Air quality is a very important aspect for those who have asthma symptoms or allergies. Many newspapers report daily air quality for cities around the world using the Air Quality Index (AQI). But did you know that air quality in the home and office can often be worse than the outdoors?
The air quality inside of homes is worse than outdoors? How is this possible?
Today's home are built to be much air-tight than decades ago. The purpose is to reduce air leakage in the house to maximum the loss of heat. This will reduce heating and cooling costs.
But these air-tight home can suffer from poor air quality because the air inside is trapped. Dust, dirt, lint from bed sheets, pollen, human skins and animal dander have no place to escape. If the floors, surfaces and air are not constantly removed of these allergy-inducing particles, they can worsen asthma symptoms and allergies.
For example, carpets attract like crazy dirt, dust, dust mites, dust feces and many allergy-causing stuff. No amount of vacuuming with even the best vacuum cleaner will ever remove all these substances from the carpets.
Experts even recommend removing carpets and replacing them with laminates or hardwood flooring for those who have severe allergies or asthma conditions.With these types of floors, a simple wet mop will capture and trap ALL particles. Unlike the carpets, the particles have nowhere to hide; they just rest on the surface!.
There is a very simple to prove to yourself. If you have one of those bagless vacuum cleaners with a see-through plastic collecting unit, you can actually SEE the dirt you pickup. Scary, to say the least.
Here's another way to prove to yourself that your bed sheets and pillow can generate a lot of lint and dusts. When there is a bright stream of sunlight shining into your bedroom window, get a pillow case and give it a good punch.
Do you see all those lint and dust shimmering in the sunlight? Scary, to say the least.
The absolute best type of allergy air filter is HEPA filter air cleaner.
HEPA stands for high fficiency particulate air. It uses a filter media that catches 99.97% of all particles going through the filter that are larger than 0.2 micron.
An allergy air filter unit captures most bacteria, practically all dust mites, their feces and animal dander.
Unfortunately, most viruses will go through a HEPA filter as many of them are smaller than 0.2 microns. For asthmatics and allergy sufferers, this is not a big issue. You are looking to keep the air quality high and not trying to sterilize the air.
What about ionic cleaners or electronic cleaners? Avoid them! Many of these types of air filters produce ozone which can be irritating to the lung in some people. This is especially true for those who suffer from asthma.
UV-C is used to kill germs and viruses by damaging the DNA (genetic material) of the germs. Damaged DNA means that the bacteria or virus are no longer able to grow and infect us.
UV-C light is used to kill of surfaces in microbiology labs. The UV-C lamps are turned on for many hours when there is no one in the room (as exposing skin or eyes to UV-C will cause serious damage!). They do not work in air filters to kill the germs in the filtered air. Why not? Because the air flow is so fast (needed for better filtration) that it doesn't allow enough time for the DNA to be exposed to the UV-C light!
You could improve UV-C's ability to kill off germs but then you'll have to slow down the air flow to increase exposure time. This means very little air will be filtered.In the use of UV-C to sterilize countertops in the labs, remember, the light is left on for hours (often overnight!) and the countertops do not move and gets continuous exposure.
Choose a HEPA air filter unit. Second, choose one with enough air flow to properly clean the room. Getting too smaller a unit for a large room will result in very poor air filtration. Of course, getting an oversized one for a small room is great.
See the article on HEPA Filter Air Cleaners to get detailed information on why buying this type of air filter is the best for those with allergies or asthma condition.
Created: August 6, 2010