of furniture, especially the bed itself.
While no cat or dog is 100% hypoallergenic (no cat or dog releases zero dander particles), there are breeds that are less hypoallergenic, releasing fewer particles of pet dander. These breeds will shed fewer skin cells, making it possible to enjoy a household pet even if you have allergies. Other types of pets, such as fish, lizards, or even pigs, are considered hypoallergenic. If you want an interesting and unique pet that doesn’t overwhelm your allergies, these could be a great choice.
Although unpleasant to think about, dust mites are a common airborne allergen that can be present in many different homes. Dust mites are small insects that are related to spiders. They can create dust through their leavings, as well as parts of their bodies that make it into the air. When inhaled, these airborne particles from dust mites can be a serious issue for anyone who suffers from allergies. If you are choosing an air purifier, make sure you have one that can trap particles from dust mites.
There are many other airborne particles that can cause allergic reactions, including VOC's (volatile organic compounds), ozone, and other chemicals. Make sure you are doing your best to prevent these problems so you have the best chance at excellent health.
Nope. Even though you may feel terrible and hay fever as the word fever in it, there is no associated fever with allergies. Having a fever is a good way to rule out allergies.
Spring is a time when trees and grasses release pollen into the air after the winter season. The purpose is to fertilize other plants. However as the dust pollen and pollen grains are in the air they find their way everywhere. In areas with many oak trees, it's not uncommon for cars turn yellow.
Spring is often the worst time for seasonal allergies, and many people will have allergic reactions from pollen. Called hay fever, (even though it does not involve hay or a fever) this is possibly the most common allergic reaction.
Allergies in the winter are caused by the indoor air allergens. The most common culprits are dust, dust mites, pet dander and mold.
We often see this when the forced-air heating system is first turned on and dust and other pollutants are blown throughout the house. Dust mites are everywhere. You cannot avoid them and we wrote this article with 5 proven ways to get rid of dust mites.
Most air purifiers are purchased in the winter as homes are often closed up and you are in contact with dust mites and sometimes pets.
To learn more about dust removal see our best air purifiers for dust. If your issue is related to mold spores then you may want to check out the best air purifiers for mold.
Fall allergies are mostly caused by ragweed. Ragweed pollen is often released in August through October. The allergic reaction to fall allergies is sometimes referred to as hay fever. Hay fever is not a fever although it can feel like you have a cold and fever. If you have spring allergies you most likely are allergic to ragweed. Ragweed is common in North America and a member of the daisy family.
While fall is not usually considered a season for allergies, it can certainly be a problem. Don’t put away for your air cleaner in autumn, as it may be an important part for reducing particles such as mold spores, pollen, and other particles that reduce air quality.
Austin is a great place. It receives a lot of praise. There is a skeleton in the closet and it is called cedar fever.
Since moving here I have learned first hand what this is. There are small Juniper trees throughout central Texas that the locals for some reason refer to as cedar. They are not cedar trees but regardless the pollen they give off in the winter is debilitating to many people. It takes about 3 years to experience the allergic reaction. It is a doozy. Your eyes are itchy and dry, throat is sore and you ache like you have a mild flu.
Besides frequently clothes changes and face washing an air purifier is a must.
We will wrap up this page with some information on allergies for pets.
If you have a dog or cat, it’s obvious they suffer from allergies like we do. You can see the build-up around their eyes. The rubbing of their faces on carpeting.
So, many of the same things apply to our pets. We need to keep their environment clean and minimize exposure to the allergens. I know this can be challenging when your dog wants to run around outside and roll in the grass.
What we suggest is you keep your pet reasonably clean as they will bring the pollen into your home.
Another allergen that effects us is pet dander. This can be dander from a dog, cat or even a bird. Many of us are allergic to animal dander. It's interesting that a pet allergy can be something we feel from our pet or a reference to our beloved pet who is suffering from allergies like us. To get rid of pet dander and provide relief it is best to have a good vacuum with a HEPA filter to keep the ground clean as well as a HEPA air purifier to keep the air clean. It is the contact with the airborne pet hair and bird dander that will trigger your allergens. So, again an air purifier is a must.
What you may not realize is that you don't have to own a pet to have animal dander in your home. It turns out, pet dander travels through the air so if you have a pet owner nearby chances are you have cat dander or similar in your home.
In summary, we provided information about what allergies are, how they may effect you and what you can do about it to purify the air.
We presented a listing of the top 3 allergy air purifiers. They cover different room sizes and you can watch a video to learn more.
We highlighted the connection between asthma and allergies. What causes hay fever, spring allergies and even winter allergies.
Much attention was given to how to choose a HEPA air purifier for allergies including the removal of dust. We suggest you go with a true HEPA filter as opposed to a HEPA-type air purifier. What you want to look for is a high filter efficiency, large HEPA filter and a strong motor. The combination of the components will give you quiet air cleaning for the removal of allergens in any sized room. This is what is needed for an effective allergy machine and is most effective for a wide variety of indoor air pollutants.
You learned about the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) and how it relates to air cleaning and room size.
If you need to remove gases, odors or similar pollutants then a separate activated carbon filter is a must. This is because a true HEPA filter removes particles whereas a gas phase media filter like carbon is for chemical, volatile organic compounds, ozone, and gas removal.
We hope you find this guide helpful and wish you well in feeling better this allergy season.
If you have any questions related to air pollution, air purifying, indoor air quality, or allergies in general, please do not hesitate to contact us. We only use US based reps who are knowledgable about allergy air purifiers and how to choose the right air filters.