Spring is in the air! The birds are singing, trees are starting to bud and everyone is out and about taking huge, deep breaths as they go.
It’s time to throw open your windows and screen doors and bring that wonderful, fresh air inside, right? Well, as long as no one in your household has spring allergies, that’s exactly what you should do. Unfortunately, it seems more and more of us do have those annoying, downright debilitating, allergies, and we’re denied that delightful right of spring.
Newer and Older Homes Both at Risk
Older homes, 25 years old or more, are simply not as well insulated and air tight as modern homes. This means if you live in an older home, you may be feeling more allergy effects due to outside air entering your home. On the other hand, because newer homes are so airtight, if particulate matter or allergens enter the home, they will stay there and cause havoc for anyone with an over-sensitive respiratory system.
What Can We Do About It?
Luckily, whether you live in an older or newer home, air cleaners are a great option to avoid allergy symptoms. There are several types of air cleaners on the market. Some are installed into a building’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system that filtrate the entire house; others are portable, but are only effective for the room they are in.
What Type Is Right For Me?
There are three types of air cleaning devices that remove particles from the air:
- Mechanical air filters- Capture particles on fiber materials
- Electronic air cleaners- Use electrostatic technology to attract particulates and trap them; keeping them from circulating
- Hybrid- Uses both technologies listed above
Are All Created Equal?
It is important to understand what your family’s needs are and what types of allergens you’re dealing with before springing for an air cleaner.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has developed a measurement standard for air cleaners using mechanical air filters called minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). MERV measures how much particulate matter a given air cleaner is able to remove from the environment. There is no standard measurement for the effectiveness of electronic cleaners, however.
Will I Be Symptom-Free?
Preventing tiny particles that float on the air from getting into our lungs is a daunting task. People may take numerous precautions and remedies to find relief but still have to deal with the occasional sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. It is fair to say here that when talking about air cleaners, as with doctor’s remedies, we’re talking about management of symptoms, not elimination of them. That being said, air cleaners can help significantly.
Spring is a time of year that everyone should enjoy, so if you or a family member suffer from allergies, an air cleaner could really be beneficial. Click here for more information about air cleaners.