Do Air Purifiers Really Filter Out Allergens?

Air purifiers are a great way to improve the air quality in your home, but do they really filter out allergens? The answer is yes, but it depends on the type of filter used. HEPA filters are the most effective at trapping harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. A professional HVAC company should install a whole-house HEPA filter that is the right size for your air handling unit to ensure that air passes through and not around the filter. For homes without central HVAC, or if you have pets indoors, a HEPA room air purifier may be beneficial.

It is important to remember that only particles that pass through the air filter will be captured. Ionizing air purifiers can exacerbate allergies, so it is best to avoid them. Studies have shown that air purifiers can help people with common allergies by trapping pollen and other irritants inside their filters, but there is still little consensus on the subject. According to the CDC, the best air purifiers can also give an extra boost to air cleanliness, as they “can help reduce airborne pollutants, including viruses, in a home or in a confined space.” HEPA filters can theoretically remove up to 99.97% of dust, pollen and any particles in the air with a size of 0.3 microns, so they must safely care for airborne pet dander.

An acronym that often appears in filters is the MERV rating, which means the minimum value of efficiency reports. Some air purifiers use ionizers to help attract particles such as static negative ions, which bind to dust and allergens and cause them to be deposited out of the air. Air purifiers can significantly improve the quality of life in the home, but those suffering from allergies and other respiratory problems may need additional guarantees. Different air purifiers will provide varying degrees of benefits depending on your specifications and the type of filter used; a HEPA filter will remove a wider range of particles from indoor air.

An air quality indicator will monitor the air in your room in real time, so you always know that its quality is within safe levels. But it's 99.9% effective at helping prevent other viruses, as the high-end HEPA filter captures and traps dust, pollen, mold and other potentially harmful particles in the air. The appliance industry has established a clean air supply rate (CADR) to allow consumers to adapt the right room air purifier to the room they want to treat. Over the years, the Federal Trade Commission has taken action against several manufacturers of air purifiers for baseless allergy relief claims or for announcing that their devices removed virtually all impurities from the indoor air that people breathed.