Hay fever is a problem that 16 million people in the UK suffer from. For those with hay fever, their enjoyment of life can be vastly reduced as symptoms make them feel under the weather on an almost constant basis.
So what causes hay fever, what can be done and where do air purifiers come into all this?
What causes hay fever?
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen. Not everyone is allergic to pollen, but about one in five of us are. When pollen particles come into contact with the mouth, nose and eyes the immune system responds as if it is being attacked by a virus. This reaction causes histamines to be released into the body and these chemicals lead to typical hay fever symptoms – sore eyes, sneezing, an itchy nose, palate and headaches.
When is hay fever at its worst?
In spring and summer, the pollen counts are higher, the situation can be even worse and as most hay fever sufferers will know getting relief from symptoms can be extremely difficult. In June and July pollen levels in the air are at their peak as trees and grasses both flower in these months.
How does an air purifier help remedy symptoms?
Some people hope that by staying indoors more the symptoms of hay fever will be relieved because they will not be breathing in the pollen. However, this is not necessarily the case as the air inside the home or office will naturally be contaminated with pollen.
A good, well suited air purifier will cleanse the air and remove pollen so that you can enjoy relief from the symptoms of hay fever. Since we spend 90% of our time indoors, an air purifier can have a dramatic effect on reducing our pollen exposure.
How does an air purifier remove the pollen from the air?
A True HEPA Filtration System
You’ve most likely heard of HEPA filters. They are very powerful at trapping even microscopic particles from the environment. But to really be sure your air purifier is working optimally, you must buy one that comes with a TRUE HEPA filtration system.
Only a TRUE HEPA filter has been certified to filter out particles a small as 0.3 microns in size. To give you an idea of just how tiny that is, consider that a human hair is typically between 50 and 75 microns in size. So it’s important that you only look for units that use TRUE HEPA filtration.
Compare CADR Ratings
Now that you have a quality filter, it’s time to make sure your air purifier has enough power to suck your home’s air through that filter. For this we need to look at something called the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) rating. The CADR rate will give you an idea of how powerful your unit is for the space you need cleaned.
Generally speaking, the higher the CADR rating, the more powerful the system and the quicker the removal of the offending pollutants in your home’s environment. So to truly be effective at sucking in all of the air so the contaminants can be tapped inside the HEPA filter, the CADR rating needs to be high enough to handle the size of your room.
Look for an air purifier that has enough air volume to process all of the air in your room at least 3 times per hour. If you can find one that provides roughly 4 or 5 times per hour, that’s even better.
Pay Attention to Room Size
A lot of people spend money on air purifiers that never really seem to work because they either haven’t paid attention to the manufacturer’s recommendation of room size.
Much like an air conditioner can only cool and dehumidify a certain size room effectively, an air purifier can only clean the air effectively if the unit was built to handle that size. It’s a good idea to take an accurate square metre measurement of your room.
Top 10 tips for avoiding pollen
1. Keep outside doors and windows closed as much as possible.
2. Dry any bedding or clothing in the tumble dryer – not on the washing line.
3. Cats and dogs can carry pollen on their fur, so keep them out of your bedroom!
4. Using a good air purifier with a TRUE HEPA filter and a high CADR rating can help greatly.
Of course when you simply have to be outside, there are other ways you can minimise your exposure too.
5. Pollen is at it’s worst in the early morning, so try to avoid going out first thing.
6. Wear a face mask when mowing the lawn.
7. Wearing sunglasses can help reduce your eyes’ exposure to pollen.
8. Keep your car windows closed and use the air con if you have it.
9. Take a shower and wash your hair when you get home.
10. Change into fresh clothes after showering.
Extra Benefits of using an air purifier
The correct air purifier can also remove a multitude of other allergens from the air including dust mites, mould spores, pet dander and dust not to mention VOCs and odours. Plus our WINIX range of air purifiers can also remove bacteria and viruses.