Allergy Products Worth Their Cost
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology states that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. It's little wonder why the market for allergy-relief products is big business. A myriad of products claim to relieve the sniffles, sneezing, coughing, and other aches and pains that come with allergies, but we all wonder, do these products really do what they say? Especially in a down economy, no one wants to waste money on something that won't improve our lives. Here's a short guide to the most common allergy products and in what circumstances they work.
Arm Yourself with Allergy Information
Buying a product without knowing what you're allergic to is a roll of the dice. The product may actually work, but if you're allergic to something it doesn't affect, it may not help you. Many allergy experts suggest that you get an allergy test before buying anything. Allergy tests help determine what you're allergic to - from pollen to dander to dust mites. Usually this takes the form of a skin-scratch test and the results can be very helpful. Once you've narrowed down your allergies, then you can start looking for a product that will help reduce your exposure to triggers.
HEPA Air Purifiers to Clear the Air
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters remove 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 microns and above. This makes HEPA air purifiers particularly good at clearing the air of triggers that tend to stay airborne like pollen and animal dander, among others. These tiny particles can remain airborne for long periods of time, so HEPA filters are necessary for anyone sensitive to such substances. On the other hand, if you're allergic to dust mites, HEPA filters may not be as helpful since dust mite allergens tend to settle quite quickly. That said, they can be launched into the air during cleaning, like vacuuming, so HEPA filters may still help some. One thing to note about HEPA air purifiers is that to get a HEPA rating, the filter must be independently tested; testing is regulated by the Department of Energy. Buyers should be wary of products that say things like "HEPA-type" or "HEPA-like." They're not real HEPA-rated. The best air purifiers have genuine HEPA filters.
Dehumidifiers Curtail Dust Mites
Dehumidifiers are worthwhile if you're allergic to dust mites. Dust mites don't live well in humidity below 50%. If you can keep humidity down, especially in summer, you can limit their reproduction. It may be difficult to get humidity down to low enough levels with a dehumidifier, however. Still, this is an option for those specifically allergic to dust mites.
Air Conditioners Do Double Duty
Air conditioners are good for those with dust mite allergies and pollen allergies. They reduce humidity levels in the home - slowing the growth of dust mites - and they reduce indoor pollen exposure by recirculating air. People should take care not to use fans, however. Window and attic fans draw in air full of pollen from the outdoors.
Change Bedding For Fewer Dust Mites
Dust mites feed off dead human skin cells, which makes bedding and carpets fertile breeding grounds for these microscopic creatures. If you have a dust mite allergy, make sure bedding is covered with an impermeable barrier. There are many types of allergen-resistant bedding to choose from, but only spend the money if you're allergic to dust mites. Blankets and sheets should also be washed weekly in hot water.
Clean the Air of Cleaning Supplies
Traditional cleaning supplies in spray bottles often launch chemical cleaners into the air, causing them to be inhaled. This can irritate the lungs and cause asthma attacks in sensitive individuals. If you have allergies, you tend to be more sensitive anyway, so consider switching out traditional cleaners with natural ones or for the kind you pour out and rub on. It should be noted, HEPA air purifiers that feature activated carbon filtration will help remove the airborne chemicals put out by traditional spray cleaners.
Be Wise about Indoor Air Quality
People take 9 out of every 10 breaths indoors. That makes cleaning your indoor air of paramount importance if you have allergies. Many people don't realize it, but indoor air is often many times more polluted than outdoor air. Indoor air often also contains chemicals from the manufacturing of furniture and even the house itself. These chemical glues, paints, and solvents can actually off-gas pollutants into the indoor air, pollutants not found outside the home. Such chemicals linger for years and continue to be put off by construction materials, which is part of what makes them so insidious: they can worsen or accelerate allergies without your knowledge. For such a situation, a HEPA air purifier with activated carbon is essential; it will help remove chemicals and odors from the air and reduce your exposure to potentially hazardous substances.
Clean Air Plus is a veteran and family owned small business. We represent the leading manufacturers in HEPA filtration including Austin Air Standard Units, Austin Air Junior Units, IQAir, Amaircare, Oransi and Airpura. Shop online or call one of our friendly experts at 888.247.1147. We'll be happy to help you choose from our large selection of quality air purifiers.
- Administration Staff