Allergy sufferers would love to be able to keep the windows open during pleasant, breezy weather, but that same weather can drive pollen into a home and make them miserable. For people with allergic asthma, keeping pollen outdoors may even be a matter of life and death. A good air filter can catch whatever pollen does make its way in, keeping it from contacting sufferers and triggering allergy symptoms.
Air filters with carbon or zeolite can trap odorous compounds like ammonia and keep the air fresh. Since many of those odorous compounds can also irritate lungs and nasal passages, or may even contribute to an increased risk of cancer, keeping your home smelling good is just part of the package.
Dust can settle quickly, especially in dry weather, and make it difficult to keep on top of. Even regular cleaning can stir up dust trapped in carpets or behind furniture. An air filter can catch dust before it settles, dirties a home, and sets off indoor allergies.
Not all air filters on the market handle bacteria, but some top-of-the-line models do. While this may not be a concern for the average consumer, immunocompromised individuals, newborns, or the elderly can all benefit from the extra protection of an air purifier designed to capture germs.
Choosing the right air purifier.
Look for a machine that has a permanent or semi-permanent HEPA filter, and a separate, replaceable carbon prefilter. HEPA filters trap at least 99.97% of airborne particles, while the prefilter will help remove odors, absorb chemicals, trap animal hair and large particles, and prolong the life of the HEPA filter. Make sure that the filter you choose is sufficient for the square footage of the room you plan to place it in. For best results, pair an air filter with indoor house plants to help provide fresh oxygen and absorb chemicals that air filters miss.
Some of the most dangerous things in a home are odorless, tasteless, and virtually invisible. A good air filter can help clean polluted indoor air, leaving it fresh and dust-free while dramatically reducing your exposure to volatile organic compounds.