Air Purifier or Dehumidifier: Which is best to Relieve Allergies?
Relieve Allergies : If you suffer from indoor allergies, it is imperative that you seek a solution to your problem. In this article, read about how either an air purifier or a dehumidifier could be the solution to rid your home of the allergens causing your misery. Then make your choice based on your particular situation.
Dust, dust mites, mold spores, pet hair! You may think your house looks perfectly clean and fresh, but these potential allergens are always lurking in your home. They can be in your carpets, curtains, furniture, mattresses, bedding, in every comer and of course in the air you breathe.
If you suffer from indoor air allergies, they are hard to avoid, so it makes sense to reduce them as much as possible. You can do this by using an air purifier to remove them from the air, or as they thrive in humidity, you can use a dehumidifier to decrease the humidity in your home.
How do allergens cause allergic attacks?
If you suffer from allergy attacks, it means that your immune system reacts to certain particles you have breathed in. The symptoms caused will include sneezing, runny nose, itchy throat, rashes, itchy skin and itchy, watery eyes. You are certainly not alone in your misery, as about 20% of people in the United States alone suffer from allergies.
The most common triggers for indoor allergic attacks are dust, dust mites, mold and pet dander. Dust consists of minute pieces of substances like dirt, insects, food and animal matter. Dust mites, which live in dust mostly live in carpets, mattresses, bedding and fabric furnishings where they find a large quantity of human dander. Mold is a fungus which in the outdoor world is an asset as it acts as a decomposer of organic matter. But in your home, if the conditions are right, it sheds microscopic spores, which can cause allergies and ill health.
Research done at the University of California has revealed why both dust mites and mold cause allergies. They don’t appear to have much in common, as mold is a plant and dust mites are arachnids. The study found that they both contain a compound called chitin, which is also found in the exoskeletons of cockroaches, shrimp, and other shellfish. These animals also cause allergies. Although not proven yet, the researchers expect to find that chitin is the substance that triggers allergic responses.
What is an air purifier and how to use it to relieve allergies?
The quality of your indoor air is very important to your health, but especially so if you suffer from allergies. You can use an air purifier to remove dust, dust mites, pollens, bacteria, viruses, mold spores and pet dander from the air. Will you still need to dust your house? There is a common myth that an air purifier will somehow suck up all the dust in your house. This is riot true, as it can only remove airborne particles, and riot the dust that settles on your floor; countertops or furniture.
Using an air purifier is especially important if you suffer from allergies to pet dander, as this is mostly always flying in the air; and does not settle much.
To control your allergies adequately, your whole environment needs to be kept clear of allergens as much as possible. You should buy a good quality purifier with a high-speed fan that will operate without much noise. Some of the cheaper models have noisy fans. If you turn it down to a lower speed to stop the noise, the affectivity will be reduced.
Benefits of using an air purifier
- Removes airborne allergens
- Removes dust and pet dander from the air
- Removes odors
- Removes pollen
- Some models will kill bacteria
Is an air purifier all I need to control my allergies? No, an air purifier will not stop dust mites from breeding or mold spores from propagating in the first place, if your home has high humidity. High humidity provides the ideal conditions for dust mites and mold to flourish.
How can I lower the humidity level in my home? You can achieve this by doing simple things such as opening your doors and windows, or by using an exhaust fan in your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry. A dehumidifier will also achieve the same result.
What is a dehumidifier and how to use it to relieve allergies?
To decrease the humidity level in your home, you will need to use a dehumidifier. As the word suggests, this will reduce the humidity in the air to make it too dry for mold and dust mites to survive. The ideal humidity for your home is 60% in summer and 25-40% in winter.
You can easily tell if your home is too humid by checking all areas of your home. The biggest clue that you have a humidity problem is if you can smell a musty odor, especially around the wet areas of your home, the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen.
Benefits of using a dehumidifier
- Reduces humidity level in the air
- Decreases mold and dust mites
- Helps with respiratory problems
- Reduces odors
The downside of a dehumidifier is that it will not kill or remove allergens from the air. It will only reduce the favorable living conditions they need to survive.
To measure the humidity in your home, you could buy a dehumidifier with a humidistat. A humidistat is a feature that will continually measure the humidity in your home, and adjust the running speed accordingly. If you already own a dehumidifier which does not have this feature, you need to purchase a hygrometer to measure your home’s humidity. Then you could operate your dehumidifier only when needed.
So which one should I choose to relieve my allergies? An air purifier or a dehumidifier?
As you now know the specific purposes of each appliance, it should be an easy matter to choose, based on the humidity and allergen conditions of your home.
If your home has excess dampness, choose a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity which is providing favorable conditions for mold and dust mites to flourish.
If your home is relatively dry, but you have problems with airborne allergens, then an air purifier would be more suitable for you.
You now have the information„ but you have to make the choice and decide what is best for you, based on your home and health situation.
Maggie Martin is completing her PhD in Cell Biology, works as a lab tech for Mybio.com and administered ELISA kits in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. She contributes content on Biotech, Life Sciences, and Viral Outbreaks. Follow on Twitter @MaggieBio