While home may seem like a haven compared to the pollen and
pollution that's outside, untreated indoor air is actually often
more contaminated than outdoor air. In fact, the EPA estimates that
indoor air is five to ten times more polluted than outdoor air! And
while many people are busy shutting up their homes against inclement
weather and outdoor pollutants, they are making poor indoor air
quality a greater issue by not allowing for adequate circulation
throughout the home. So what's an allergy or asthma sufferer to do?
the answer, and an important component of any allergy treatment
regimen. As with all of our allergy relief products, home air
purifiers work on the principle of allergen avoidance. Here's how:
Home Air Purifiers Trap Allergens in the Home
People's homes contain an alarming number of allergy and asthma
triggers. Firstly, allergens and pollutants that are outside are
brought into the home and collect there: Pollen comes in on people's
shoes and clothing and in their hair and settles on carpets and
other surfaces. Likewise, visitors can bring pet dander into the
home, not to mention the animal dander that collects on carpets, in
upholstered furniture, and on bedding (although we recommend never
allowing your pets on the bed if you have allergies!) if you own
pets yourself. Mold spores, which are easily aspirated and can cause
big problems for allergy and asthma sufferers, are another problem.
Household pests, such as mice or cockroaches, also leave behind
droppings and shed skin and other body parts, all of which can
trigger asthma or allergy attacks. Last, but definitely not least,
is dust and their attendant dust mites, which thrive in carpets,
furniture, bedding, stuffed animals, and on any surface.
Home air purifiers equipped with HEPA filtration do an excellent job
of trapping these particles. HEPA stands for High Efficiency
Particle Arresting, an appropriate name since HEPA filtration
captures 99.97% of contaminants down to 0.3 microns in size.
Other Indoor Pollutants Absorbed by Home Air Purifiers
In addition to particulate matter, chemicals, gases, and toxic fumes
are also surprisingly common in most indoor environments, and they
often exacerbate allergy and asthma symptoms. People suffering from
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), even if they don't have
allergies or asthma, are greatly affected by the presence of these
pollutants. Furthermore, even those who don't seem sensitive to
chemicals and fumes may develop sensitivity over time; no matter the
situation, it's best to avoid exposure to these poisonous indoor air
contaminants, and home air purifiers can help.
Such chemical pollutants come from a wide variety of items in the
household. Fresh paint and newly laid carpet are obvious
fume-releasers. But did you know that furniture constructed of
particle board, such as cabinets or construct-it-yourself furniture
contain adhesives that have formaldehyde, a dangerous volatile
organic compound (VOC), in them? (IKEA furniture is a notable
exception; adhering to strict European standards, they use low-VOC
adhesives.) Formaldehyde fumes are also released from permanent
press drapes and freshly dry cleaned clothing. Flame retardant
chemicals in furniture and even mattresses also release toxic fumes.
Common household cleaners also contain poisonous chemicals that
create both harmful fumes and harmful residues. And the list could
go on and on
It's best to minimize your exposure to these chemicals as much as
possible. For instance, use
such as those featured on our Eco-Friendly page and air out your dry
cleaning before bringing it into the house. But for those
contaminants that you can't control, home air purifiers fitted with
activated carbon filtration are the solution.
Activated carbon has a large surface area that attracts and traps
chemicals, gases, and fumes. An important component of the way
activated carbon works has to do with "dwell time," or the amount of
time that the air that's flowing through the unit spends passing
through the carbon. Naturally, the amount of carbon in the unit
drastically affects dwell time: a thin sheet of carbon doesn't do
much; but a unit such as those in the
fitted with up to 36 pounds of activated carbon, is quite effective.
Maintaining Home Air Purifiers to Maximize Their Effectiveness
Many times, customers have called us to complain that their air
purifiers have stopped working. And most of these times, as our
customer service representatives can testify, the problem is simply
a matter of cleaning or replacing filters. Some units come with a
pre-filter that keeps large particles from getting into the unit and
the more fine HEPA and carbon filters. This filter needs to be
vacuumed clean or replaced most often, usually every three months or
whenever it looks dirty, whichever comes first. HEPA and carbon
filters need replacement as well.
We know how hard it is to keep track of when to change your filters.
That's why we've created the
a free service to remind you when it's time to replace your filters
so you can keep your indoor air pollutant-free.