The misery of allergies
As a boy I was one of the children who had to stay indoors to avoid the suffering from sneezing, sniffing and asthma that came from pollen, grass and leaves. Weekly shots to the allergist and medications were a weekly routine. And even though I was only 11 years old (1969), I started experimenting with air purifiers and air purifiers of all kinds. When you can’t breathe, you will do anything for relief.
Here are the main types of air purification, with a quick review of their effectiveness for pollen allergies.
My first was an air ionizer, a negative ion generator to be more precise. Good for some forms of mold, pollution and odor, but not very good for pollen or dust since there is nothing to collect pollen in the air. ALLERGY EVALUATION: POOR
Ozone generators were my next experiment. Good for smell, mold and mildew, but again not good for collecting pollen and dust. Too much ozone irritates the lungs, especially in asthmatics. Ozone machines have done little for allergies. Today the main ozone brand is Ecoquest (ex Alpine). ALLERGY EVALUATION: POOR
Electrostatic plates or “Truman Cells”
My next was an electrostatic machine with positive and negatively charged plates. Oreck calls it “Truman Cell” (for Harry Truman during the Second World War is all we can imagine) but they are all over the market and often called “ionic” or “electrostatic”. Good for pollution since the carbon of car exhausts is charged and is washable. Since most pollen and dust carry little charge, however, they are not effective for pollen or dust
Carbon and / or Zeolite
This type of air purifiers is mainly for smoke, chemicals, odors and fumes since these organic minerals absorb and trap gases. But they don’t trap dust and pollen. ALLERGY EVALUATION: POOR
HEPA is the first choice for pollen allergies because it traps and retains pollen and dust. Doctors and allergists recommend it more. The downside is that you have to replace it every year or so. So make sure you find affordable replacement filters as some companies can dive in after owning their Hepa air purifier. I would avoid expensive air purifiers ($ 500-800) like IQAIR and Austin Air, which are mainly HEPA. They are too expensive for a HEPA filter and although they are well made, you can find one comparable to under $ 300. ALLERGY EVALUATION: EXCELLENT
WAIT BEFORE PURCHASING A HEPA AIR PURIFIER
So while HEPA is the primary air purification method for pollen allergies and asthma, today you can find affordable air purifiers that use multiple technologies including HEPA. The reason we want more than HEPA is that pollution, mold, mildew and other contaminants (in addition to pollen and dust) weigh on the immune system and can make pollen allergies worse. Little-known brands like AliveAir and Airpodcleaner use a large HEPA filter plus 8 other technologies including electrostatic, carbon, UV (to kill mold and mildew) that protect your body and make the air cleaner and purer. Some of these models also use advanced pollen and dust sensors that detect pollen and dust levels and regulate purification accordingly.
For video reviews and other allergic treatments See the link to my website below