Using air purifiers
It’s the latest wellness must-have but there’s a lot to consider
There has been a lot of interest in indoor air quality in recent years. Some people are worried about allergy triggers. For others, improving the air we breathe indoors is part of an overall strategy to make our homes cleaner, healthier spaces to live. And dust is key to poor air quality. “If you look at dust under a microscope, it’s made up of dust mite faeces, your skin particles and there might be some mould spores floating around if the humidity’s high or it could be animal dander, soot and general pollution from outside,” says
(pictured), a director at building biology company Mitey Fresh. “It’s a horrible cocktail. “As much as 80 to 90 per cent of dust is your skin particles that have just become dust in the air and other things are added to it.”
While most of us would like to think our homes are fairly clean, Tony estimates the air in our homes is usually 10 times worse than the air outside. It’s not that surprising then that interest in air purifiers is growing.
Tony rents and sells air purifiers from InovaAir to help people maintain better air quality indoors.
If you are considering getting one, he particularly recommends them for anyone with allergies and asthma, those who live near a busy road and are worried about the amount of pollution in the air and people who simply want a cleaner house.
“For someone highly allergic to dust mites, a good air purifier is ideal to capture all those particles that would normally irritate their lungs,” he says. “It’s important to have a machine in a room if they’re constantly doing backburning in your area and the smoke irritates you.”
Air purifiers can also be useful for renovators living through the building process so that they can minimise the dust on site.
Choosing the right purifier for you
There are a number of different brands on the market but Tony says there are some features to look out for.
“The machines we endorse are strong — they’re metal, they’re on castors so you can wheel them around, they can do large areas and they’re quiet,” he says.
He recommends air purifiers that have a long filter life of about three years, rather than just one year, machines with three stages of filtration and ones that are endorsed by the Asthma Foundation. He says the machines with three stages of filtration entrap larger particles, finer particles as well as smoke and odours. If you’ you’re considering buying an air purifier to deal w with allergens, look for one with a medical gra grade HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) fi filter, as well as a pre-filter to catch larger particles. This will also extend the life of your HEPA filter, which can be expensive to replace over time. If pollutants such as exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke are m more of a concern, look for an air purifier w with a high capacity activated carbon filter, whi which can absorb these chemicals. Some air purifie purifiers come with both. Alternati Alternatively, many common indoor plants can remove pollutants such as ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene and xylene from the air naturally.
Check how loud the purifier is when running if you want to use it in the bedroom, like this one from Daikin.