Many people have started using air purifiers in their homes. It has especially been the case in the recent few years. The demand for these units is because people want to improve the air quality in their homes.
It makes you think, has the air quality gone so bad that people have started to use these air purifiers? Various factors can influence the answer to this question.
But the rise in air pollution across the globe is the primary reason. Of course, we can’t control the air quality outdoors. But we can certainly control it inside our homes using these air purifiers.
Plenty of research has been done to determine how effective these units are. While no one denies the benefits, some have also asked whether these units can make you sick.
And in this guide, we will shed some light on this particular aspect of air purifiers, whether they make you sick or not.
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Are Air Purifiers Safe to Use?
These units work by removing harmful allergens and other airborne particles from indoor air. Their designs enable them to suck in unfiltered air and make it pass through a filter. As a result, clean and filtered air comes out.
These units can be handy for anyone suffering from allergies, asthma, or other health issues. Most quality units available on the market come with HEPA filters. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air, and these filters meet strict efficacy standards.
For an air purifier unit to qualify as a HEPA filter in the US, it must be able to remove up to 99.97 percent of any particle down to 0.3 microns. The percentage must also go up when the particle size increases or decreases.
Air purifiers and filters don’t let us inhale dirty air. And if a unit cannot do this, it is not HEPA-approved.
Does An Air Purifier Dry Out Air?
Contrary to what most people think, air purifiers don’t dry the air. They are not designed to alter humidity levels in the air. These units can only filter out air through their system. They are not equipped to capture moisture from the air.
One of the reasons you have dry air in your home is your air conditioner. And to resolve this problem, some people go for an air humidifier. A humidifier is a unit that moistens the air and increases humidity which counteracts dry air from the air conditioner.
When it comes to drying out the air, dehumidifiers are the units that are equipped to alter humidity levels in the air inside our homes. They can reduce moisture in the air, but an air purifier is not equipped to do this.
Do Air Purifiers Make You Sick?
No, an air purifier doesn’t make you sick on its own.
But people have been asking this question for a long time, and we will find out the truth about whether these units make you sick or not.
With a HEPA-certified air purifier, sore throat cannot be an issue. These units work to get rid of bacteria from indoor air. Therefore, they assist in reducing any occurrences of sickness or sore throats.
These units are also effective in eliminating any allergens. They can work like a charm if you palace them in your bedroom to assist in getting a peaceful sleep.
However, if you own an ionizing air purifier, you might experience throat irritation. It is because air ionizers can work slightly differently from HEPA-approved air purifiers.
These units don’t take in air for the filtering process. They emit charged particles to clean air instead. And as a byproduct, these units also create a bit of ozone. While the amount of ozone produced by these units is meager, it is more than enough to cause minor throat irritation and respiratory issues.
Among the most commonly asked questions is, do air purifiers cause headaches? Again, if you have a HEPA-certified air purifier, it should not be an issue as these units are designed to remove harmful allergens, odors, and mold spores that might cause pain in the head.
But you must consider placing your air purifier at an appropriate location. If you plan properly, you will notice that air quality will significantly improve.
You will notice that you won’t even have trouble using those ionizing units. The amount of ozone these units produce is not enough to cause headaches.
This is an unsubstantiated claim, no matter what air purifier you use in your home. Apart from any underlying medical conditions, dry air can cause nosebleeds.
But we have already established that air purifiers cannot dry out air because they are not equipped in such a manner. Therefore, they cannot trigger nosebleeds in any manner.
Similar to nosebleeds, if you breathe dusty or dry air, it might cause a sore throat and result in coughing. But with an air purifier working in the room that can remove allergens and various other irritants, there is a significant chance that your coughing is reduced dramatically. So, air purifiers cannot cause coughing.
Ensuring That Air Purifier Doesn’t Make You Sick
While air purifiers alone cannot make you sick, they might if various other factors are combined. We are listing down a few hints for you to follow to prevent this from happening.
Avoiding ozone-producing air purifiers
With overexposure to ozone gas, results can be quite dangerous. It can cause coughing, wheezing, and tightening of the chest. And even in some extreme cases, it can prove to be fatal. Even a tiny amount of ozone can cause inflammation in your lungs and throat.
So, it is best to avoid these ozone-producing air purifiers no matter how effective they claim to be. Your best option is to go for HEPA-certified air purifiers. These units do not produce ozone gas.
Changing or cleaning your filters
Having dirty filters in your air purifying unit can be as bad as not having a filter at all. To make sure your appliance remains handy and effective in removing any contaminants and pollutants, you must change or clean the filter regularly according to the instructions provided to you by the manufacturer in the owner’s manual of your air purifying unit.
No matter which type of air purifier you are using. It comes with maintenance instructions, and you must change or replace the filters after a certain time. If you don’t do that, your air purifier will not work as it should, leaving your indoor air with pollutants and contaminants.
Using natural air purifiers in your home
Apart from these air purifiers, it would help if you also went for natural air purifiers in your home. And these are plants. Indoor air can contain pet dander, allergens, dust mites, and other irritants.
Air purifiers can be pretty effective, but they still can’t cover your entire home in one go. So, to achieve the best air quality at home, you can have natural air purifiers, and that are plants.
Some plants are excellent for absorbing harmful toxins from indoor air. They are highly effective in areas where there is not much airflow. For example, spider plants are suitable for this and easy to maintain.
Bamboo palms are even better, but you must take care of them. Both these plants are non-toxic and safe for households with kids and pets.
You can also use beeswax candles as natural air purifiers. These can burn very slowly and can produce very little smoke or smell. However, they are highly effective in neutralizing toxic compounds and removing harmful allergens from the air.
If you are dealing with any of the above-mentioned conditions or symptoms while at your home, there are chances that your air purifier is pretty slim or even non-existent.
Ensure you only go for HEPA-certified units and match the unit’s size with the coverage area. The quality of indoor air will significantly improve if you use a true HEPA-certified unit, and it will also assist in getting rid of any bad odors.
But air purifiers don’t alter humidity levels in the air. They are not equipped with such a mechanism, so they cannot dry out the air. So, that is not solely responsible for sore throat, cough, or nosebleeds.
In most cases, your air conditioner is the culprit because it produces dry air that can cause throat irritations and some respiratory issues.