Breathe easier at home with a HEPA air purifier, which will clear dust, smoke, VOCs, and other allergens from the air. 

By Julia Naftulin
November 20, 2020
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You may consider your home a safe haven from pollution and allergens. But get this: even though you can't necessarily tell by looking at it, indoor air is often twice as polluted as outdoor air thanks to dust, mold, and chemicals that accumulate in the enclosed space over time.

“Some things like dust mites might only be in the air for 20 to 30 minutes, but if something floats around for hours, like cat antigen, dog antigen, cockroaches, or mold, you want an air purifier on to trap it,” says Timothy Craig, DO, a professor at Penn State’s Center for Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gasses from cigarette smoke, paints, furniture, copiers, cleaning supplies, and dry-cleaned clothes can also lead to symptoms of "sick building syndrome," like headaches and fatigue.

When shopping for an air purifier, make sure it uses a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. This type of filter meets certain standards set by the United States Department of Energy, like the ability to remove 99.97% of tiny (0.3 micrometer or bigger) airborne particles. Dr. Craig says this type of filter is extremely effective at removing any airborne allergens and should remain on at all times in order to reach its full air-cleaning potential. Just make sure to replace the filter as often as the manufacturer suggests, usually every six months to two years.

Here, we share seven HEPA-filter air purifiers worth trying out for a cleaner, healthier home.

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