Hazardous level of air pollution raises the urge to protect the health of yourselves and your families. The most common diseases that caused by poor air quality nowadays are allergies and asthma. Moreover, according to the American Lung Association, asthma not only is ranked in the top 6 most common chronic conditions in the United States but also leads to many other serious illnesses of both children and adults.
The demand for air purifiers for Allergies and Asthma, therefore, has increases dramatically recently. Air purifiers clean the air, remove dust, destroy or prevent the development of mold and some kinds of bacteria. That’s how an air cleaner help you reduce allergen levels in your home, which is an important factor to control allergies and asthma.
Air Purifier Buying Guide
Unlike a normal air cleaner, air purifier for allergies and Asthma is more difficult to buy, as it needs to meet some specific standards, which are listed in our Buying Guide below.
There are various types of air purifier filter types, each of which have theirs own strengths and weaknesses as well as targets a different type of pollution. That’s also the reason why the manufacturers usually apply two or more filter in the same unit to offer more benefits to users.
1. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter
HEPA filtration was created during the World War II and it now become the most popular filtration used in air purifiers to trap 99,97% of all airborne particles that are about 0,3 microns small and 95% of particles as small as 0,1 microns. Thus, almost all allergens such as pollen, mold, pet dander, dust mite debris and bacteria are removed from the air of your home environment by HEPA filter. The disadvantage of air purifiers with HEPA filter is it cannot eliminate the volatile organic compounds, odors, viruses and the filter needs to be changed periodically.
2. Activated Carbon Filter
This is the most adsorbing filter available these days as it has millions of small absorbent pores that chemically react to contaminants when they pass through the filter. The chemical, therefore, bonds with the carbon and become absorbed. Activated carbon filters surpass others in removing volatile organic compounds, odors, gas and smoke. However, this filter does not remove small particles as HEPA filter does.
3. UV Rays
This type of air purifiers does not apply any actual filtration technology but it rather uses UV light having electromagnetic radiation to destroy particles as they pass. Ultraviolet light air purifiers are effective at controlling mold, killing bacteria and viruses, yet it do not remove dust, pollen and particularly, improperly dispersed UV rays can cause skin necrosis and cataract.
4. Ionic Filter
Ionic air purifiers generate and give out negative ions to the air that attract positive airborne dust and allergen particles, forcing them to cling to a nearby surface. This type of air purifiers can remove particles as small as 0.01 microns, kill bacteria, viruses, smoke mold and so on. However, its disadvantages are it clean the air but make the floor or the wall dirtier and it produces harmful substances- ozone.
The best filtration for Allergies and Asthma is the combination of HEPA and activated carbon filter.
Other Things to Consider
After choosing the filtration technology that fits your need, there are some factors that you should consider carefully before buying an air purifier.
- Room Size: First of all, check what the size of your room is. Each model of purifiers has the capacity matching a certain area, so if you buy a product with lower capacity than your demand, it will not achieve the desired effectiveness.
- Noise Level: Know exactly where you want to place the air purifier so that you can choose the model emitting the acceptable level of noise.
- Air Changes per Hour: (ACH) is an important figure of an air purifier, especially an air purifier for Allergies and Asthma. This ACH number varies between 1 and 7, and choosing units able to perform 2 or more ACH is better for controlling allergies and asthma.
- Energy Cost: Consider the filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which varies from 1 to 12 for home AC units, to balance your air-quality concerns with energy cost.
The 5 Best Air Purifiers
Naturally, the growth in demand leads to the increase in supply. It enables users to have a better chance to get a high quality air purifier with a lower price. Below are the 5 best ones available on the market today.
1. Winix PlasmaWave 5300
Pros: As mentioned above, a combination of HEPA filter and Carbon filter is best for controlling allergens. That’s why we put this Winix product to this list. Besides the HEPA and Carbon filter, this product also features PlasmaWave Technology, which constitute a 3-stage air cleaning system that remove almost all indoor pollutants without producing any harmful byproduct.
Cons: The noticeable disadvantage of this air purifier is that the PlasmaWave produces an intermittent hissing sound while it cannot be turned off. In addition, the HEPA filter is so thin that it needs replaced more frequently.
2. AeraMax 290
Pros: This air purifier is certificated asthma and allergy-friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Thus, you can be sure that this product is up to the strictest specific standard. AeraMax, moreover, have a special high performance mode for allergy, cold and flu season. Besides, the pros of this product is the 4-stage cleaning system, including Carbon filter, HEPA filter, AeraSafe antimicrobial treatment and PlasmaTRUE technology. This product also feature AeraSmart to automatically detect contaminants, which can help you lower the energy cost.
Cons: The only thing not good about this unit is that it pretty large and loud.
3. Whirlpool Whispure Air Purifier
Pros: The good of this is the same with the above ones as it also have power HEPA filters and motor. The difference is that it ionizes the air without emitting ozone, it can act as a fan that cools and create white noise.
Cons: The bad things is that it take up a lot of space and cannot remove odor, its price is high and the cost of operation can up to $300 a year, including cost for air filter replacements and electricity.
4. Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover
Pros: As mentioned above, a higher ACH number is, the better the air purifier is for people suffering asthma and allergies. And this unit can perform 5. Moreover, it is ranked #1 brand recommended by allergists.
Cons: However, it is not great for odor removal.
5. GermGuardian AC4825
Pros: This is a 3 stage cleaning system with true HEPA filter, charcoal filter and UV-C light technology. The purifier can also kill both bacteria and viruses. This unit is specially equipped with indicator lights that remind you to replace the filter or UV-C bulb when needed.
Cons: Unfortunately, in some cases, this GermGuardian produces a very strong smell of adhesives off gassing.
Hopefully this article of the 5 best Air Purifiers for Allergies and Asthma with buying guide can help you find a right air purifier for your home environment.