If airborne allergens exacerbate your chronic respiratory conditions such as allergies and asthma, an effective air cleaner should be a crucial part of your management plan. But all purifiers are not created equal. Here are the 4 best features that your cleaner should have to insure effectiveness.
HEPA Filtration---High efficiency particle arresting technology is an accurate assessment of how well this filter is able to eliminate airborne particulates. By definition it must be able to remove 99.97% of airborne particles that are .3 microns or greater in size; and micron is defined as one millionth of a meter---so invisible to the human eye.
The benefit to you is that for every 10,000 airborne particles floating in the air, this filter will remove all except 3 of them. That means that triggers such as household dust, dust mites, mold and mildew spores, pet hair and dander can all be taken down by this type of filtration.
Pre-Filters---When you look in the technical specifications or owner's manual and see this type of filter, you're more likely to save money on filter replacements. These filters are much less expensive than a HEPA and are generally made of a cotton-ball like material.
Their job is to be the first line of defense against big particles. Since the HEPA can take out microscopic particles, it makes sense for these cheaper filters to remove the things that you can see in the air rather than having them fill up the more expensive filter needlessly.
The good news is that the pre-filters are likely to fill up faster than the HEPA but they can generally be replaced fairly easily and inexpensively. They are usually sold separately by the manufacture of the unit and often cost less than $50.
Dual Purpose Filter---Even though particulates make up a large part of the list of triggers for chronic respiratory conditions, gaseous pollutants can also spark flare-ups and full blown attacks. The best of both worlds would be to have at least one filter that can eliminate both types of triggers. The benefit to you is that one unit could get rid of both solids and gases.
Carbon cloth is just such a filter. Originally developed by the British Military as a response to possible chemical warfare it can remove both. Because it is made of carbon it is able to remove odors, gases, and noxious chemicals. But because it is woven like a cloth, it gives another level of protection against solids.
24 Hour Filtration Capability---The goal of filtration should be to continually minimize the number of allergens in your air. Why? Because experts agree that the best way to manage allergies and asthma is to avoid the trigger.
By having a unit whose motor is capable of running 24 hours day in and day out you stand a better chance of drastically reducing the number of triggers that are in the air. That means less exposure and a greater potential for a higher quality of life.
And just knowing that the air in your home is safe can give you and those who love you the emotional comfort that can allow everyone to exhale in more ways than one.