Air Filtration / Odor Eliminator / Allergen Reducer Systems
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), small-sized particles (10 micron [micrometers]) or smaller have the greatest potential to cause health problems as these are most likely to get lodged in the lungs. Quality air purifiers filter or absorb even miniscule pollutants --to include bacteria, chemicals, dust, dust mites, mold spores, odors, pollen, pet dander and smoke.
A quality air purifier is a great way to invest in your health and are highly recommended for people with asthma and other immune-deficiency problems.
An air purifier can effectively clear pollutants from the air you breathe, but you need one that goes beyond the standard specifications.
- Purchase an air purifier that covers more square footage than the volume of the space in which you intend to use it . Overall, it isn't much more expensive to upgrade one level and buying smaller units is a false economy since they offer less protection.
- It's best if an air purifier delivers about six air changes hourly, with a high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) per pollutant based on room size.
- Do not use any air filtration system with ionizers and/or deodorizers. Please refer to the following websites for information: Ozone Generators. and "Ozonators - Helpful or Harmful?"
- If you have central air, a house-wide filtration system can service the entire house. Otherwise, you'll need a separate unit for each room.
- Other environmental changes that help allergy sufferers:
- Dehumidifiers and Shower Filters can minimize the growth of pathogens and chemicals in your environment and help those with respiratory problems. They are especially helpful for people or animals suffering from allergies.
Here's what to look for in an individual unit...
- High Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA filters. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are the best choice. Effective and relatively inexpensive, HEPA filters were first developed to remove radioactive particles from the air in nuclear facilities. The government has established a HEPA definition: In order for a filter to be designated as HEPA, the manufacturer must demonstrate that it absorbs and removes at least 99.97% of 0.3 micrometer airborne particle pollutants. You can get a good HEPA room unit for about $200 or less. Replace HEPA filters once a year, even if the recommendation is for every two to three years. Caution: Avoid products that are advertised as "HEPA-like" or "HEPA-type" or "99% HEPA." These may not meet strict HEPA requirements.
- Pre-Filters. Pre-filters are built into most HEPA units, and are good for removing larger particles, saving wear and tear on the HEPA elements. They are inexpensive. Most pre-filters contain activated carbon, which absorbs gases, chemicals and strong odors that would not be picked up by HEPA filters, with which they are typically used. Replace pre-filters every two to three months.
- The Noise Factor: Unfortunately many good air purifiers are noisy because a strong fan is needed to effectively filter air. One way around the noise in the bedroom is to leave the unit on high to filter during the day and turn it to low at night.