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Whether you suffer from allergies or simply reside in a particularly polluted city, purifying the air in your home can make a big difference in how you feel each day.
While most people are aware of pollutants floating around outside, it may come as a surprise to learn that people with allergies may be even more vulnerable indoors. The prolonged amount of time that we are all spending inside lately might have you looking for another solution to help filter the air in your home.
“The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that indoor air — where we spend more than three-quarters of our days — is often even more polluted versus outdoor air,” said Dr. Clifford Bassett, founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York and author of The New Allergy Solution.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of us probably spend even more time at home than ever before— making it extremely important to disinfect and keep your living space as clean as possible.
For clean air, eliminate sources of pollution, like cigarette smoke, air fresheners, wood-burning fireplaces and harsh cleaning chemicals, noted Dr. Denitza Blagev, a pulmonologist at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
According to Bassett, people with allergies should decrease exposure to triggers (use allergy-proof bedding for dust mites, wear wraparound sunglasses to block outside pollen) and work with a doctor on a medication strategy. Blagev added that an indoor air filter or purifier can also be effective in removing harmful pollutants.
Standalone units that are designed to filter a designated area should be placed in rooms where you spend most of your time, and Blagev notes that it's important to change the filter regularly based on the manufacturer’s suggestion.
With so many options out there, it can be tough to find an air filter that's both effective and safe. Here are a few suggestions from doctors that pass the test:
Expert-recommended air purifiers
This is a splurge, but Rabbit Air purifiers come with some serious perks. This one can purify a room up to 700 square feet. Bassett said he likes this brand because it makes customizable filters that address odors, toxins or pet allergens. It can also be mounted on a wall — and it looks attractive.
This option has been certified “asthma and allergy-friendly” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). It features a HEPA and carbon filter that traps particles as small as 0.3 microns. “The most harmful particulates are the smallest, or less than 2.5 microns in size,” Blagev said.
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particle air. A HEPA filter is designed to remove 99.97% of airborne particles (measuring 0.3 micrometers or greater) in diameter passing through it.
“Room air cleaners with a HEPA filter are the best choice,” said Dr. James L. Sublett, chief medical officer at Family Allergy and Asthma in Louisville, Kentucky.
It's important to consider the size of the room when choosing the best filter for your home. Sublett recommends Honeywell's line of filters, and this specific model helps clean rooms up to 155 square feet.
The AAFA certifies household products as "asthma and allergy-friendly,” so it’s a great resource to help narrow down the best air purifiers, Bassett told us. The AeraMax 100 has been certified by the foundation. It's a portable air cleaner that removes 99.97% of airborne particles. It best fits rooms that are up to 200 square feet.
“I am a fan of attempting to get an indoor clean air boost with various NASA-studied plants that have been found to potentially scrub and purify indoor air of common pollutants,” Bassett said. Peace lily and English Ivy are two good options.
Now that you know what to look for in an air filter, check out some of these bestsellers, too!
Bestselling air purifiers
With a HEPA filter and UV-C light sanitizer, this air purifier is meant to tackle pet dander, mold and dust while also killing harmful germs.
This purifier uses a three-step filtration method to remove particles from the air. The powerful system can also circulate fresh air over four times per hour in small to mid-sized rooms.
Meant for rooms up to 160 square feet, this inexpensive purifier features HEPA filtration as well as three quiet modes.
The brand claims it traps 99.97% of harmful air particles while also using a charcoal filter to capture unpleasant odors.
This air purifier can capture 99% of particles while also neutralizing odors in rooms between 100 and 175 square feet.
You can control this air purifier through an app on your phone, as well as with Alexa-enabled devices since it utilizes a WiFi connection. It filters pet hair, dust, pollen and more with an included HEPA filter. While it's currently on sale for 23% off, Prime members can save an additional $46 at checkout.
If you're looking for an energy-saving option, this 4.1-star rated purifier uses low energy and doesn't require replacement filters. It works by removing airborne pollutants with negatively charged ions silently, including pollen, mold, smoke and pet dander.
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This article was originally published on April 24, 2018.