Air Purifiers To Combat Allergies

Dust, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, smoke, pollen… there is no shortage of airborne allergens, and when mixed with air pollution, they exacerbate your respiratory allergies. Indeed, allergic people who live in highly polluted environments see their attacks increase in intensity, duration and frequency. To control your respiratory allergies and improve your quality of life , opt for an air purifier with a HEPA filter.

What is an air purifier?

The air purifier is a household appliance intended to improve the quality of ambient air in living and working places. It filters the air, eliminates certain pollutants and bad odors and can, depending on its model, diffuse healthier air. The air purifier is widely used in establishments open to the public to limit infectious risks, but also in homes and offices to improve air quality. If it can be perceived as a device for comfort and well-being, the air purifier can prove essential to the health of certain patients, in the same way as the humidifier or dehumidifier:

  • People allergic to dust, mites, spores and other airborne particles;
  • People who live in heavily polluted areas, particularly if they live near an industrial zone or a major artery with heavy traffic;
  • People who work in industrial units.

The HEPA filter: the central element of the air purifier

The best air purifiers are those that include one or more HEPA filters. These filters can remove ultrafine particles like cirus, bacteria, mold, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides in addition to airborne particles like pollen, pet dander and dust mites.

The HEPA filter ( High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter ) is especially effective for allergens, viruses and bacteria. To eliminate chemical pollutants, the air purifier must include a chemical neutralization system, as we will see in the next part. Depending on its classification, a HEPA filter will be up to 100 times more efficient than a regular filter, with an efficiency rate of 99.97% on particles with a diameter greater than 0.3 micrometers. Warning: the HEPA filter cannot do anything against detergents, contrary to what some air purifier manufacturers claim. 

The different types of air purifiers

There are roughly half a dozen air purifiers, each with its own technology, its operating mode, the number and type of filters it contains and its power:

  • High-efficiency air purifier (HEPA): equipped with a fibrous layer, it eliminates the finest air particles (less than 0.1 microns), including viruses, bacteria, allergens and other pathogenic particles ;
  • Activated carbon air purifiers: activated carbon is mainly designed to eliminate gases and smoke that can be found in the air of homes located near major roads and industrial areas;
  • “Ionizer” type air purifiers: these devices diffuse negative ions (or anions) to neutralize pathogenic particles by placing them on the ground so as to make them inhalable. However, they will have to be removed afterwards with a vacuum cleaner for example;
  • So-called “electrostatic precipitation” air purifiers: similar to “ionizer” type air purifiers, these devices charge particles to attract them to the filter using electrostatic energy;
  • UV air purifiers: UV light inactivates microbes. These air purifiers do not eliminate pathogenic particles but render them inactive, even when inhaled;
  • Photo-electrochemical oxidation air purifiers: this is a new technology that eliminates very small particles suspended in the air through a photo-electrochemical reaction;
  • The air purification function in other devices. Air conditioners, air coolers, dehumidifiers and some humidifiers can be equipped with a more or less efficient air purification function (with HEPA filter).

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