While we might think that we are safe from these harmful toxins and air pollution in our homes, this is actually not the case. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks and indoor air can be anywhere from two to five times more toxic than outdoor air. Considering the average American spends as much as 90 percent of their time indoors, this can have serious implications. Indoor air pollution comes from a combination of outdoor pollutants that get in through building ventilation, particulate matter that is inevitably trapped in those airways, as well as all the chemical products we use in our homes that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
These pollutants can trigger a host of health problems, particularly for children, the elderly, as well as those with lung disease or asthma. But, it can also affect people outside of those demographics, causing allergy-like symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, headaches, and eye and throat irritation. The accumulation of pollutants in the body can lead to serious long-term health issues, such as respiratory disease and cancer.
Scary? Yes. But there are ways that we can improve air quality in our homes. First, there are house plants that naturally improve air quality in our homes. Or, there are several products that can help keep indoor air clean. Here are a few options:
WEB Absorber Odor Control Air Filter
This WEB Absorber Odor Control Air Filter is a two-stage filtration with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of 7, which is a type of medium-efficiency filter that works to capture pollen, dust, and pet dander-sized particles. This activated carbon-infused filter pad, which also controls household odors, comes in a 20×25-inch size, but can easily be cut to fit over any filter, where it will last for up to 90 days. Amazon reviewers are saying that it may not be the easiest filter to install, but it does a good job of catching unwanted household particles. You can pick up one filter for around $20.
GermGuardian Pluggable UV-C Air Sanitizer and Odor Reducer
This GermGuardian Pluggable UV-C Air Sanitizer and Odor Reducer is a great chemical-free way to keep the air in small rooms clean. According to the product description, it provides cleaner, fresher air in your home using the power of UV-C light technology, which uses ultraviolet light to eliminate the growth of fungi, bacteria, mold spores, and viruses. It also can be used to eliminate odors caused by smoke, laundry, and pets. Amazon reviews of this product are generally favorable of its working power and how easy it is to set up. One reviewer, who measured the wattage of the product, found that it registered a constant draw of nine watts, which is highly efficient for an air purifier. You can pick up one filter for just under $40.
GermGuardian 11-Inch Table Top 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System
This GermGuardian 11-Inch Table Top 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System is similar to the plug-in version, but with added features. It has a high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filter, which according to the product description, captures 99 percent of dust and allergens, pet dander, mold spores, and plant pollens. A charcoal filter works to reduce odors from pets, smoking, and cooking and UC-V light technology, which is featured in the plug-in version, works to kill airborne bacteria, germs, and mold spores. At only 11 inches tall, this tower is perfect for any desktop or small space, but GermGuardian offers bigger filters for those with larger spaces. Amazon reviewers are generally happy with the filters odor-eliminating powers, though some have noted that it runs a little loud. You can pick up this desktop-sized filter for around $55.
GermGuardian AC9200WCA Hi-Performance Air Cleaning System With True HEPA Filter and UVC
GermGuardian AC9200WCA Hi-Performance Air Cleaning System is on the larger size, standing at 27 inches tall, making it perfect for offices and rooms up to 378 square feet. According to the product description, this air cleaning system features a true HEPA filter that captures 99.97 percent of dust and allergens as small as .3 microns in size, an activated granular carbon filter for odor elimination, and it works to eliminate harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in common household cleaning products. In addition to that, it features UV-C light technology to kill germs and an optional ionizer that attracts and traps microscopic allergens that can be trapped by the true HEPA filter. You can pick up this filter for about $312.
O-Ion B-1000 Permanent Filter Ionic Air Purifier With UV-C Sanitizer
According to the product description, this O-Ion B-1000 Permanent Filter Ionic Air Purifier uses a combination of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) technology to sanitize the air, carbon filtration to reduce odors and bacteria, and electrostatic purification to remove and reduce airborne pollutants such as allergens, pollen, mold, smoke, pet dander, odors, dust, and other airborne irritants. It also features a quiet filtration fan as well as a built-in nightlight. Reviewers favor the price and how quietly this purifier runs, but some have pointed out that those with respiratory issues should avoid this type of air purifier. You can pick up this purifier for about $50.
Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover
This Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover circulates air up to five times per hour with an AHAM clean air delivery rating (CADR) if 300, making it perfect for rooms up to 465 square feet. According to the product description, it captures up to 99.97 percent of the microscopic particles that pass through the filters as well as larger airborne particles such as dust, pollen, smoke from tobacco, cooking, and fireplaces, pet dander, and mold spores. It is installed with an activated carbon prefilter, which helps reduce unpleasant odors. It also features easy electronic controls three settings as well as hourly timers. Many reviewers with allergies noticed an improvement soon after using this filter. You can pick up this filter for $175.
TEC.BEAN Ionic Air Purifier
Need a purifier for a smaller space? This TEC.BEAN Ionic Air Purifier is perfect for that! Not only is it small and compact, it can be charged via USB operate on batteries, so it’s perfect for pet spaces, refrigerators, closets, and cars. According to the product description, this purifier uses ionization technology to kill up to 99 percent of airborne bacteria in small spaces, and destroys odors. Reviewers have praised this product for its ability to eliminate litter box and other pet odors as well as alleviate symptoms of allergies. You can pick up this mini filter for $29.99.
Honeywell RUVLAMP1/C UV Air Treatment System
In addition to plug-in filters, you can install UV light systems in your air conditioner or heating system that help purify the air, like this Honeywell RUVLAMP1. Once installed, the company claims that this light will kill up to 70 percent of certain airborne bacteria that pass through the system via your home’s ductwork. Amazon reviewers are happy with how easy this light is to install as well as how well it was able to reduce allergy symptoms. You can pick up this light for about $127.
AirCare UVC Light Air Purification System
This AirCare UVC Light Air Purification System can be used in any kind of building, whether it’s your home or your office. According to the product description, it uses a UCV 36-watt germicidal light to destroy both chemical and biological contaminants as well as chemical odors. It also works for those who suffer from allergies or asthma, as it eliminates airborne allergens, bacteria, viruses, mold, fungi, and more. It is also energy efficient and costs only pennies a day to operate with a bulb that lasts for 12,000 hours. You can pick up this light for about $95.
Bioshield UV-C Air Sanitizer System
Like other similar lights, this Bioshield UV-C Air Sanitizer System uses germicidal UVC light to kill bacteria and viruses and eliminate allergens such as mold and dust. According to the company description, this sanitizer system also reduces AC costs by removing biofilm on AC coils, this making them more efficient and it eliminates the need for regular ductwork cleaning. Amazon reviewers were fans of the easy install process, the product’s durability, the light’s lasting power, and relief from allergy symptoms. You can pick up this sanitizer system for about $112.
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