Dealing with asthma isn’t easy. It not only gets in the way of life, an asthma attack can also land you in the hospital.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical costs related to asthma in the U.S. is over $56 million. That’s because 1 in 12 people have asthma. This translates to over $3,000 a year per person in medical expenses.
Like all health issues, prevention is better than the cure. The best air purifier for asthma is a good way to rid your home of the allergens, dust and contaminants in the air. By improving your home’s indoor air quality, you reduce your risk.
Overview of Our Top Choices for Asthma Air Purifiers
- GermGuardian AC5350B Elite – Top Pick
- Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover, HPA300 – Runner Up
- Alen BreatheSmart Customizable Air Purifier – Customizable HEPA filters
- AeraMax 300 Air Purifier – Ideal for Large Rooms
- GermGuardian AC4825 – Affordable Option
What is Asthma?
To understand how to prevent or reduce asthma triggers and attacks, we need to know how it works.
Asthma is a chronic lung condition. It is a lifelong disease that results from inflammation (swelling) of the airways in your lungs. This makes it difficult for air to enter and leave your lungs. As such, it makes it hard for you to breathe normally.
During asthma attacks or episodes, you’ll experience a worsening of your symptoms. These symptoms can be mild or severe. They may also happen slowly or suddenly. The image on the right shows you what happens during an asthma attack.
When episodes do occur, the lining of your lung’s airways swell and narrow. This makes breathing difficult. Situations like this are dangerous because you may not be able to get sufficient oxygen. As such, they can be fatal if not treated right away.
Asthma affects 19 million adults and 7 million kids. It can also affect anyone at any age. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition.
The good news is, with proper care, prevention and treatment (when attacks occur), anyone with asthma can live a normal, healthy life.
Signs & Symptoms of Asthma
The list below covers the common asthma symptoms. It’s worth noting that everyone is different. So, one person may experience different symptoms as another asthma sufferer.
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or whistling sound in your lungs when you breathe.
- Chest tightness
The symptoms above are often causes by triggers or things related to these triggers. Here’s a list of some of the common ones. By avoiding or preventing these triggers, you’ll be able to breathe better and avoid unwanted episodes.
- Indoor allergens. These include dust mites, mold and pet dander.
- Outdoor allergens. Among these are pollen from plants, trees and grass.
- Pollutants in the air. These include smoke, odors and chemical fumes.
- Certain weather or climates. Very dry air and cold conditions tend to worsen asthma symptoms. Wet and windy weather as well.
Indoor Air Quality and Asthma
We’re all aware of outdoor pollution. But, did you know that the air you breathe indoors may be worse than that outside?
This is according to a study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment. Because most of use spend 90% of our time indoors, this becomes a huge issue.
The quality of the air you breathe at home or at work is affected by what’s called indoor air pollution. Among the things that cause these are dust mites, mold and mildew. If you own pets, dander and droppings can also affect your health.
Other contaminants include smoke of any type. These include those from cigarettes, candles and incense as well as stoves, kerosene heaters and fireplaces.
Then there’s air pollution from man-made produces. Hair sprays, perfumes, household cleaners and air fresheners are all culprits as well.
Why Does Indoor Air Pollution Affect Asthma?
If you have asthma, your lung’s air passages are very sensitive. Small particles from smoke, dust or milk can easily irritate these airways. These particles can be in solid or liquid form. And, they begin to affect your lungs once you breathe them in.
Studies show that both adults and children with asthma as both as affected by indoor air pollution. Thus, by reducing these pollutants and allergens, you’ll be able to prevent triggers from causing asthma attacks.
How Air Purifiers Help With Asthma
Air purifiers work by filtering the air in your room or home. They remove allergens and pollutants that can irritate your lungs and trigger asthma episodes. We particularly like the air cleaners that are certified by the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA). These are products that the AAFA has tested and given their seal of approval.
By ridding your home’s air from contaminants you’ll be able to breathe cleaner, safer air.
For the best results, we recommend turning the air purifiers on before staying in the room. These appliances take around 5 to 15 minutes to purify the surrounding air. The exact duration will depend on how big your room is and the capacity of your air cleaner.
For any asthma sufferer, it is essential to get one that uses a HEPA filter. They work to remove the smallest of pollutants.
1. HEPA Filters
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. It is a type of filter that is more efficient and effective than standard filtration systems. HEPA filters trap both large and small particles. As a result, they’re able to clean your room of up to 99.9% of the air contaminants that are as small as 0.3 microns in size.
This allows it to trap almost all unwanted particulates in the air.
- Dust mites: 10 to 40 microns in size.
- Pollen: 10 to 100 microns in size.
- Pet dander: 0.3 to 100 microns in size.
- Mold: 2 to 20 microns in size.
- Bacteria: 0.3 to 3 microns in size.
2. Activated Carbon Filters
Another useful filter technology is activated carbon. This is for smoke coverage. HEPA filters are great for almost all types of air contaminants. The one that isn’t effective for is smoke.
Smoke particles are 0.003 to 0.04 microns in size. This allows them to pass through the already small mesh of the HEPA filtration system.
So, for thorough air purification, you’ll need activate carbon filters. This is especially true if you experience any type of smoke at home. These include cigarette or tobacco smoke, smoke from the kitchen, fireplace or outside.
Best Air Purifier for Asthma Reviews
The unit works very well in cleaning, purifying and freshening the air in your home. It uses 3 different features to gives your family better air to breathe.
- The first stage of protection is the Pre-filter and Charcoal layer. This catches bigger particles including pet hair and dust. Doing so lengthens the life of the HEPA filter behind it. The activated charcoal absorbs odors from smoke, pets and cooking.
- After this comes the HEPA filtration. This uses true HEPA filter. So, you get thorough air purification. This captures 99.97% of all pollutants in the air. These include dander, pollen, and other allergens.
- The third stage is the UV-C light. This uses ultraviolet C light to destroy germs at the molecular level. This lets it get rid of viruses from the air in your home.
We like the unit runs quietly so you can use it through the night. It also doesn’t use up as much energy as other similar products. You get to select from 5 fan speeds and an 8 hour timer. Plus, it is easy to maintain.
The unit is lightweight and fairly compact. It measures 9 inches long by 6.7 inches wide and stands 27.6 inches high.
This is ideal if you’re looking for higher end air cleaning ability in a compact device. This Honeywell air purifier comes with a CADR of 300 for rooms that are 21 feet by 22 feet. That’s a good amount of air cleaning ability. It also allows it to make air in the room circulate 5 times every hour.
We like that it does a good job is getting rid of allergens. This makes it ideal for anyone who has allergies or asthma.
In all you get 4 fan settings. This includes the turbo setting that you can use to clean the room faster during those days it’s stuffier. In addition, we like the timer feature. This lets you get 2, 4 and 8 hour timer settings.
The unit works by:
1. Pulling in the air from the room. Its internal fan does this to let the device filter the air.
2. Once in the machine, the air goes through a pre-filter. This catches the bigger particles. And, it neutralizes odors.
3. The pre-filter leaves the smaller particles for the HEPA filter. This layer catches up particles up to 0.3 microns in size. Essentially, it gets rid of 99.97% of dirt and dust particles.
4. Finally, the fresh air is pushed back out into your room.
We like that it comes with 4 stage filtration. This means your home’s air get a more thorough cleaning. Because of this, it makes it ideal for all sorts of airborne particles and pollutants. You can use it for mold, asthma, allergies, germs and cigarette smoke.
As with the many good air purifiers, it comes with a carbon and HEPA filter. Both get you get rid of the big and small particles floating in the air. In addition, they rid your home of undesirable odors.
What makes this unique is the addition of two more features.
- One is its Aerasafe antimicrobial treatment. This is a built-in component that prevents the growth of mildew, bacteria and other microorganisms on the HEPA filter.
- The second is a plasma ionizer. The ionizer produces negative ions that attract to positive ions in the air. This helps reduce static electricity buildup in objects. More importantly, by removing such particles from the air, it also cuts down on bacteria, viruses and other infections that are airborne.
The unit is budget friendly. And, you get similar layers of filtration as the GermGuardian AC5350W above. This means you get:
- The pre-filter and charcoal filter.
- The true HEPA filtration.
- UV-C light.
Together, the rid your room of odors, large and small particles. Plus, the stop the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms and allergens.
The unit is 21.5 inches tall and takes up a small footprint. It weighs just 7 pounds and takes up a space of 5.5 inches from side to side and 9 inches deep.
Overall, this is a good affordable unit that performs well. It is compact and lightweight. Plus, it comes with multiple air filtration layers. We like that despite its size, it works well for odor removal, getting rid of airborne allergens and mold.