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10 Good Reasons You Need an Air Purifier in Your Home

Katy Ward
Air
With pollution and climate change on top of news agendas worldwide, it’s almost impossible not to worry about the quality of the air you—and your loved ones—breathe.

Although breathing clean air is essential for our wellbeing, it’s especially important for the estimated 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies as contaminants in the air are likely to make these conditions worse. And, worryingly the number of sufferers looks set to rise in years to come if levels of pollution continue to escalate.

To improve the quality of the air in your home, consider purchasing an air purifier, which works by capturing particles and pollutants in a filter and then pushing clean air back into your environment.

If you’re not sure, read on for our 10 top reasons you may need an air purifier in your property.

1. You suffer from asthma

At present, there are approximately 25 million people in the US living with asthma, according to figures from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

If you are one of these, you’ve probably read that purchasing an air purifier could help alleviate symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. With respiratory conditions being aggravated by microbes in the air, some studies do suggest that having an air purifier can help alleviate symptoms, although most scientists agree that more research needs to be done in this area. 

If you decide to purchase an air purifier to help manage a respiratory condition, it’s essential you check that the product you’re considering is ozone free—some purifiers emit low levels of ozone, which can make asthma symptoms worse.

2. You live with a smoker

We all know that being a smoker can seriously damage your health, but the dangers for those who live with a smoker are equally worrying. In fact, the CDC estimates that nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke increase their risk of developing lung cancer by between 20% and 30%.

Although it is impossible to completely eliminate the health risks of living with a smoker, purchasing an air purifier can provide some relief. The most effective air purifiers for tackling cigarette smoke will include a HEPA filter (which stands for high efficient particulate arrestor) as these devices can trap even the smallest particles. Be aware, however, these purifiers are not 100% effective and the best way to eliminate tobacco particles from your home is to ban smoking in the property.

3. You have a baby

Although having an air purifier in your child’s nursery isn’t always necessary, it could be a worthwhile precaution if you have a family history of asthma or allergies.

According to research from the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is a 25% chance a child will develop allergies if one parent suffers from the condition, while this figure increases to between 60% and 70% if both parents are affected.

As well as improving the quality of the air your child breathes, placing an air purifier in your baby’s nursery could also help lull your child to sleep as the humming noise it gives off may have the same calming effect as a white noise generator.

If you are concerned about your child’s tolerance to allergens, it’s also a good idea to keep all pets out of your baby’s room.

4. You’ve suffered from water damage

If you’ve ever suffered from flooding or water damage, you’re probably familiar with the expense and emotional trauma such incidents can cause, and these effects can continue long after any superficial damage has been repaired. Unfortunately, any home that has ever been subject to water damage will likely suffer from mold for years, or even decades, to come.

As well as producing irritants, toxins and allergens if touched or inhaled, contact with mould can lead to allergic reactions in the form of sneezing, runny noses, or even asthma attacks. Although having an air purifier can’t address the underlying cause of mold in your home, it could help remove any spores and pollutants from the atmosphere.

5. You struggle to sleep

Being well rested is key to our physical and mental health, but a good night’s sleep often remains elusive for the estimated 7.7% of adults and 7.2% of children in the US who suffer from hayfever, with constant sneezing, a sore throat, and runny nose making it near impossible to sleep during certain times of the year.

In addition to potentially alleviating the symptoms of asthma, having an air purifier in your home could help lessen the symptoms of hayfever, which is caused by substances in the air such as dust mites and fungi. 

6. You have pets

Let’s face it, we’re a nation of animal lovers. According to figures from Packaged Facts, almost 68 million households in the US currently have one or more pets in the home.

But no matter how much you adore your pet, having them in your home will inevitably affect the air quality of your indoor environment. As well as potentially shedding hundreds of hairs every day, your pet may release skin and dander into the atmosphere.

If you install an air purifier with a fine mesh filter, it can trap any small animal hairs that may be floating around your home. Again, pet owners may want to look for a device with a HEPA filter as these can target and eliminate extremely small particles, including pet dander.

7. Your home has a garage

When your home is connected to a garage, there is a risk that this space, as well as any nearby rooms, will become contaminated by exhaust fumes or other dust brought in by the car.

If you believe an air purifier could help mitigate these effects, it’s a good idea to look for a device with both HEPA and carbon filtration to eliminate potentially dangerous fumes, as well as unpleasant odors.

If you would like to reduce air pollution in your garage, you should also avoid idling vehicles and improve ventilation in this area.

8. You’re renovating your home

While making renovations to your home can add value to your property and improve your quality of life, having this work done can also introduce pollutants into your property as flooring, wall coverings, and new carpets give off chemicals that can potentially damage your health—and that of your family.

As well as placing an air purifier in your home, there are other steps you can take to improve the air quality in your home during a renovation, including:

  • Opening windows to improve ventilation
  • Properly storing all chemicals involved in the renovation
  • Cleaning daily
  • Keeping children and pets away from work sites

Remember, it's essential that you take professional advice on safety precautions if any renovations in your home involve potentially hazardous materials such as lead, asbestos, or lacquer.

9. You live in a dust trap

Whatever the standard of your housekeeping, it’s impossible to deny that some homes are simply dustier than others and no matter how often you clean, you’ll soon find a fresh layer has built up.

Although an air purifier can never fully eliminate dust particles, it can reduce the amount of dust floating around in the air, which will make your home fresher, cleaner, and potentially healthier. 

If you’re concerned about dust and dust mites in your home, you may want to consider an air purifier with a reusable filter as these devices tend to be more effective at removing larger particles.

10. Your home has an odor problem

None of us likes the idea that our home has an offensive smell. It’s quite frankly embarrassing. In many cases, however, you may have little or no control over the odors lurking in your living quarters. 

For example, you may live above a business that cooks strong-smelling foods, such as a fast food restaurant, or in an apartment complex in which your neighbors have some less-than-pleasant habits. In this scenario, an air purifier could help clean the air in your home, which will mean these smells are less likely to linger.

Summary

With more than 135 million Americans living with polluted air that could endanger their health or even their life, improving air quality clearly requires significant action from governments worldwide. 

Fortunately, there are steps you can take that could lead to an improvement within your own home, such as purchasing an air purifier. 

When buying one of these appliances, however, it’s vital that you have realistic expectations of their capabilities. Air purifiers can neither eliminate the underlying causes of any dust in your home nor miraculously cure you of any health conditions. If used correctly, however, these devices can be an effective part of a broader strategy to combat the effects of pollution on your health and comfort levels.

Katy Ward
Oxford graduate Katy Ward is a seasoned journalist and editor covering personal finance and software topics for Eleven Writing and Top10. Over a 15-year career, Katy has worked with several finance titans, including Barclays, Tandem Bank, and Yahoo! Finance.