Allergy & Air on September 26, 2014 0 Comments If you suffer from allergies, you probably have a year’s supply of tissues and a full arsenal of symptom-reducing treatments in your medicine cabinet. While these supplies will help you battle your allergy attack, they won’t improve the air quality in your home. But there are several appliances that can. It’s amazing that tiny little particles, some of which are invisible to the naked eye, can spark such a physical reaction in some people. From sneezing fits to itchy eyes, allergies are nothing to scoff at. To help wage war against allergens in your home, we have a list of three must-have appliances that can help keep your symptoms to a minimum. 1. Air Purifier It would be nice if all of those pesky irritants stayed outdoors, but we all know that’s not possible. To allergy-proof your home, it would be wise to invest in an air purifier. With this handy little appliance, you just plug it in, turn it on and let it do its thing. As the name suggests, it works to purify the air by removing tiny irritants that may be floating around in your environment, including microscopic dust, pollen, mold spores and cigarette smoke. Dr. Daryl R. Altman, a renown allergist from New York, says an air purifier is one of the many tools you should use to keep your allergy symptoms at bay. “The better you do with environmental allergy control — whether through air filtration or things like encasing your bedding — the better your allergies are going to be,” he said in a New York Times article. There are many types of air purifiers that you can choose from. But your best option for allergy relief, is to get one that has a HEPA filter. There are actually a handful of filter types ranging UV to ozone to activated carbon, but a HEPA filter is going to be your best bet. Generally, it’s recommended that you avoid air purifiers that omit ozone. While manufactures claim this chemical helps scrubs the air, health officials say it may be harmful to your lungs. 2. Dehumidifier Some allergens thrive in damp areas. Mold, mildew and dust mites all love moist spots. Every home has a few wet places that make excellent allergen breeding grounds. From basements to cupboards to house pipes, any spot that gets damp can send your allergies into overdrive. By using a dehumidifier you can limit the amount of moisture and keep allergens from collecting. When it comes to buying a dehumidifier, keep in mind that size does matter. It all depends on the size of the room and how much moisture you’re dealing with. You may just think that if you have a large room, you’ll want a larger machine. While that theory is true, it does a bit deeper than that. You may need one for your basement or crawlspace, if so, you’ll want a rugged unit that is designed to operate in lower temperatures. On the flip side, you may need one for a large warehouse or manufacturing plant, if so, you’re going to need a unit designed to cover very large areas. If you’re like most people, then you will likely need a dehumidifier for a room inside their home. If this is the case, then a residential dehumidifier is going to be your best best. While the features vary from unit to unit, most home dehumidifiers allow you to set it at your desired humidity level and it will shut itself down once it’s reached. No matter what size you need, you’ll start to see many of the benefits that come with reducing the excess moisture in your air. This is especially true if you suffer from the common symptoms of allergies. 3. Vacuum Cleaner If you have allergies, you probably try to vacuum more frequently than most people. However, if you’re using the wrong kind of vacuum, all you may be doing is stirring up the very problem that you’re trying to clean up. What should you look for in a vacuum? As with the air purifier, you’ll want to look for a vacuum with a HEPA filter. These filters can trap even the tiniest of particles, so things like pet dander and dust mites can’t escape from the vacuum. Aside from a HEPA filter, you’ll also have to consider whether you want a bagless or bagged machine. A lot of allergy sufferers prefer the bags because they can simply toss the bag in the garbage. With a bagless vacuum, you have to empty the contents into the garbage and some of those particles can fly back up and assault your senses. However, many newer vacuums have a quick release button that empties the contents into the garbage with minimal dust blow back. Plus, you don’t have to buy replacement bags. There are pros and cons either way you go, which is why it’s important to do you the proper research before you purchase. When it comes to comfort, you want to breathe easy in your own home. Combined with other allergy-prevention measures, like taking your shoes off at the door and washing your bedding regularly, these three appliances will help improve your quality of life indoors.