can air purifiers help with asthma

Can Air Purifiers Help With Asthma?

can air purifiers help with asthma

As I write this post, to date, the cure for asthma is yet to be found. Nevertheless, with the correct attention, you can manage your symptoms and live a healthy life. In addition to medical treatment, avoiding exposure to allergens in the environment can help you a lot. Accordingly, many people to ask the question,

Can Air Purifiers Help With Asthma? In short, the answer is yes. Air purifiers can help with asthma but not all air purifiers work. Some air purifiers like ionic and ozone air cleaners worsen asthma symptoms. The air purifiers that help include True HEPA and PCO air purifiers and even these have to be supplemented to work well.

There are several air purifiers out there that can help you with asthma. In the rest of this post, I give you the ins and outs of how air purifiers can help you, and which ones you should go for based on your budget. 

Lastly, I detail all the important extra steps you should take to get the best results for your asthma with an air purifier. So, read on if you are serious about getting an air purifier for asthma for yourself or someone dear to you.

Do Air Purifiers Help With Asthma?

To appreciate whether air purifiers can help with asthma or not the first thing you need to know is how asthma works. Thereafter you have to know how air purifiers work. Once you understand the mechanisms behind asthma and air purifiers it becomes absolutely clear whether an air purifier will work or not for asthma.

Let's start with how asthma works. Simply put, asthma is when the airways that bring air in and out of your lungs become inflamed causing them to be swollen and sensitive. Your airways become inflamed if you inhale certain substances.

As your airways become inflamed the muscles surrounding them get tighter and make your airways narrower. If the inflammation persists eventually your mucus is produced and builds up in your airways adding to further blockages in your airway.

Sometimes the inflammation stops by itself but if it does not, eventually you get an asthma attack and if you do not seek immediate medical attention an attack can prove fatal. 

There are many asthma triggers, including stress, physical activity, a respiratory infection, you name it but among the many triggers airborne substances are a common culprit in asthma flare-ups. Here is a list of airborne asthma triggers:

  • Dust
  • Pet Dander/Hair
  • Smoke
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Ozone 
  • Insect/ Dust Mite Feces
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Chemical Fumes

My list here is by no means exhaustive. There are many more contaminants lurking around in your indoor air that can cause asthma flare-ups. This just goes to show a key part of minimizing your asthma issues is limiting how many of these airborne particles and gases your airways are exposed to. 

So logically you have to look for something that blocks these particles from entering your airways or cleans and gets rid of these particles from your air. The solution should be especially implemented in indoor spaces where you spend most of your time.

By far the most useful tool in blocking dangerous air particles from getting into your airways is a mask. You can get all sorts of masks. Particulate masks and gas masks, but who wants to wear a mask all day. 

This is where air purifiers come in handy. There are several different types out there but they are all built to get rid of bad particulates or gases in your air. 

Some air purifiers like ozone generators release chemicals into the air that get rid of airborne asthma triggers through a chemical reaction while others release ions that similarly neutralize airborne asthma triggers.

Then you have some air purifiers that suck the air out of your room and pass it through a series of filters or reaction chambers within their core where all the dangerous air pollutants in your air are trapped or destroyed. 

Then you will also find some air purifiers that combine multiple of these air cleaning approaches in one appliance. All in all, air purifiers in whatever form are made to remove bad substances in your air.

So logically you can conclude that air purifiers can generally help with asthma as they can help reduce and get rid of some of the airborne asthma triggers in your indoor air before they reach your airways. However, the question remains, is this logic proven in reality?

From my research, I found mixed evidence with some scientific studies and air purifier user reviews suggesting no significant improvements and others stating air purifiers are helpful. 

Some asthmatic air purifier users felt that they just had a placebo effect on them. On the other hand, others tried several air purifier models before they found one that works and many others say they can’t live without an air purifier.

As far as scientific studies go, a study on thirty elementary school children  concluded that air purifiers reduced the children's burden of medication for asthma. In other words, the kids under study were better off with air purifiers in terms of managing their asthma.

Another study on 50 adults  in Japan suffering from asthma found air purifiers had a positive therapeutic effect on the group of adults who were provided with air purifiers.

These are some of the studies proving air purifiers are helpful for asthma and there are several others. However, from my knowledge and experience with air purifiers, not all types of air purifiers will work and even if you have the right air purifier, you have to use it properly for it to work.

You have to leave your air purifier running for 24 hours, position it correctly, make sure it’s the correct size for your room, and maintain it properly among other things if you want it to work for your asthma. 

Furthermore, some types of air purifiers should never be used for asthma sufferers. I talk more about this in the next section. The other thing with air purifiers is that they won’t help you if pollutants are on surfaces such as carpets, sofas, curtains, or your bedding. 

In addition to your air purifier, you still need to keep cleaning your home and put in place other measures to get the most of your air purifier in helping with your asthma. So in conclusion, yes, air purifiers help with asthma, provided you use them correctly and you use the correct type of air purifier.

What’s The Ideal Kind Of Air Purifier For Asthma?

Now that you know air purifiers can work for asthma, your next concern should be about which air purifier you should use. This question can be answered from both an air purifier type perspective and a brand/model point of view. 

Then beyond purifier type and brand, you have to consider factors like your room size, your appliance’s Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), and your ability to maintain the air purifier from a cost and technical perspective. 

Some air purifiers are simply much easier and less costly to run than others. As I mentioned earlier there are many different types of air purifiers on the market. The common types include HEPA, PCO, Ionic, and Ozone air purifiers.

Worst Types of Air Purifiers For Asthma

For asthma sufferers of the many types of air purifiers, the best types to go for are HEPA and PCO air purifiers while you want to steer clear of ionic and ozone air purifiers. Ionic and Ozone air purifiers both release cleaning agents into the air that can cause asthma flare-ups.

Ionic air purifiers work by releasing ions into the air which react with airborne pollutants and neutralize them, and eventually, the neutralized pollutants settle on surfaces around your home as a thin film of dust that you eventually have to clean up. As an asthma sufferer, the last thing you want around your home is any form of dirt, neutralized or not.

Furthermore, as part of their air-purifying process, ionic air purifiers release small amounts of ozone into your air. This is bad because as much as ozone is a great air cleaning agent it causes irritations in your airways and it can be very problematic for people with lung problems like asthma. 

So for this reason and also due to the filth they leave behind on surfaces, ionic air purifiers are not for you if you are an asthma sufferer. Ozone air purifiers or Ozone generators as their name implies clean your air by fogging your room with Ozone. 

As you have seen for ionic air purifiers, you do not want anything that produces ozone in your home if you have asthma. For that very reason, ozone air purifiers are also out of the question when it comes to selecting an air purifier for asthma.

Best Types of Air Purifiers For Asthma 

HEPA Air Purifiers

From anecdotal evidence and my experience with air purifiers, I have found HEPA air purifiers work the best for asthma sufferers. You can go for a plain HEPA air purifier or one that's combined with an activated carbon filter or any other air purification technology that does not produce dangerous byproducts like ozone or neutralized pollutants that settle on surfaces around your home.

HEPA air purifiers suck and trap all the bad solid pollutants in your air in their filters. To trap gases and fumes they however need an extra filter called an activated carbon filter. So ideally if you have asthma you should go for an air purifier with a HEPA and activated carbon filter combo. 

That way you get rid of both VOCs, fumes, and stuff like pet hair, dander, and pollen at the same time. The only time I would advise you to go for a pure HEPA air purifier is if gaseous pollutants are not an issue for you and you are only concerned about airborne particulates (i.e. solid airborne pollutants).

An extra filter you can add on as part of a HEPA and activated carbon combo air purifier is a UV filter. The UV filter is great for killing airborne germs, viruses, and bacteria but not so great for particulates and gases in your air. 

The other thing to make sure when you are choosing a HEPA air purifier is that your air purifier is labeled TrueHEPA. The industry is flooded with all kinds of HEPA filter purifiers. Unlike other types of HEPA filter purifiers, TrueHEPA filter purifiers can trap particles down to 0.01 microns. 

This type of air purifier can trap almost all kinds of dangerous airborne particulates. To qualify as a TrueHEPA filter air purifier, an air purifier’s HEPA filter must be able to capture at least 90% of all particles that try to pass through it that are 0.3 microns or larger in diameter.

On the other hand, most of the purifiers that are not labeled TrueHEPA are not designed to filter ultrafine airborne particulates which include things like smoking or traffic pollution particulates which is exactly what you are aiming to remove from your air as an asthma sufferer. In particular, watch out for and stay away from HEPA purifiers labeled HEPA-Type.

PCO Air Purifiers

The other type of air purifier that works for asthma is a PCO (photocatalytic oxidation) air purifier.  This type of air purifier sucks dirty air out of your room, cleans it, and releases it back into your room like a HEPA purifier, however, it has no filters per se.

PCO air purifiers rather have a reaction chamber in their core containing a high spectrum  UV light and titanium dioxide catalyst that causes a reaction that incinerates all kinds of pollutants that pass through the chamber.

PCO air purifiers incinerate air pollutants turning them into water and carbon dioxide. They are effective for asthma and destroy rather than just trap pollutants as HEPA purifiers do. The challenge with PCO air purifiers though is that they are not as widely available and replacement parts can at times be a challenge to find.

What's more, some PCO air purifiers do produce ozone, so you have to make sure to check whether the one you want to go for does or does not release ozone as a byproduct. 

On the upside, PCO air purifiers will last you much longer than any HEPA purifier before you need to maintain them. Anywhere from 1-3 years depending on your usage while HEPA based purifiers need filter changes every 3 months to a year.

All in all, a good PCO or HEPA air purifier is the correct type of air purifier for an asthma sufferer. The next thing to make sure of is to get the correct size air purifier for your home or whatever space you want to cover. 

Generally, I recommend you go for an air purifier with the ability to cover 200 square feet more than your room size. So if the room you want to clean air in is 800 square feet, then go for an air purifier that can cover at least 100 square feet. 

To add to this, you need an air purifier with an ACH (Air Changes per Hour) rate of at least three. This is the minimum rate required to clean and keep the air clean enough overtime for anyone with respiratory issues including asthma.

Whole House Air Purifiers

One other thing to note is that if you have an HVAC in your home or office, you can install an HVAC or whole-house air purifier to clean the air across your entire building or wherever your HVAC covers. 

The purifying technologies remain the same here. Whole-house air purifiers also come either as HEPA or PCO purifiers but are just modified to fit your HVAC. 

There is a lot more information I could share on ideal types of air purifiers for asthma but let’s leave things here for now. Based on the types I have shown you that will work well for asthma let’s now jump into which air purifier brands/models I found to be worth it for asthma.

5 Air Purifier Models That Work For Asthma

There are numerous HEPA and PCO air purifier brands and models that can help you but I have limited my list to 5 which I have seen have consistently given good results to asthma sufferers. Some devices I suggest have low coverage but are nonetheless quite powerful and the approach is just to get multiple units to properly cover a larger room.

In no particular order, the five air purifiers that I have found have proven effective for asthma  include,

  1. Winix HR 900
  2. Honeywell HPA300
  3. Fellowes  AeraMax
  4. IQAir HealthPro Plus
  5. Airocide APS-200

Let's look at each of these in more detail.

1. Winix

If you are looking for a lower-cost air purifier that will give you value for your money, the Winix range of air purifiers is an excellent choice. From Winix two models in particular work well for asthma. The Winix 5500 and the Winix HR 900.

The main difference between the two is that the HR 900 is designed for pet owners and has a prefilter to capture a lot of the pet hair and dander which the 5500 does not have. If you have pets, I strongly suggest you go for the Winix HR900.

The downside of the Winix air purifiers is the PlasmaWave feature. This feature produces a little ozone. Some people living with asthma have complained about this but they are the minority. 

Fortunately, you can turn off the PlasmaWave feature and your air purifier will not produce any ozone at all and your air purifier will clean your air just fine. Winix at some point had versions of these purifiers without the Plasmawave feature.

Both the models I have picked out here have True HEPA filters and activated carbon filters and will get rid of fumes, odors, and airborne particles down to 0.3 microns. These air purifiers have got you covered for most airborne asthmagens. 

They both have an ACH rate of 4 which is above the recommended for asthma air purifiers and if you use them well and run them 24/7 you should only need 2 filter changes a year (every 6 to 12 months). What's more, the filters are reasonably priced. 

I would go for any of the two Winix air purifiers if I had a smaller to medium-sized room. They both cover under 350 square feet of space, so ideally you want to place them in a room that's under 200 square feet for optimal performance. The  Winix HR 900 and Winix 5500  are easy to get from Amazon.

2. Honeywell

Another great mid-price range air purifier for asthma is the Honeywell HPA300. It has an activated carbon and TrueHEPA filter and does everything the Winix range of purifiers do but covers a larger room area. Honeywell recommends it for rooms of up to 465 square feet 

That's quite a large room in a home and they say it will give you an ACH rate of 5, which is perfect for asthma. For better performance though, better to get the HPA300 for rooms of up to 300 square feet. The HPA will also filter particulates sizes down to 0.3 microns.

This air purifier has gotten a lot of good press from asthma sufferers with pets and in areas with wildfires. It's budget-friendly when it comes to maintenance with filter changes costing you less than $200 per year. But this depends on your usage level. 

Your pre-filters are expected to last 3 months, while your other filters anywhere from 8 to 12 months, though for some people they last a little longer. On the downside, the main complaint I have seen about this unit is a bad plasticky odor.

The main reasons for this are people trying to operate it without taking off all the plastic wrapping the appliance comes in or because the appliance the user received was faulty. If you find yourself in this situation, do not worry though. 

You can return your purifier for a refund or ask for a replacement. Just be sure to test the device and return it within the stipulated warranty and refund time should you face any problems. 

Besides this issue, I have found the Honeywell purifier to be a great choice for asthma sufferers. You can check it out on Amazon here and if you decide to get one off Amazon from outside the U.S, make sure you get one with the correct voltage specifications for your country.

3. Fellowes

For a mid to high price range air purifier, the Fellowes AeraMax 290 or 300 Large Room Air Purifier is a great option. The only difference I find between these two models is the color but their prices differ and fluctuate so often between $250 to $300. 

These purifiers do have a plasma ionizer feature that produces trace amounts of ozone but the feature can be turned off as and when. The other major complaint I have seen with this range of air purifiers is that their indicator lights shine too bright when you switch off all your bedroom lights to go to bed. People have solved this by putting some duct tape over their air purifier's lights. 

On the positive, the AeraMax 290 and 300 purifiers both cover rooms of up to 600 square feet. They are suitable for pretty much any room in most homes. Ideally you should get these air purifiers for room sizes of up to 500 square feet. 

The ACH rate for these air purifiers range from 3 to 5 depending on room size. For room sizes of 600 square feet, their ACH will drop down to 3. This is all still in a good range for asthma sufferers. The added advantage of either the 290 or 300 model is that they have smart features.

Firstly, they can automatically adjust their speed based on the pollution level in your room. They also have sensors that can detect the level of pollution and if your pollution is high, their sensor enables them to increase the speed at which  they clean your air to ensure you always have a constant level of good air quality. 

These air purifiers will maintain your air at optimal quality without you having to continuously adjust them manually. Additionally, they have internal sensors that work to tell you when you need to change your filters. 

Typically, for your activated carbon filters, you need to change these quarterly and your True HEPA filters need to be changed annually. Compared to other air purifiers the Aeramax filters are well priced not costing more than $40 each. You can learn more about the AeraMax 290 and 300 here on Amazon.

4.  IQAir

On the higher price end, you have several options. I point anyone with asthma who is looking for the ultimate HEPA air purifier to the IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier. It is an expensive machine but you get what you pay for.

It’s the only household activated carbon HEPA air purifier I have seen that can filter particles down to 0.003 microns, 100 times smaller than the common TrueHEPA air purifiers. That's smaller than the finest airborne asthmagen and allergen particles. You can rest assured if you use this air purifier correctly your results are guaranteed.

Its carbon filter is additionally designed to capture and destroy harmful VOCs like formaldehyde which most activated carbon air purifiers fail to do. Where the IQAir fails though is on smart features. 

For its price, I would expect it to come with a filter change indicator and automated speed adjustment or the ability to connect it to Wi-Fi and Alexa but it falls short on such smart features. Another thing is once its carbon filter is due for replacement it produces a sweet smell that can aggravate some people’s asthma.

The only way to avoid that problem is to change your filters as instructed by the manufacturer in their manual. They are well aware of the smell issue and the address is in their manual.

The IQAir HealthPro Plus purifier has an ACH level of 3 to 4 in a room size of up to 1125 square feet. So place it in a room of up to 800 square feet in size. The other good thing about it is that its filters last between 18 to 24 months, which is amazing for activated carbon and HEPA filters. Most barely clock a year. 

Go for this air purifier if you are looking for the best air quality you can get from a HEPA air purifier and you don’t care about smart features. You can check out the IQAir HealthPro Plus here on Amazon.

5. Airocide 

Airocide air purifiers are among the few PCO based air purifiers I can vouch for asthma sufferers largely because they are the most readily available ozone free PCO air purifier. For asthma, you should particularly go for the Airocide APS-200.

The APS-200 is a very good choice because it also has a MERV-12 filter (similar to a HEPA filter), and an activated carbon filter beyond the PCO reaction chamber. This air purifier is ideal for rooms of up to 600 square feet.

Its MERV and activated carbon filters will last up to 12 months and your PCO reaction chamber lasts much longer for up to 2 years. It eradicates asthma triggering VOC gases, viruses, and particulates down to 0.001 microns.

It is not your conventional air purifier and you need patience,  a whole week before you start to see proper results. Also, you have to run this purifier 24/7. Thankfully it’s energy-efficient and it’s low on power consumption.

The other thing with this air purifier like most PCO air purifiers, you will struggle to get filter and reaction chamber replacement parts. Ideally, you should buy 2 cycles worth of spare filters as you buy the APS 200 and this should allow you to use your purifier for at least 4 years.

Go for the Airocide APS-200 if you want to get rid of air pollutants beyond what HEPA air purifiers can manage. HEPA air purifiers go as low as 0.003 microns while the Airocide air purifier goes down to 0.001 microns. It’s worth a try if you find HEPA air purifiers are just not cutting it for you, otherwise, for asthma, a good HEPA air purifier should work just fine. 

So these are the five air purifiers that I have found from my research that get you great results when it comes to dealing with asthma triggers in your air. There are many more great examples, from Blue Air, Rabbit AirAir OasisEnviroKlenz etc.

That said, the five I have pointed out to you here should serve you well. One thing you should keep in mind though is that you obviously cannot solely rely on air purifiers alone to deal with your asthma. 

Accordingly, next, I describe additional steps you should take to get the most out of your air purifier when using it to help you with your asthma.

8 Additional Measures You Can Use With Air Purifiers To Help Your Asthma

The thing with air purifiers is that they will not get rid of any asthma triggers that are on surfaces around your home. So cleaning is key in addition to using an air purifier. On top of that, you have to do what your doctor says and take all your meds.

Beyond cleaning your home, you have to look into using more eco-friendly household products and if you have pets, making sure you maintain their hygiene well and that they follow certain rules to minimize your contact with their dander, fur, or hair.

There are a lot of things you can do and you can get away without doing every single thing, but you can only make things better by correctly implementing as many of these measures as you can in addition to running your air purifier. Here is my summary of the measures,

1. Keep Your Home Clean

Before you start cleaning, the first thing you need to do is make sure you or anyone with asthma in your home wears a mask. This prevents all the particles you release into your air by cleaning from getting into your airways and potentially triggering your asthma.

Unfortunately, with asthma, you cannot afford to slack on cleaning. You have to clean regularly especially in the damp corners of your home. Keeping damp areas of your home clean goes a long way in preventing asthma triggering mold from growing there.

Besides moping and wiping, the other part of keeping your home clean is minimizing how much filth gets into your home. With asthma, part of the game is keeping windows closed, especially in pollen season. 

If you have air conditioning this is easy to achieve. However, if you are energy conscious or for whatever reason you feel the need to have your windows open, you can get a window air filter. This keeps out all the pollen while letting clean outdoor air into your home.

That said, sometimes the airborne triggers are actually in your home, and if that's the case you have to open your windows to let them out. If that's the case during pollen season, keep an eye on your local weather report to get an idea of when pollen levels are lowest and plan to open your windows at that time.

You also want to get rid of anything you do not need that collects dust and allergens. Things like fake plants, Old books, decorative bedside items. 

It's either you wipe them down often or just auction them on eBay or give them away. Also, watch out for house plants. They collect dust too and can attract all kinds of creatures into your home that will just make things worse. 

It's easier to just leave plants outside if you have asthma. The story is the same with pets. If you cannot keep your pets outside, at least keep them off your sofas and rugs and definitely outside your bedroom.

With asthma, you also want to minimize the presence of smoke. Cut out wood-burning, incense, candles, incense, and smoking and use of tobacco products in your home and any other indoor smoke-producing activity.

Keeping your home clean also means avoiding storage of off-gassing things in your home. Don’t store paints or chemicals indoors. We store a lot of chemicals in the house without even noticing. 

The bulk of these are detergents and other cleaning chemicals. A better place to put these is in the basement or garage. If you don’t have the option of putting these chemicals in an outside room somewhere the next best thing is to store them in an airtight container that prevents them from off-gassing into your home.

Other things you need to watch out for when keeping your home clean include any mold and pests like rats, mice, and cockroaches. If you have any minor signs of an infestation, better to call a professional to deal with it. You pretty much have to be borderline OCD and a minimalist when it comes to keeping your house clean to avoid asthma triggers.

2. Vacuum You Floors And Everything That Can Be Vacuumed

I could have put vacuuming as part of keeping your house clean but this step deserves its own section. We bring all sorts of nasty particles into our home through our shoes and clothing that can worsen your asthma.

Therefore, you will do more good than harm for yourself if you vacuum your home regularly to get rid of all the contaminants on surfaces around your home before they become airborne. Try vacuuming at least every 2 days for your floors and every week for upholstery and drapes.

When you vacuum, use a high-quality vacuum to avoid putting dust back in the air. As for air purifiers, the ideal type of vacuum you should go for should have a TrueHEPA filter to trap the smallest of surface pollutants and asthmagens. 

If you are not one to vacuum on the regular, fortunately, there is an alternative for you. You should definitely look into robot vacuum cleaners. These vacuums are automated and with dirt detecting sensors keep your floor clean 24/7.

Some of these robot vacuums can even mop your floor and come with a docking station where they can recharge themselves and safely dump all the filth they have collected around your home for you to dispose of late.

The only thing they can’t do yet is climb stairs, so if you have a multi-story home, you would have to place one on each floor or carry one between floors. If you opt to get one and move it between floors, it can get annoying fast as you add more things to do to your daily routine instead of reducing your chores which is the idea behind a robot vacuum.

My take on robot vacuums is that it's something every home with asthma sufferers should have. Get one if you can and you will thank me later.

It will really save you a lot of time in minimizing contaminants on your floor and also make your air purifier’s job much easier. Two great robot vacuums you should check out on Amazon are the Roborock S6 MaxV and the iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550).

3. Go Green and Hypoallergenic

If you have an asthma sufferer in your home, you should avoid wall-to-wall carpets. Carpets house and become a massive source of allergens, which you cannot easily get rid of by vacuuming or using an air purifier. You could go for a hypoallergenic carpet but you're better off using hypoallergenic rugs.

Going hypoallergenic applies to all fabrics in your home, upholstery, curtains, beddings, pillows, mattresses and you can even get hypoallergenic apparel and facemasks. All hypoallergenic means here is that all sorts of allergens cannot adhere to your fabric.

So if you have hypoallergenic bedsheets, their surface does not allow for allergens like dust or allergen producing creatures like dust mites to lodge themselves and accumulate in the material. 

With stuff made of hypoallergenic material, you contribute significantly to cutting allergens and airborne contaminants in your home. You can learn more about hypoallergenic bedding here

If you go hypoallergenic, going green is a no brainer. This means avoiding corrosive and household chemicals and detergents like bleach and going for eco-friendly alternatives like the ones I have listed here.

You can also get eco-friendly paints for your wall that don’t off-gas any VOCs which can mess with your asthma. These days you also get green furniture. I won’t get into details here but if you need more information Corrine from My Chemical Free House provides a detailed guide on non-toxic furniture here.

4. Do Your Laundry Regularly And With Hot Water

Besides using eco-friendly detergents, doing your laundry regularly decreases the volume of pollutants lying around in your home that you may have picked up through your clothing as you were out and about. 

It's recommended that you wash your bedding, clothes, stuffed animals, and any other fabrics with water that's over 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius). This will ensure you kill most of the contaminants on your apparel. 

5. Groom Your Pets

For pet owners, grooming your pets is a must. You have to be careful here though cause if you bathe some animals too often, it can actually be bad for their skin. However, with the correct pet grooming routine, you can reduce the amount of dander your pets release with obvious benefits for your asthma.

I mentioned earlier, you should also avoid having your pets in certain areas of your home, especially where you sleep. Additionally, it's a good idea to shower or change clothes after playing with your pets. You have to use your judgment here and at the very least wash your hands.

6. Maintain Your HVAC

As for homeowners with HVACS, your heating and cooling systems use air filters to trap dust, dirt, and hair and stop them from damaging the system. These can however start escaping into your home’s air if your HVAC filter is saturated.

Therefore, you need to make sure you change your filters on time to avoid the resulting pollutants getting into your air and aggravating your asthma. Normally you should change your HVAC filters every 3 months, however, if you have severe asthma you may find it more helpful to replace them every month.

7. Control Your Moisture  Level

There is a lot of mixed anecdotal evidence about humidity and asthma. Some people say humid air really helps soothe their asthma while others don’t agree. Whatever the case, you can actually control your humidity level by using either a dehumidifier or humidifier.

If your humidity is too high, you can lower it by running a dehumidifier and if your air is too dry you can moisturize it by using a humidifier. The generally recommended humidity level and level most people find comfortable is between 30% and 50%.

You should be ok if you keep your humidity level in that range. If your humidity is higher than that range for a while, you will find mold starting to develop in your home which is not good for your air quality and asthma.

Should your humidity drop below 30, then the air becomes too dry and this can be really irritating for your airways and could potentially trigger your asthma. The other thing to be careful with when using a dehumidifier is to avoid getting your air too wet and putting your humidifier too close to your air purifier as you can end up wetting your air purifier filters.

Once your air purifier’s HEPA filter gets wet, they are pretty much useless and you have to get new ones. Keeping a good humidity level also prevents dust mite from breeding which is excellent in the case of asthma sufferers. 

To ensure your humidity level is always within a good range, it's wise to have a good hygrometer on hand. Hygrometers give you accurate readings of your humidity level.

8. Build A Clean Air Shelter

A final thing I thought was a brilliant idea in an asthma sufferer’s arsenal is a clean air shelter. This is a designated room in your home where you can escape to for a stress-free environment full of fresh air.

The room will obviously contain an air purifier to make sure your air is always clean in there. Ideally, it should also have an air conditioner which you run on recirculate to avoid bringing contaminated air from outside into your shelter.

You also do not want any off-gassing things (paint, furniture, carpets, etc) or pets in your shelter. Keep them far away. It should be the room in your home with limited doorways and windows where you can really control what goes in and out.

Beyond all the air cleaning stuff, as asthma can be stress-triggered in some cases, you also want to include things that relax your mind in your shelter. 

You should throw in some good music, a bar fridge with comfort food and beverages, a nice painting, and calming wall color. I would also add something like the Muse Meditation HeadBand in there to help me de-stress.


All in all, combining the 8 additional measures I have given you with your air purifier will really go a long way in providing you with relief for your asthma symptoms. Another thing I can add is to focus your efforts on ensuring the best quality air in your bedroom.

Research and people's experiences show asthma symptoms tend to flare up in the early mornings or evenings whereby asthma attacks commonly interrupt sleep. So you will be way ahead of the illness by prioritizing the bedroom. 

Once you have bedrooms covered then you can take action for the rest of the home. Also, remember to ensure you are getting medical attention to your condition. Everything I have shared here in no way replaces your doctor’s recommendations. 

Take the steps I have shared in this post and you should get the most out of an air purifier as part of your asthma management program.

About the Author


Jean is a research economist by profession and he runs Fresh Air Genie. He is enthusiastic about maintaining good air quality at home and on the go and he shares his knowledge about this here at Fresh Air Genie.

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