In an earlier post back in 2014 we discussed different ways to reduce allergens throughout the home, with or without the use of air purifiers. However, in this post we are focusing on air purifiers specifically, and more importantly, which type you should consider if you suffer from Asthma.
There are two main types of purifier commonly used for alleviating Asthma symptoms, firstly there are ‘Air Sterilisers’ like the popular Airfree brand, and then there are more commonly known ‘Hepa Filter’ air purifiers, which come in all shapes and sizes. Both types have advantages and disadvantages so we shall explore those in better detail here.
The first question to ask yourself is ‘Where do I plan to use my purifier?’
Air purifiers can be a huge benefit for allergy sufferers, but they do not work for everyone, so if you are dubious as to whether one will actually help you then often the best place to start is the bedroom. The reason for this is that bedroom is usually a smaller space to purify than other main living areas of the home, the air in there can often be purified perfectly well by a smaller, less expensive machine. Thus giving you the opportunity to test the benefits it may bring for comparatively less outlay. If the unit works for you in the bedroom then it is a safe bet that another one in the main living area will bring its own benefits too.
What is the best air purifier for an Asthma sufferer to use in a bedroom?
If your allergy is triggered by mould spores, dust mite feces and/or other airborne microorganisms, then there is no doubt that the Airfree range of air sterilisers tend to be the ones that work best for most Asthmatics . This is mostly because unlike Hepa air purifiers which use a filter to trap the allergens, Airfree units actually destroy them. This is important, because the steriliser actually kills off the spores and stops their return. This can take two to three weeks of continuous use before the biggest benefits are felt, because many of these spores have a two to three week incubation period. Also, dust mites feed on mould spores, so by killing off the spores, you are also beginning to starve the dust mites and therefore drastically reducing the amount of dust mite feces in the air.
Air sterilisers are also totally silent in use, which is another good reason to choose this type for the bedroom. It is not possible for a Hepa air purifier to be totally silent due to the powerful fan required to suck air through its filter, however some top brands like Swedish manufacturers Blueair are virtually silent so this is not necessarily a problem with all Hepa machines.
There is one limiting factor with air sterilisers however. In order for them to be fully effective, they rely upon being used in one room all of the time. The technology inside is not capable of getting up to speed very quickly, and therefore moving it from room to room on a daily basis would render it less effective.
Which type of purifier is best for the living room or dining room?
When it comes to purifying the air in the more active areas of the home, like the living room, dining room and kitchen etc, then there is no doubt that a Hepa air purifier is the best option. The reason for this is that the air movement in those areas tends to be more unpredictable due to the irregular comings and goings of people and pets and the opening of doors and windows etc. All of which means an ever changing amount of allergens are being disturbed and flowing around much more actively and freely in those areas than they do in a bedroom. This type of area requires an air purifier which is powerful enough to recirculate all of the air in the whole room through its filter as quickly as possible to remove the incoming allergens as quickly as they are arriving. This is where a well chosen Hepa air purifier will be a better option than the slower, meticulous operation of an air steriliser.
What if I want to use it in the bedroom at night and then move it to the living room during the day?
If you prefer to only buy one air purifier to help with your Asthma and move it around from room to room daily, then look for a Hepa air purifier which is powerful enough to purify the air in the biggest room, and also quiet enough to use in the bedroom at night without interrupting your sleep. The quietest most powerful hepa air purifiers tend to be those manufactured by Swedish air purifier Gurus Blueair. Blueair have a unique patented Hepasilent Technology which is not only quieter and more powerful than most other brands but also filters down to a far smaller particle size than the type of machine you might find on the High Street. For instance, the smallest Blueair , the 203 recirculates all of the air in a 25 square metre room once every 12 minutes removing particles as small as 0.1 micron. To put in perspective, compare that with something like an Airvax or a Bionaire air purifier found in many High Street department stores which take around 45 minutes to clean the air just once, and even then only filter out larger allergens down to 0.3 microns. Choosing your hepa air purifier to match your room size correctly means you can happily move it around from one room to the next knowing that it is going to provide effective allergen removal almost immediately.
In summary then, if you are an Asthma sufferer and plan to buy an air purifier solely for use in your bedroom, then we recommend you choose an Airfree Air Steriliser. Choose one which matches your room size, ie the P40 is for rooms up to 40 cubic metres, the P60 is for rooms up to 60 cubic metres, and so on all the way up to the most powerful P150.
For a living room, dining room or kitchen, opt for a Hepa air purifier and be sure to choose one which is powerful enough to recirculate all of the air in your biggest room at least 3-5 times every hour. The entry level Blueair 203 will provide 5 air changes an hour in rooms up to 25 square metres (assuming a normal ceiling height). A good value for money Hepa air purifier for larger rooms up to 45 square metres is the excellent Winix U450 which includes fully automatic operation and is super quiet too.
Finally, if planning to buy just one machine and move it around between bedroom and living area on a daily basis then once again opt for a Hepa air purifier as above, but ensure it is quiet enough not to interrupt you whilst you are sleeping. For more information on any of our air purifiers and assistance in making the correct choice please feel free to call us on 01207 507444, we do enjoy talking to our customers!