Before we jump into the air purifier health benefits, where are some official figures to show you the importance of clean air. According to EPA, Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors and about 70% is spent at home. Despite the staggering numbers, indoor pollution is 2-5 times worse than outdoor pollution. Perhaps even more alarmingly, 87% of Americans homeowners have no idea that indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air. To top it off, there are around 50 million Americans suffering from various allergies annually according to ACAAI.
1. Air Purifiers Provide Clean Air
Clean air is very important to sustain a healthy life and growth. An air purifier can ensure you and your family members are breathing into clean, healthy air. By removing impurities like dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, smoke, mold spores, and germs, one can enjoy a healthy lifestyle. You will feel more energetic, productive with lots of positive vibes. Your blood pressure will decrease, digestion will improve, and you will sleep better throughout the night. Having clean air is also beneficial to your lungs and cardiovascular systems in the long run. Simply put, if you want to have a longer lifespan, get an air purifier that can provide you with clean air.
2. Air Purifiers Remove Asthma Attack Triggers
An air purifier can prevent an asthma attack from happening by eliminating nearby airborne irritants. This includes common triggers like dust, dust mite, mold, pet dander, pollen, tobacco smoke, CO, and odor. With airborne aggravators out of the picture, there is less likelihood of an asthma attack from happening.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease where a person’s airways are swollen or inflamed. The narrower airway will lead to symptoms like difficulty breathing, wheezing, and cough. While a home should be the safest place for an asthmatic person, is this sadly where most asthma-related deaths happen. A genuine HEPA air purifier can help alleviate asthma and other respiratory ailments. Leave it on all day and your home will be transformed into an asthma-friendly home. Always remember, air cleaner is a preventer but inhaler is a savior. It is the best thing to save you from a life-threatening asthma attack.
3. Air Purifiers Trap Airborne Dust And Slow Dust Buildup
A very effective dust removal machine, an air purifier will capture dust in the air before it can settle down. As less dust is fallen from the sky, there will be less dust accumulation so less cleaning is needed. While most people are hypersensitive to dust mites rather than dust itself, an air purifier can stop us from inhaling to both allergens. All your dust allergies will be gone with the wind.
Dust is everywhere no matter how often you perform housekeeping. This is because dust is made of dead skin, animal fur, dander, decomposing insects, pollen, food debris, hair, fabric or fiber. Depending on how small a particle is, dust can stay airborne for up to 5 days. On average, a home produces 4 pounds of dust every month (about the weight of a laptop). A vacuum cleaner would do a fine job on ground dust, it can’t deal with anything that is airborne. For this simple reason, every household should have an air purifier running 24×7.
4. Air Purifiers Impede Germs Growth And Spread
A germicidal air purifier can stop infection and germs from spreading from one room to another. This is done through the combined effort of True HEPA filter and ultraviolet light. The air purifier will pull in, trap, disinfect airborne germs and release only clean air out. If the filter comes with an antimicrobial coating, it can impede the microbes from further growth. With those pesky germs out of the way, everyone in your home will be shielded from flu, cough, and other illnesses.
Germs are often spread through the air via sneezing, coughing, rubbing eyes, or even simple handshake. Studies have shown most germs/ flu viruses can stay active for up to 24 hours. Specific cold viruses can survive in an indoor environment for up to 7 days. These microorganisms multiply and grow at an exponential rate and an air purifier can capture it before the germs settle into a host. However, an air purifier is only one part of the solution. Wash your hand, keep a room ventilated and optimal moisture level is one of the few ways to curb germ spread.
5. Air Purifiers Alleviate Seasonal Allergies
Dreaded the day when Spring arrives? An air purifier will combat seasonal allergens by trapping airborne pollen coming from trees, grasses, weeds. Without the allergens invading your breathing space, it will create a safe environment for anyone suffering from allergic rhinitis. For optimum results, keep all windows/ doors shut to reduce the numbers of incoming pollen.
When mother nature works its magic, you need to be prepared. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen with symptoms similar to a common cold. This include sneezing, congestion, coughing, sinus pressure, watery eyes, itchiness, and scratchy throat. Most pollen allergies will come and go but typical viruses like cold can last from 7 to 10 days.
6. Air Purifiers Remove Stinky Odors
Nobody wants to stay in a smelly home. The biggest advantage of an air purifier is it can swiftly clear out any types of odors. This includes rotten eggs, cooking smoke, burnt food, cigarettes, sewage, diaper, and even chemical fumes like VOCs. The activated carbon filter will remove all unwanted smells plus the chemical substances. An air purifier is also very safe where you could leave it running all day in the background while you cook.
When something smells bad, it is probably bad for you. Odor can make a person feel sick but is not the pungent smell that is bad for you. It is the gaseous chemical compound or bacteria that travels with it. When we scent something unpleasant, one might experience loss of appetite, nausea or headache. Rather than masking away the foul smell with an air freshener, get an air purifier with a carbon filter. It will remove stinky odors without adding harmful particles into our body.
7. Air Purifiers Eliminate Cigarette Smoke Toxic And Smell
Like it or not, smokers are everywhere and so are the chemicals it brings. An air purifier can neutralize 4000+ chemicals and odors emitted from a cigarette. It can also act as a protective barrier against secondhand/ thirdhand smoke before it ends up on your wall or upholstery. In long-run, there is less likelihood of you or your family member from developing lung cancer. Children and the elderly would benefit the most in a smoke-free environment due to their weak respiratory systems. Again, the air cleaner must be equipped with a good carbon filter with decent coverage.
Tobacco is notoriously known for its 3 components: nicotine, carbon monoxide, and tar. Nicotine is the popular one that causes addiction but tar is the dangerous one that causes cancer. Despite the aggressive awareness campaign, there are still 36.5 million smokers in the U.S. alone. More scaringly, at least 16 million people live with a smoking-related disease. Common sickness includes COPD, pneumonia, bronchitis, dementia, and heart disease. An air purifier will counter smoker way of life by lessening the impact smoking brings from a situation that you can’t change. If you are a smoker, quit smoking is no doubt the best option. Otherwise, smoke in an open space area or stay clear of a smoking zone area.
8. Air Purifiers Eliminate VOCs And Other Household Chemicals
Household chemicals are here to stay and so is an air purifier. An air purifier is an eco-friendly solution to eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In a typical home, you can find VOCs in paints, furnishing, coatings, air fresheners, and aerosol sprays. This includes detergent, toilet bowl cleaner, paint, or insect repellents (pesticide). Through the absorption of the carbon filter, an air purifier will also remove indoor chemicals like ammonia, deet, nitrogen dioxide, Formaldehyde, and biological contaminants.
VOCs is a chemical that can reach high vapor pressure at regular room temperature. If you are a hyperallergic person, you can feel existence through symptoms such as watering eyes, nausea, breathing difficulty with a burning/choking sensation in your throat. In small concentrations, there is no health concern to worry about. In high concentrations level though, it will pose major health risks and could even lead to cancer e.g. leukemia and lymphoma. If you are constantly exposed to cleaning products, an air purifier will be beneficial to your health.
9. Air Purifiers Remove Pet Allergens In The Air
Say goodbye to pet mess. An air purifier will subdue pet allergies but capturing pet hair, shed fur, and pet dander. It can also get rid of persistent pet odors and germs from saliva, body, and litter box. Your home will smell as fresh as before as there are fewer allergens in the air. There are many specialized pet air purifiers in the market. Choose the unit with the stronger airflow so it can cover more grounds.
Allergies can develop at any stage of life even if you are fully immunized. This can be extremely painful for pet owners that have to give up on their furry companion for something that is beyond their control. Another common scenario is your soulmate is unfortunately allergic to your cat or dog. Besides taking allergy shots, medication or getting an allergenic dog or cat, an air purifier will give pet allergy persons a second chance.
10. Air Purifiers Protect Baby, Children, the Elderly From Respiratory Illnesses
Creating a clean air environment is one of the main benefits to own an air purifier especially if you have a baby or elderly at home. Why? This is because they are the group that spends most of their time indoor. They are also at higher risk of respiratory diseases due to the weakened immune system. Children and babies will more likely to breathe into ground pollutants that are stirred up due to their body height. Air purifiers can provide clean air thus prevent development or aggravating diseases.
Our immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs. It will defend our body against bacteria and viruses attack. As we continue to age, the number of cells will reduce thus the body will take a longer time to recover from cuts and infection. That is why elderly, postpartum women and sick persons should be treated with extra care. Baby on the other hand, has a developing immune system and smaller lung capacity. So remember, we “the strong one” have the duty to protect “the weaker one”, a HEPA air purifier can safeguard “the weaker one” from viruses attack. If you have newborn, baby or elderly at home, an air purifier would protect them from any virus infection.
11. Air Purifiers Help You Sleep Better
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, air purifiers can improve your sleep quality by generating calm pink noise. It will also clear away all the sleep-disturbing irritants in the air like dust mites, mold, or mildew. Without the irritants triggering allergic reactions, expect less snoring and sleep interruption. You will breathe easier and your sleeping partners would truly appreciate it. Your body will also thank you for supplying enough oxygen for internal organs.
Despite the common theme, many people are unable to sleep through the night. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that should not be taken lightly. People with untreated sleep apnea often suffer from unrefreshed sleep or lack of concentration. Other signs include snoring, headaches, insomnia, and even decreased sexual desire (ouch). In long-run, it will have a detrimental health effect on our body. If you are suffering from mild sleep apnea due to cold, an air purifier could be the answer to the woes. Keep in mind that not all air purifier generates calm and soothing noise. Picking the *right* silent model and set the fan speed to low or sleep mode.
12. Air Purifiers Eliminate Outdoor Pollutants
An air purifier will remove outdoor pollutants that manage to flow inside our home. With a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter, air purifier can trap PM2.5 particles or toxic fumes before it reaches into our lungs. This includes harmful substances like Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Formaldehyde (CH2O). Just make sure you opt from a reputable brand with strong filtration and wide purifying coverage.
Outdoor pollution never takes a break especially in an urban area. The typical source of outdoor pollution includes fossil fuel burning, vehicle fumes, and forest burning. As indoor air is 2 to 5 times dirtier than outdoor air, prolong exposure to the pollutants will have adverse effects on our health. It can lead to diseases such as bronchitis, emphysema and worst still, cancer. Beside staying indoor, close all windows or move out of the area, there are very little things you could do. An air cleaner is your best bet to block out outdoor pollutants in your home.
13. Air Purifiers Eliminate Radon Gas That Causes Lung Cancer
An odorless gas that is extremely harmful when inhaled, air purifier can help trap and contain radon gas contamination. Very important feature because most radon poisoning happens without a person realizing it. It could take months until you discover the leakage and weeks to hire a radon mitigation contractors. Having an air purifier running in the background can protect you and your family members from radon gas leakage. With minimal exposure, the risk of developing lung cancer is drastically reduced.
Radon is a radioactive, byproduct of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Coming from the ground, the gas will slowly enter into a home through cracks on the floor, plaster, wall, pipework, electrical wires, and ceiling. According to EPA, there are around 14,000 to 21,000 deaths annually in the U.S. from radon linked lung cancer. While an air purifier can trap most of the radon particulates in the filters, it cannot stop more radon gas from coming in. Seal any cracks on the floors, walls, and fix any damage duct before more toxic gases are spread out.
14. Air Purifiers Capture Airborne Asbestos Particles
A good air purifier with a True HEPA filter can remove asbestos particles in the air. Airborne asbestos fibers are lightweight, odorless, tasteless therefore hard to detect its existence. While the risk factors as decreased over the years, exposure to a high concentration level of asbestos can be fatal. In long-run, you are in jeopardy of diseases such as asbestosis and pleural mesothelioma (cancer).
If you are staying in an older house built before the 80s era, please pay close attention. Due to its fireproof, heat resistant, and durability quality, you will find asbestos in almost every building material. From pipe insulation, drywall, ceiling, cement to floor tiles, asbestos fibers will be released when damaged or cut. An air purifier will safeguard your home from asbestos fibers released during a renovation. However, you should still consult an asbestos abatement expert on the removal process.
15. Air Purifiers Improve Mood Levels
The advantage of owning an air purifier is it can improve your mood simply by producing clean air. Clean air would do wonders for your mood and health-being when inhaled. An air purifier with ionizer feature generates millions of negative ions to bring down airborne pollutants. The dispersed negative ions will produce biochemical reactions that boost levels of the mood chemical serotonin. Positive mood also helps alleviate depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
An air purifier is not a dopamine generator. It can boost your happiness but it cannot make you happy when you are not. A stroll in the park or enjoying some mood-boosting foods would temporarily improve your emotional state. If you constantly experiencing mood swings, consult your doctor to see if you are suffering from Bipolar Disorder.
16. Air Purifiers Reduce Stress
Breathing in polluted air can bring you down. Air purifiers actively remove airborne pollutants hence reducing your stress level. A bad cold, cough or headache will also stress you out and when you are stressed, your mood swings. An air purifier helps manage your health condition so you would not be dragged down by any illnesses.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that helps the body respond to stress and fight infections. When a person breathes in purified air, your cortisol levels will decrease which relaxes our body. Studies have shown that a person is less stressed when breathing in clean air than those that are not. An air purifier can create a stress-free environment that improves productivity and calmness.
17. Air Purifiers Trap Mosquito And Prevent Malaria Infection
As weird as it may sounds, there are air purifiers that can capture mosquitoes and other tiny insects. Through a mosquito repellent sheet in its filtration, the strong airflow would suck in and trap nearby mosquitoes leaving them dead inside. While an air purifier may not be the perfect mosquito catcher, think about it as an extra benefit that taps on to the existing air cleaning feature.
Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest creatures on the planet. It accounted for 475,000 deaths every year. This disease-carrying insect often roams in Africa and in Southeast Asia, where dengue and malaria fever spread. In the U.S, West Nile virus, (LAC) encephalitis, and yellow fever diseases are more commonly transmitted. It still baffles us to this day that why most manufacturers never thought of implementing this in their air purifier lineup.
18. Air Purifiers Extend HVAC Filter Lifespan
Every household HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) comes with a filter that helps trap dust and other irritants. Having an air purifier running in the background will decrease the density of pollutants in the air. As a result, there will be less clogging on the HVAC filters thus the less cleaning is needed. When there is less burden on the filters, the filter should last longer than in a dirty environment.
Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
How Do I Choose The Right Air Purifier?
If this is your first-ever air purifier purchase, it may seem daunting with many options available in the market. Some models are only meant for close-range use while some are designed for the living hall. So always start by understanding your needs. Once you have a clear mindset on your needs, start focusing on the types and features of the air cleaner. All clear? Here are some key factors you should consider when using an air purifier.
- What do you need the air purifier to do - Do you need it to remove dust, mold, germ, cigarette smoke, pet hair or odors? As air purifier comes in different sizes, variations, and price, knowing what you want can save you a lot of time searching for the right model.
- Set a budget (including filter cost) - Cheap air purifier doesn't mean it is unusable. There are lots of under 100 air purifiers that will do a fine job in purifying the air. For an all-round HEPA air purifier, expect the price between 200-300 dollars. Purchase what you need to enjoy greater savings on the cost especially in the long-run.
- Measure the square footage of your room size - Account for the number of people and ceiling height. A good air purifier must have enough capacity to cover the entire room. Most manufacturers will give you the recommended room size that you can refer to instead of calculating yourself. In short, if you are using the air purifier in the living room, get a bigger unit. Otherwise, a smaller unit would do just fine.
- HEPA air purifier - Our 1st choice and the best air purifier to go for. In general, there are 3 types of HEPA air purifiers in the market. a True HEPA, HEPA-type, and permanent HEPA filter. True HEPA filter is the most effective one that removes 99.97% of the airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. Combine with a pre-filter, carbon filter, and UV-light, there's nothing the air purifier cannot capture. The only negative to HEPA air purifier is the expensive filter replacement cost. Bar the washable pre-filter, every filter including True HEPA requires replacing annually.
- UV air purifiers - AKA germ killer or Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation Cleaner. A proven technology that uses ultraviolet light to kill allergen cells. Rather than trapping them like a filter, UV purifiers will permanently eliminate germ and bacteria. Great at disinfecting an area from seasonal flu and viruses. Unfortunately, the light bulb influence will decline over time making it less effective at a later stage. UV light is also not very effective against large particles as it requires going through a multi-shot of rays to destroy it.
- Carbon air purifier/ deodorizer - An air purifier equipped with charcoal or activated carbon filter. Through the process of absorption, the filter will remove only odor, smoke, and chemical fumes like VOCs. Unless you have a very specific use of the deodorizer like in the bathroom, you're better off with a HEPA air purifier.
- Ionic air purifier/ Air Ionizer - AKA Negative Ion air purifier. A filter-free air purifier that generates tons of negative ions into the air. The negative ions will merge will positive ions irritants causing it to fall due to the increased weight. On a positive note, ionic air purifiers can swiftly reduce the density of irritants in the air. The downside is the fallen irritants will then adhere to the sofa, wall, ground. If there is no cleaning, the irritants would still be stuck in the room and can be stir back up when disturbed.