Just like you wouldn't east on a dirty surface, would you breathe in dirty air? Surely not. And that, my friend, is when a good air purifier comes in handy.
“The quality of your indoor environment impacts your health and performance. The science is clear on that,” says Joseph Allen, D.Sc., M.P.H., an associate professor and the director of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard University’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health.
Air purifiers can remove contaminants in your home’s air such as bacteria, allergens, pollutants, and other germs you want to steer clear from. Got a smoker in the household? Plant an air purifier in their room to (at least try) to keep it fresh and remove secondhand smoke. Pollen in your house ruining your spring cleaning? Not when you’ve got a decent air purifier.
How does bad air quality affect us?
Animal studies are, unfortunately, the best thing science has—and the findings aren’t exactly great news. Researchers have noticed that when animals are exposed to pollution, they can develop lung inflammation that can “spill into the circulation,” says Dr. Balmes, which can trigger systemic inflammation.
That inflammation may contribute to diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, and neurodegeneration (resulting in diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s).
In the shorter term, bad air can give you a headache or sore throat and cause dizziness and fatigue. Poorly ventilated rooms can also muck up your ability to think straight, and they may leave you bathing in (and, more important, breathing in) particles that contain airborne viruses.
Do they actually work?
You bet. Studies show that some air purifiers could reduce air pollutants in your home by 50 percent or more. And other studies show they can improve your cardiovascular health while they’re cleaning your home. For those with asthma, air purifiers can be especially helpful: a 2018 study showed a 20 percent reduction in clinic visits for asthmatics with air purifiers.
Can Air purifiers help prevent Covid?
While there hasn't been much research around the claims, most experts say it definitely doesn't hurt.
“HEPA air filters collect 99.97 percent of particles at 0.3 microns, but they’re even better for larger and smaller particles,” says Richard Corsi, Ph.D., dean of the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at Portland State University. "This is due to the way particles of other sizes (including particles that carry the coronavirus) move through the air and crash into the filter. “For smaller apartments, classrooms, or shops that do not already have high ventilation rates, you could see a 90 percent reduction of particles of the size that convey the coronavirus in indoor air,” he says. “That’s an order-of-magnitude decrease in the risk of exposure to this virus. That’s pretty darn good.”
Our pick: the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde
To put these studies to the test, we tried out the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde, which not only claims to captures dust and allergen, but destroy formaldehyde (a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical), remove 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns and purify and heat the whole room.
The first thing that's great about this purifier, is that you can use it in summer and winter - not only does it act as a fan in summer but can also heat when the temperature starts to drop.
The second is the design - as expected from Dyson, the blameless design isn't your average clunky purifier and look seriously slick in any space thanks to its gold-effect body.
What's incredible is that the device's LCD panel not only gives you information about the fan’s status (set temperature and fan speed), but also about the quality of air in your home. By cycling through the fan’s available sensors, you can see what’s making your air dirty: this means you can can see readings for PM2.5 (very fine particles that can get into your lungs; PM10 (larger particles that can cause breathing problems or asthma attacks); VOCs (volatile organic compounds, which are harsh chemicals that can be in old furniture and cleaning products); NO2 (nitrogen dioxide, which is a gaseous pollutant found in cars; and HCHO (formaldehyde, which is a carcinogenic compound found in some furniture, glues and paints).
For example, if you start cleaning and notice a spike in VOCs, you may want to switch brand of cleaner.
Best get to it them.