Spring can be a difficult time for people with allergies because so many pollen types and allergens cross their paths. Activities such as outings in the nice weather and spring cleaning can brighten your outlook on life, but they can also bring respiratory problems. These issues add up to make spring one of the most important times to use your air purifiers.
A SURVEY OF SPRING ALLERGENS
Allergy season is defined in part by what you’re allergic to and where you live. If you’re allergic to ragweed, for example, you’re going to flare up in the summer and fall in most places. And in Southern states, where most seasons are mild and plant life is abundant year-round, allergy season can range from January through November.
But for most of the United States, spring packs a heavy punch when it comes to allergens. That’s in part due to a merging of the allergy trifecta.
- Tree pollen, which can begin as an irritant as early as January in some locations, is typically well established across the country by March and early April. It usually hangs around until May, though it may be a factor in some climates for even longer. You can see the pollen count for your area at any given time via the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s pollen count database.
- March, April and May see spring flowers blossoming across the nation, and those blooms bring even more pollen.
- Finally, grass pollen, which is typically considered a summer concern, can start impacting people in some areas as early as April or May.
SPRING ACTIVITIES THAT INCREASE ALLERGY ISSUES
It’s not just that pollen and other allergens that start to come out in spring. People start to come out of their winter shells too. You may find yourself wanting to have some fun in the sun or being invited to more events or outings. This exposes you to allergens and makes it likely you’re carrying them back into your house.
Even if you are a homebody, if you live with others, they may be bringing allergens home with them. As warm weather creeps in, cabin fever gives way to spring frolicking, and you’re probably glad that children can make use of the backyard or parks. And whether you’re simply slipping out to the patio for a cup of tea on warm spring days or dragging an entire crew to and from ball games in local parks, allergens are definitely using the open doors to make their way into your home.
Spring cleaning is another activity that can lead to irritants in your space. First, even if you’re using natural cleaning products to get the job done, you may be leaving something in the air that your sensitive lungs will complain about. Plus, cleaning can stir up dust, and if you open the windows to let in a fresh-smelling breeze, pollen is going to come along for the ride.
HOW AN AIR PURIFIER CAN HELP
Because it’s impossible to keep pollen and other allergens completely out of your home, spring is an ideal time to use an air purifier.
Basically, an air purifier of any type will remove allergens from the air in your space, though they accomplish this in different ways. You can get mechanical, electronic, hybrid or gas phase purifiers.
Mechanical purifiers take air from the surrounding room in and push it through a filter or mechanism, much like your HVAC system does. The purifier uses an internal filter or other technology to trap particles such as pollen and dust, removing them from the air. HEPA filters can capture 90 percent of all particles that are not less than 0.3 microns in diameter, making them one of the most efficient filters of this type. Individuals with allergens who plan to rely on a mechanical air purifier may want to ensure their filters are HEPA.
Electronic filters apply an electrical charge to remove pollutants from the air while Hybrid filters use both mechanical and electronic means to remove pollutants. The dynamic nature of Hybrid filters may provide the best solution for people who need to remove as many particles from the air as possible.
Gas phase filters are not going to be as useful for purifying air during spring allergy season. These filters are designed to remove odors or gasses, but not particles. They are more helpful in reducing cooking odors in a kitchen or reducing the impact of paint fumes in a garage or crafting room.
The right air purifier, such as one with a mechanical HEPA filter, can make a huge difference in your quality of life during spring if you put it to work in the right way. For example, those who experience allergies may want to place an air purifier in their bedroom. This keeps allergens down and helps you get a better night’s sleep throughout the season.
It’s also a good idea to place an air purifier in any room where you’re going to spend a lot of time each day. That can include the living or family room, a home office or a hobby room (especially if you work with dust-prone items such as fabric or yarn). You may even want to purchase an air purifier for your office at work.
OTHER TIPS FOR BEATING SPRING ALLERGY SEASON
Purifiers are a great way to address the air in a specific room, but you can’t stay in a single room all spring, so here are some tips for dealing with allergies:
- Stay inside when possible and keep windows and doors closed.
- Use HVAC systems that filter or recycle the air in your home or car, and ensure your filters are cleaned or changed regularly.
- Vacuum the right way, regularly, with a vacuum that has HEPA filter technology.
- If you have kids, involve the entire family in keeping the home clean and as allergen-free as possible.
- Wash bedding regularly to remove pollen and other allergens.
- Wash your hands and hair regularly to keep from spreading allergens.
- Talk to your medical provider about treatments and medications to alleviate severe allergy symptoms.
By taking proactive steps and arming your favorite spaces with the protection of an air purifier, you can enjoy everything spring has to offer without suffering through unecessary allergy attacks.