I just bought one highly rated by Consumers Reports and other reviews for removing tiny particles, dust, pollen, and mold spores. It is the Whirlpool AP 45030R, HEPA type with charcoal pre-filter, designed to cover a room up to 500 sq. ft, and more than enough to cover my somewhat small living space. Very impressive looking unit and the deal I got on it was fantastic, but found myself disappointed that I got hit with a clogged nose and sneezing spells last night nonetheless, and have some still this afternoon. So very odd, as I had bad allergies as a child and teenager, off and on in my 20s, then they mostly cleared for about 15 years. And I lived in my present apartment for a year with almost no problems. The last 8 or 9 months though have been hell. I take antihistamine when it gets real bad. It helps some but want to stay off medication if at all possible. Someone suggested I try a "Neti Pot," well, lol, my sinuses get so packed that the water won`t pass through. So much for that ancient remedy. And I have worked hard on "source removal," cleaning, dusting, etc. But what of the air purifiers? Did I buy the wrong kind? Do they perhaps take a while to begin working? Could I perhaps have it stationed in the wrong place? Thanks to anyone who reads and responds. Guess many of us know that severe allergies are more than an annoyance, can really rob your quality of life.
It is possible that your particular allergens are not airborne (my worst ones were dust mites and cat saliva). It is probable that you haven't given it enough time to cycle the air through completely, too- it pretty much has to circulate all of the air in the house through the filter once to get the particulates out.
Give it some time, and realize that the air purifier, while helpful, is rarely enough to remove all of the nasties all by itself (even a good one).
if the water won't go thru using a neti pot, are you sure you do not have any polyps? Could be some inflammation too.
I have a Breeze AT i believe on the air purifier. Mine can do up to 1500sq ft. It isn't that high though. It can dry out your eyes/nose. It also took a while to get used to. When people would first come to my house they thought, oh it smells clean. But my neighbor can't stay there for long periods because it is too drying.
good luck.. have you tried any steroid nasal sprays?
Hi one and all. I use Anefrin Nasal spray. Not steroid base I do not think. It will open me but does nothing for the drainage. Are there any over the counter steroid sprays?
Inflamation? I wouldn`t doubt that I have that. Polops? Maybe. Had never heard of that before today except regarding the colon. Guess I would need to see an allergist for tests, huh? I feel bad for people who have had to do surgeries. Wow. I keep hoping for some practical, natural solutions.
Yes and I hear you about the clean air from the purifier. Smells great in here, clean, and at times want to take a big breath of it. The unit also cools some as it contain a large fan. I do not regret this purchase, but really hope it helps some over time.
How often do you use the Afrin spray? the over the counter decongestant sprays should not be used more than 3 days in a row. Did your family doc say it was allergies? do you have them all the time or are the symptoms seasonal? The allergist would be a good place to start
I use the the Afrin when I need it badly, but not more than 3 days in a row I do not think.
I haven`t seen my doctor about it.
What else could it be besides allergies?
Symptoms are intermittent. They may go away for a few days but always come back. I may flair up but clear back up within a few hours the same day. At it`s worse there is a ton of congestion and sneezing. I assume it is allergies as it`s just like what I had all growing up, and off and on and through adulthood, though it really slowed down in my 30s and early 40s. May have had something to do with where I was living...
I can`t call it seasonal really because allergy season is over in my area. Pollen levels are real low as a whole, according to reports, but I live around a bunch of Oak trees so it may relate to my specific locale.
Last edited by moderator2; 07-04-2008 at 06:02 PM.
Reason: unnecessary quote
Yea could be food allergies. I remember now, when my mom took me to the allergist when I was a boy, they did skin tests and had me allergic to like 80 things and some were foods. I used to go for shots every week. So I may break down and do the allergist route again, but there are other things on the table, gall bladder, colonoscopy, and a tooth, etc. "What a drag it is getting old".... I really am liking this air purifier though. Thanks.
Wow 4 days now and only a few brief spells of congestion in my home. No running through the Kleenex box. No prolonged sneezing spells or using Afrin. This is a first in a very long time so I do believe this new air purifier is helping.
Well I knew as soon as I said that I`d get pounded and have all afternoon. So no one run out and buy an air purifier based on me and expect a cure. Im going to catalog the foods but really think this relates to the tree and plant life around where I live. If I get in my car and take a trip across town it usually goes away. I despise this stuff and am doing all I can to work up some real improvement.
For what it is worth (for those still researching purifiers), I have the IQ Air and think it is fantastic. It's pretty expensive but it is a hospital grade HEPA. I was in the hospital for most of a year due to toxic mold exposure and cannot even go near the entrance of a thrift store, antique dealer or used bookstore. This purifier has saved me!!
Hi Patricia. I`ll read the review on that purifier. I know its top of the line. My Whirlpool has the best reputation of those in the mid priced range. I almost bought a Sharp Plasmacluster that actually sends out ions to destroys pollutants. But I`m actually starting to freak out some and feel like I`m getting driven from my home. I have an AC window unit. I wonder if it has mold somewhere inside. I took apart the front of it and cleaned it out. I`ve been on a dusting crusade and have my purifier on high all the time. Yet I`ve still been pounded badly. It could have something to do with this huge garden a neighbor of mine has going. It`s right outside. I could live on antihistamine and get partial relief but don`t want to as I`m sensitive to drugs and have had dependency issues.
In any case, upon further research, here is the big secret and ripoff on the consumer. Virtually all HEPA air purifiers advertise that they catch particles down to .03 microns. Wow, sounds great, huh? Problem is that 90% of airborne particles are much smaller! So I basically paid $150 for a fan with a couple of all but useless filters in front of it. It has done nothing to improve my situation. The IQ Healthpro is the only one that reportedly has a filter system sophisticated enough to get the smaller particles. That may help. They are $700 and it costs a lot to maintain them.
I think you're misunderstanding two things about HEPA filters. First of all, HEPA filters remove particles that are both larger and smaller than .3 microns from the air but are measured against the .3 micron standard (and can remove 99.97% of particles that size) because it's a size that is considered especially problematic.
Second, most common allergens are much larger than .3 microns - mold spores are anywhere from 1 - 200 microns, pollen is 15 - 100 microns, dust is technically anything less than 100 microns, so all of these particles except for the smallest bacteria and viruses (which can be as small as .18 microns) can be filtered by a HEPA filter (assuming they're airborne).
I'm not sure where you got your 90% number but it probably includes things like airborne smoke molecules, and other contaminants that no air filter could be expected to remove. I looked at the air filter you mention and it is uses a HEPA filter (HEPA is single government-mandated standard so one HEPA filter is largely the same as another) and adds a carbon filter which absorbs odors and VOCs (but is no more effective at removing allergens).
HEPA filters are not a ripoff - they are actually very effective at removing airborne irritants and allergens and are recommended by most allergists. A Danish study that was issued in 2008 found that HEPA filters removed 60% of the measurable air particles in the areas where they were used (a brief article on the results of the study was published in the L.A. Times).
Last edited by gcsjr; 07-06-2008 at 02:33 PM.
Reason: Additional Information
Hey if it was about sports or something I might want to debate , but on important health matters I`m quite open to learning and correction if need be. It was kind of you to take the time to offer this information which is actually good news. I wrote that post venting and with my face packed with congestion right by my new air purifier. I actually meant to come back and edit it but forgot. In any case, it was this statement from a review that led me to believe that less expensive air purifers may well let most particles pass on by.
"When measured by number of particles, rather than weight, 90% of all air contaminants are smaller than the HEPA standard 0.3 microns. The critical importance of air purifier efficiency is kept buried by the industry. This is one of several reasons why I do not consider IQAir purifiers “expensive”. True efficiency is not cheap, but low efficiency air purifiers bypass fine particles over and over again. As time passes, static backpressure builds up ahead of partly blocked HEPA filters. Cheaper units allow increased bypassing as the filter ages. Fine particles coat the inefficient air purifiers' exhaust passage surfaces, making the unit itself a repository of the finest lung penetrators! After about a year, stand back when you turn them on. So how is this inexpensive? A major purpose of this website is to fully document the bypassing process." Ed Sherbenou
I was impressed by a number of reviews offered by this gentleman. Perhaps he is missing something or I have misinterpreted him, and I would be interested in hearing your take.
Anyway I went to see a friend at the beach night. I left home with a packed and draining nose and it all disappeared when I got there. Allergies stayed away all evening and have been gone over 24 hours since, here at home, with my new air purifier on high the whole time. Not bad. I still have serveral more waves of cleaning to do. I plan to get rather radical with it.
First of all, I looked up the guy you mention - he seems credible, but I think you may have misinterpreted his comments. I found a lengthy article he wrote explaining the different types of filtering systems available and he actually recommends the use of air cleaners with a true HEPA filter, particularly those with a gasketed filter. He rails against manufacturers who try to pass off cheaper inferior products as "HEPA type" and gives pretty detailed explanations as to what makes an effective HEPA filter (and which types aren't as effective as they should be because of manufacturer shortcuts, etc).
At the end of the article he specifically says that his remarks should not be interpreted as "badmouthing" HEPA air purifiers and recommends them as the basic foundation for good air purification.
Second, I think you have to identify the thing (or things) that is causing you trouble so that you can focus on limiting or eliminating your exposure to it. This whole struggle against allergies is a lot more manageable if you know the "enemy" you're fighting because it's nearly impossible to eliminate all allergen exposure. For example, if molds are the issue (which might well be the case if you have more issues inside than outside), and your home has active mold growth in the carpet, an air purifier won't solve the problem - it may help some but you'll have to figure out how to address the underlying issue.