Insights | Allergy | Pollen
How air purifiers can help reduce allergens in your home
As our homes become increasingly well sealed, it may seem like we’re shutting pollution out. But in truth, we’re shutting it in. In fact, air inside our homes can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside.¹ As we spend more than 14 hours a day indoors on average,² we can be breathing potentially dirty air all this time.
Impurities in indoor air can include tiny allergen particles, including pollen, mould spores, dust mites and pet dander. Pollen and mold concentrations are closely tied with respiratory health, while dust mite allergies can trigger asthma and cause eczema to flare.³
Yet there are ways to counteract indoor air pollution. Management of allergies includes reducing exposure to allergens, but if aeroallergens are the trigger, then using a high-quality air purifier can help.
Read on to discover how an air purifier could be beneficial for the air in your home.
What is an air purifier?
Air purifiers can improve air quality and circulate clean air. By trapping mould spores and odours, and removing particles including airborne irritants, they can be effective at removing the source of allergens.
It’s worth noting that the benefits will be affected by the air purifier’s specifications and filter type.
How do air purifiers work?
The two basic elements of an air purifier are a fan and a series of filters. The fan draws in polluted air to the filters, which capture and remove airborne pollutants, before expelling cleaner air.
Most purifiers capture particles like dust and pollen, but the best air purifiers with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can remove air pollutants as small as 0.1 microns, thanks to their multi-layer network of fine threads. Activated carbon filters can also help to remove odors.
An air purifier engineered with HEPA and activated carbon filters can work effectively against pollens, fine particles, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), viruses and bacteria. Dyson purifiers can remove up to 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns.⁴
Air purifiers for pollen allergies
If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from pollen allergies, you’ll likely experience sneezing, congestion, a runny rose, and other uncomfortable symptoms as allergy season arrives.
Pollen is a fine powder made up of tiny particles. It’s released during the early spring and summer months by plants, trees and grasses as part of their reproductive cycle. Pollen causes a common allergic reaction known as hay fever, which since it occurs at particular times of the year, is also known as seasonal rhinitis.
Rather than opening windows on warm days, try using an air purifier to clean your indoor air, keep you cool, and capture ultrafine dust and allergens. Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter between March and September will help remove pollen allergens from the air you breathe.
Air purifiers for pet allergies
Our furry friends can bring plenty of joy, but also a few microscopic surprises into the home, including pet dander, pollen, and viruses. What’s more, you may find that cuddling your pet leaves you sneezing, coughing or rubbing your eyes. It’s estimated that pet dander allergies affect up to 20% of people around the world.⁵
It’s possible to remove the particles that trigger allergies caused by pets using a good air purifier. Approximately 75% of cat dander particles are 5-10 microns in size, and 25% are 2.5 microns or smaller.⁶
Air purifiers for dust allergies
Dust mites can be a major indoor trigger for people with allergies and asthma. Fortunately, an air purifier effectively removes dust, including dust mite allergens, and can help you breathe easier.
Most exposure to dust mite allergens occurs while sleeping and when dust is disturbed during bed-making. An air purifier in your bedroom can help trap these allergens before they have a chance to settle.
Tackle allergies with a Dyson air purifier
Allergies can be uncomfortable, but using a HEPA air purifier can help trap pollutants and reduce airborne allergens – giving you and your family cleaner indoor air.
¹Hulin et al, Respiratory Health and Indoor air pollutants based on quantitative exposure assessments, European Respiratory Journal, October 2012.
²Klepeis, N. E.; Nelson, W. C.; Ott, W. R.; Robinson, J. P.; Tsang, a M.; Switzer, P.; Behar, J. V; Hern, S. C.; Engelmann, W. H. The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): A Resource for Assessing Exposure to Environmental Pollutants. J. Expo. Anal. Environ. Epidemiol. 2001, 11 (3), 231–252.
³Bumbacea et al (2020). Mite allergy and atopic dermatitis: Is there a clear link? (Review), Experimental and therapeutic medicine, 20 (4).
⁴Tested for filtration efficiency at 0.1 microns (EN1822, ISO29463).
⁵Chan, S and Leung, D (2018), Dog and Cat Allergies: Current State of Diagnostic Approaches and Challenges, 10 (2), 97-105. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5809771/
⁶Luczynska CM, Li Y, Chapman MD, Platts-Mills TA. Airborne concentrations and particle size distribution of allergen derived from domestic cats (Felis domesticus). Measurements using cascade impactor, liquid impinger, and a two-site monoclonal antibody assay for Fel d I. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1990 Feb;141(2):361-7. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/141.2.361. PMID: 2301854.