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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. For the past 18 months, we've spent most of our time at home, with an emphasis on the importance of keeping indoor living spaces as clean as possible. But even as we've started to spend more time outside during warmer months, it's important to maintain that level of cleanliness 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.
Given the prolonged amount of time that we have spent inside, you might have already started looking for another solution to help filter the air in your home, but luckily you can purify the air throughout your entire home with just a few simple steps.
To help break it all down with some tips and tricks, “HouseSmarts” host Lou Manfredini shared how you can keep the air in your home clean to breathe easy no matter the season.
How to keep indoor air clean
Whole house air purifiers are one way to help reduce pollution in the air in your home, which are different than whole house air humidifiers.
"These are separate appliances that you can place in a basement in a family room on an entire first floor," Manfredini says, "and it will capture all the air in those rooms and filter it through a highly refined filtering system. Many use HEPA [high-efficiency particle air] filtration."
Another way to help improve the air quality in your home is by replacing the furnace filters in your home. You don't have to opt for pricey filters, but it's best to choose one that is pleated rather than one made from spun fiberglass, Manfredini said. To clean the vents throughout your home, such as floor and wall vents, you're going to want to use a vacuum and a dusting rag in order to remove debris.
Calling in the professionals to clean and seal your ductwork is another option that will help keep the air in your home clean, as it prevents dust from accumulating, making your furnace more efficient.
Air purifiers featured on The TODAY Show
Manfredini called out this air purifier from Blueair for being "very quiet, very efficient." He also notes that since it features an LED indicator, you can monitor the quality of the air while the filter indicator lets you know when it needs to be replaced. It's designed for large rooms and, despite the large capacity, operates on an ultra-quiet filter using HEPASilent technology.
This larger unit is meant to be run continuously in large rooms. It operates on five fan modes and can connect to your smartphone so that you can monitor air quality levels, know when to change the filter, set filtering schedules and more. The HEPA filter captures 99.97% of pollutants and is also washable.
Top-rated air purifiers, recommended by experts
Dr. Denitza Blagev, a pulmonologist at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, says 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.
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.
“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.
Bestselling air purifiers
This air purifier captures 99.97% of airborne pollutant and has a washable carbon filter so you can clean and reuse it as needed. It also has Smart Sensors which gauge the air and allow Auto Mode to adjust the fan to the right filter setting at that time. It even has a sleep mode so you don't have to worry about dealing with loud machinery through the night.
With a four-stage filtration system, you can be confident that you're getting the cleanest air at home with this Coway air purifier. It has three manual fan speeds as well as auto mode, so it will adjust as needed according to the detected air quality. There's also a timer feature that with options for one, four and eight hours before it automatically powers off.
This inexpensive option features a blue night light function and fragrance sponge, so you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil that will diffuse with the purifying air movement. It is also lightweight, weighing just over three pounds, so you can easily move it wherever you need.
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 Wi-Fi connection. It filters pet hair, dust, pollen and more with an included HEPA filter.
If you're looking for an energy-saving option, this 4.2-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.