Air Purifiers FAQs: Do Air Purifiers Help with Allergies?

Allergy symptoms occurring in the nasal passages, eyes and throat are caused by airborne contaminants. Common allergy symptoms include sinus drainage, post-nasal drip, swollen nasal passages that cause the nose to feel stuffed, a tickle in the throat that frequently leads to a dry cough, headaches, and itchy, swollen eyes with drainage. Since air purifiers can help reduce the number of airborne contaminant particles in the home, they can effectively reduce the symptoms associated with allergies.

Do Air Purifiers Help with Allergies?

What Causes Airborne Allergy Symptoms?

An individual experiences airborne allergy symptoms when his or her immune system is sensitive to a particular particle in the air. When these particles cause an allergy, they are referred to as allergens.

Which Air Particles Can Cause Allergy Symptoms?

Common airborne allergens include pet hair, pet dander (cat and dog), pollen, fungi spores, mold, tobacco smoke, dust and dust mites.

How Do Air Purifiers Help with Allergies?

An air purifier works by pulling air in via a fan and moving that air through at least one filter. The filter captures the particles and pollutants before pushing the air out the other side into the home.

What Are Air Purifier Filters Made Of?

Filters may consist of fiber (typically fiberglass), paper or mesh. To ensure the purifier remains efficient, filters must be changed or washed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. These recommendations can be found in the owner’s manual.

What is a High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA)?

HEPA filters consist of multi-layered netting that is usually made of very fine fiberglass threads. Since airborne particle sizes vary, in order to capture particles of different sizes, the size of the gaps in these fiberglass threads vary as well.

How Does the Multi-Layered Netting Capture the Allergens?

As the allergens are pulled in by the fan, the particles that are larger than the filter’s fibers are captured when they crash into the fiber. The mid-sized allergens are captured when they touch the fiber. As the ultra-fine particles zigzag through the fibers, they begin hitting the fibers, which allows them to be captured.

How Effective Are Air Purifiers That Have HEPA Filters?

These filters are very effective at removing the ultra-fine airborne particles. These particles include pollen, dust, mold and dander. The industry standard for HEPA air purifying units requires that it be able to remove at least 99.97 percent of airborne particulates that measure 0.3-micron diameter (in the lab).

I Want to Get an Air Purifier, Which One Should I Choose?

Consumer Reports lists the Blueair Classic 605 and  Blueair Blue Pure 211+ (several options available) among the top air purifiers for 2020. Both air purifiers are available on Amazon. The Blueair Classic 605 has more than 400 ratings, with a total star rating of 4 ½ and the group of Blueair Blue Pure 211+ purifiers have more than 800 ratings, with a total star rating of 4 ½.

Once I Have an Air Purifier, Can I Stop Taking My Allergy Medication?

Although an air purifier can help prevent the onset of allergy symptoms, the reason an individual suffers from allergies varies, therefore, an air purifier should never be used as a means to replace other allergy treatments.