The holidays are quickly approaching and that means our homes will be filled with food, laughter, family and friends. For many of us, this holiday season will be extra special since the pandemic disrupted most of last year’s plans to celebrate together.
We will definitely spend a lot of time carefully planning the invitation lists, decor, and meal. But, while we are deciding on how to make the holidays special, it’s important to also consider how to make them safe and comfortable for all of our guests. One of the most important ways to do that is by purchasing an air purifier.
Why is an air purifier particularly important during the holidays?
While clear air is always essential to good health, there are a number of reasons that the holiday season is a particularly important time to use an air purifier.
Christmas trees, wreaths, scented candles…. These are all things that can make your home feel more festive. Unfortunately, these items can also have a negative effect on your indoor air quality.
Trees and wreaths can bring mold, dust mites and even chemical sprays into your home, all of which may trigger allergic reactions.
Scented candles and air fresheners are particularly dangerous as they release volatile organic compounds and soot. When mixed with chemicals already in your home, they can also create more toxic pollutants such as formaldehyde, free radicals, and ultrafine particles.
One of the most important components of the holidays is the meal! Holiday preparation often includes days of cooking, using stove tops, ovens, microwaves and other appliances.
The truth is that any kind of cooking emits pollutants. Applying heat to food produces a range of fine (PM2.5) and ultrafine particles that can be harmful to your health.
But, cooking with fossil fuels, including gas, presents even more dangers. Research shows that cooking with a gas stove produces nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde (CH2O or HCHO). It also suggests that gas cooking generates about twice as much PM2.5 as electric.
PM2.5, along with even tinier ultrafine particles are composed of a mixture of solid and liquid particles that are suspended in the air. PM2.5 particles are easily inhaled and are able to penetrate deep into your respiratory system.
Exposure to PM2.5 has multiple short term and long term health impacts. Short-term issues include eye, nose, and throat irritation, coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath. Long term exposure to PM2.5 can cause permanent respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and heart disease.
While PM2.5 impacts everyone, people with breathing and heart problems, children, and the elderly are most sensitive to it. One recent study called PM 2.5 “the largest environmental risk factor worldwide,” responsible for many more deaths than alcohol use, physical inactivity or high sodium intake.
You want your guests to feel comfortable in your home. One of the best ways to do that is to ensure that they are breathing clean air. Because people vary in their sensitivities to pollutants, things that may not bother you or your family members can cause serious discomfort to your guests.
One of the most common issues with inviting people into your home is pet allergies. While your little Fido may be full of love, he’s also full of pet dander… which, for guests with pet allergies, can make their time in your home miserable.
Pet dander is a combination of skin, hair, and oil from your pet. Most people with pet allergies are actually reacting to the proteins from the oil found in dander.
Even if you can’t see the dander, it’s still there. Dander particles can get trapped in carpets, bedding, and anything plush. When disturbed, the dander gets released into the air, triggering allergies.
How an air purifier can help
Does that mean you have to forego the tree, order takeout, and get rid of Fido for the holidays? Not necessarily. An air purifier with a combination of True HEPA filter and activated charcoal filter can make an enormous difference in the quality of your holiday air.
What does a HEPA filter do?
“HEPA” stands for “high-efficiency particulate air” (filter). To be labeled a True HEPA filter, it must be able to trap 99.97 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns.
HEPA filters trap particles in different ways depending on their size.
Particles larger than 1 microns: As air flows through the filter, the larger particles are heavy enough that the airflow from the filter propels them forward into the fibers of the filter where they get stuck.
Particles that are .3 to 1 micron: Particles this size can fit between the gaps in the filter. But, they are too heavy and slow to follow the air flow around the HEPA filter and end up getting stuck in the fibers.
Particles smaller than .3 microns: While HEPA filters only need to filter particles of .3 microns, they’re are also really good at filtering out smaller ones. Because of a phenomena known as Brownian Motion, tiny particles bounce wildly off of other larger particles in the air in random patterns that send them careening off into different directions, causing them to hit the fibers of the HEPA filter and get stuck.
Why do I need an activated charcoal filter if a HEPA filter is so effective?
While HEPA filters are excellent at removing particulate matter, they can’t do anything about gases or odors. That’s where an activated charcoal filter comes in. Activated charcoal has been used to remove toxins from the water, bloodstream, and even the digestive tract. In fact, hospitals often use activated charcoal to treat people who have ingested poison.
The porous nature of activated carbon makes it especially useful in trapping odors and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in the air. VOCs come from all sorts of different household products and can have a really negative effect on your health.. Activated carbon removes them through adsorption, which is a chemical process that causes pollutants in the air to stick to the outside of the carbon. As long as there is an open adsorption site (and, in activated carbon there are plenty), the pollutants will keep sticking to the carbon.
What makes aeris purifiers special?
aeris air purifiers fight these pollutants at the source. Our purifiers have 3 to 5 times more filtration material than other air purifiers, making them the most effective way to capture smoke, odors, and VOCs. Combine the effectiveness of our purifiers with our high tech smart system that allows you to control your home air from anywhere in the world, and you have one of the most advanced and effective air purification system on the market.
No matter who you’re inviting or what you’re serving this holiday season, make sure that your guests are safe and comfortable with an aeris purifier.