Do Air Purifiers Work for Allergies?

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Quick Answer: Do Air Purifiers Work for Allergies

Allergies are immune reactions in certain sensitive individuals, triggered by substances that are called allergens, which are usually harmless for most people. Substances like pollen, bee venom or pet dander, certain food substances, chemicals, etc are common allergens. The ability of air purifiers in dealing with allergies depend on the size and state of allergens and on the technology and design of the air purifier.

A variety of air purifiers are available in the market which use different technologies and have varying capabilities and efficiency.

Different types of air purifiers have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages and might be effective against certain types of pollutants and ineffective against other types.

This article will look at the ability of various types of air purifiers in removing allergens from the air and their benefits for those with allergies.

What are Allergies and How they are Caused?

Allergies occur when one’s immune system reacts to a foreign substance(s) — like pollen, bee venom or pet dander, certain food substances, chemicals, etc.

Usually, these substances are harmless to most people.

The substance that can trigger an immune reaction is called an allergen

The immune system produces antibodies. The immune system of individuals with allergies produces antibodies that identify a particular allergen harmful, even though it isn’t.

When an allergic person comes into contact with the allergen, their immune system’s reaction can result in effects like inflammation of skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system, sneezing, asthma, etc.

The severity of allergies varies from individual to individual. It could range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening emergency.

While most allergies can’t be cured, treatments can help in reducing allergy symptoms.

How Air Purifiers Can Benefit in Removing Allergens

Many common allergens— like pollen, spores, fungi, moulds, pet dander, dust, certain chemicals, and gases, etc— are found in the air.

These airborne pollutants can trigger allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to the substances.

Air purifiers can help in removing allergens from the air and can help allergic individuals. Different types of air purifiers have varying levels of efficiency against different types of allergens.

Air purifiers can be beneficial for those with allergies as they can remove a majority of allergic particulates from any given room, though they cannot take away all particles.

The ability of an air purifier to deal with odour depends on its designs as well as technology.

The following section will take a look at certain types of air purifiers and their suitability in dealing with pet odor.

What kind of Air Purifiers Work Best for Allergies

While air purifiers are useful in removing allergens from air, it should be kept in mind that all air purifiers are not the same.

Some are much more effective at removing certain types of allergens than others, while other types of air purifiers might be ineffective against allergens.

This section will take a look at various types of air purifiers and their suitability for removing airborne allergens

HEPA Air Purifiers

These filters can remove 99.97% of particles that are equal to or larger than 0.3 microns in diameter from the air.

They are highly effective against particulate allergens like pollen, dust, spores, fungi and many kinds of moulds.

In short, they are very effective against all types of particulate allergens that are greater than or equal to 0.3 microns in diameter.

HEPA filters are ineffective against gaseous allergens and those that are smaller than 0.3 microns.

Air Purifiers with Activated Carbon filters

These filters are effective against allergy-producing gases, odours, and volatile organic compounds.

They cannot deal with particulate allergens though. Thus they are only effective against a limited set of allergens as a standalone system.

Ozone Air Purifiers

These devices release ozone for cleaning the air. Ozone itself can act as an allergen to many and is not good for humans and the environment. Thus they are not recommended against allergens

Ionizers

These devices don’t trap allergens but just make them settle down on surfaces.

The allergens can reenter the air via currents or can cause allergic reactions when people go near the surfaces on which they have settled down.

Thus in short ionizers are also not very effective against allergens.

Hybrid Systems

Air purification systems which combine HEPA filters, UV-C radiation, and activated carbon filters are very effective against dealing with a wide variety of allergens.

Summary

We hope that this article has helped you in creating a clear picture of the role of air purifiers in dealing with allergies and allergens and the various benefits and limitations associated with different types of air purifiers while dealing with these.

If you have further queries or doubts, please mention them in the comments section.

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