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Respiratory Resource Center

Your Complete Guide for Choosing an Air Filter to Improve COPD Symptoms

Aug 27, 2018 8:00:00 AM / by Duke Reeves

When you suffer from a breathing disorder like COPD, it's vital to breathe air that is clean and healthy as often as possible. Respiratory diseases leave your lungs and airways extra sensitive to irritation and inflammation, which means that even small amounts of airborne contaminates can worsen COPD symptoms and even cause exacerbations.

 

The air around us is full of potential hazards like dust, pollen, particle pollution, and toxic gases. In order to keep your lungs healthy and safe, you often have to go out of your way to steer clear of these airborne irritants.

 

For many people, the place with the most airborne contaminates is the place where they spend the most time: their own home. Because houses are such enclosed spaces, they tend to accumulate all kinds of dust, allergens, and other pollutants if you don't make a special effort to keep them out.

 

Fortunately, there's another simple way keep the air in your home clean, and that is to get a good quality air filter or air purifier for your home. There are many different kinds to choose from that can effectively trap, neutralize, and remove a variety of harmful particles and other contaminates from the air.

 

Unfortunately, many people don't understand the importance of using a high quality air filter and neglect their house's ventilation system. Even if you do know the importance of good home air filtration, you may not know what to look for or how to choose a kind that's effective and meets your individual needs.

 

Additionally, there are many different portable and small-space air purifiers you can find, as well as dedicated whole-house air purification systems that hook up to your HVAC system. However, it can be difficult to understand all of these different options, how they work, and how to know if you need one for your home.

 

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In this post, we're going to teach you how to find an air filter that's right for your home and effective for COPD. We'll help you understand what makes an air filter or purifier effective, how different air purifiers work, and how to use them effectively to improve your indoor air quality.

 

Don't worry if you don't know the difference between an electric and mechanical air filter or don't really understand what a HEPA filter is. By the end of this post, you'll have all the information you need to expertly navigate your different air purification options and find a solution that can improve your COPD.

 

The Importance of Clean Indoor Air

 

Clean bedroom
Some of the most dangerous hazards come from inside your home.

 

While it's important to look out for pollution, allergens, and other harmful particles outdoors, some of the most dangerous hazards come from inside your home. It's easy for the air quality in closed, indoor spaces to become poor over time, and because you spend so much time inside, it can have a significant effect on your health.

 

The most effective thing you can do to improve your indoor air quality is regular cleaning and healthy habits that reduce the amount of harmful particles in your house. This is something we discussed in this previous post about how to reduce irritants and airborne contaminates in your home.

 

However, while deep cleaning and getting rid of dust and allergen hiding spots can make a big difference, it won't remove the tiny particles and gases that are already suspended in the air. No matter how well you clean, you could still have high enough levels of dust, mold, and other pollutants floating in the air to affect your symptoms and how well you can breathe.

 

The only real way to take care of these airborne hazards is to filter them out of the air itself. Luckily, there are many different kinds of air filters and purifiers you can get that are designed to do the job.

 

Signs that Your Indoor Air Quality is Poor

 

Woman sneezing into a Kleenex (illustration).

 

Because you spend hours in your home every day, the quality of your indoor air can make a big difference in how you feel. If the air is full of dust, pollen, mold, and other pollutants, then it can make your COPD symptoms more difficult to manage and even trigger flare-ups and exacerbations.

 

One way to tell if your indoor air is polluted is to pay attention to your symptoms throughout the day. If your symptoms get worse at home, especially after spending hours sitting or sleeping indoors, it could be a sign that your COPD is being triggered by irritants in the air.

 

Another thing to look for is visible dust or mold in your air filter or vents. If you have build-up in your home's ventilation system, it could be releasing harmful dust and allergens that irritate your lungs.

 

If that is the case, then you probably need to take some extra steps to clean the air in your home. That might mean replacing your HVAC filter, getting a higher-quality filter, or even getting a separate air purifying device for your home.

 

Doing this will keep your ventilation system clean and remove a variety of lung irritants from the air you breathe every day. This can not only make it easier to breathe and manage your symptoms at home, but it may even prevent further lung damage and respiratory decline.

 

Your Air Purification Options and How They Work

There are so many different types of air filters, electric air purifiers, and other air filtration options that navigating the choices can be overwhelming at first. There are disposable filters, re-usable filters, pleated filters, portable air purifiers, and more.

 

Many people have a hard time figuring out what kind of air filter is best for their home's ventilation and what the different product specs mean. Without the right knowledge, it is difficult to tell which products are actually high quality and will do a good job of filtering your air.

 

Once you start looking into electric air purifiers and portable air filtration systems, it can get even more confusing. In these next sections, we're going to break down all of these different options so you can understand what they are and which ones you might need for your home.

 

Quality and Rating

 

Star ratings (illustration).

 

Most air filters have a rating that tells you how efficient the filter is and what kinds of particles it can screen out of the air. However, there are several different rating systems that products use, and you should know how to recognize each one.

 

The MERV rating was created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers and stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. Filters with a higher MERV rating filter out finer particles than those with lower ratings, and the best quality air filters tend to have an MERV rating above 10.

 

This is the most common rating you will see on mechanical filters like the ones you get for your HVAC system. However, some hardware stores like Home Depot use their own rating system or the MPR rating described below.

 

The MPR rating was developed by 3M and stands for Micro-Particle Performance Rating. This rating tells you what percentage of particles a filter can catch that are less then one micron in length.

 

A micron is a measure of size, and it's often used to tell you how what sized particles a filter can screen out. For reference, a human hair is about 50 microns in size, and anything less than 40 microns is invisible to the human eye.

 

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HEPA filters are a special kind of filter that use an extremely fine, pleated mesh for trapping ultra small particles. It stands for high-efficiency particulate air, and filters with a HEPA rating can screen out 99% of particles 0.3 microns or larger in size.

 

Unfortunately, most home ventilation systems are not built to accommodate a true HEPA filter, because the filter's mesh material is so fine that it takes a lot of pressure to push air through. However, you may be able to modify your HVAC system to work with one or install a separate bypass system that contains a HEPA filter.

 

HEPA filters are more commonly found in commercial ventilation systems and portable air purifying machines. Often, the cheapest way to get an effective HEPA filter is to buy a small, portable air purifier to use in one or two rooms in your home.

 

We'll get to discussing portable air purifiers in more detail later on. First, we're going to look at how to recognize high-quality air filters and how to find a good HVAC filter for your home.

 

Understanding Filter Ratings and Particle Size

 

Streptococcus thermophilus
The size of a Streptococcus bacteria is about ten microns.

 

Most filters are rated based on the size (in microns) of the particles they can filter out. However, this data doesn't tell you much if you don't have a good idea of what sizes typical airborne particles are.

 

Here is a quick scale to help you understand how big some common airborne particles are:

  • ~30 microns: pollen
  • ~10 microns: typical household dust
  • 0.1-5 microns: pet dander, bacteria
  • 0.01-0.05 microns: coal smoke, tobacco smoke

 

It is also important to know how these particle sizes correspond to different MERV ratings. Here is a quick guide to help you out.

 

Types of particles that filters with different MERV ratings can capture:

  • MERV 1 to 4: pollen, dust, dust mites, carpet fibers
  • MERV 5-8: mold spores, pet dander hair spray, cement dust, plus all the particles that filters with lower MERV ratings can catch
  • MERV 9-12: humidifier dust, lead dust, car emissions, milled flour, plus all the particles that filters with lower MERV ratings can catch
  • MERV 13-16: bacteria, tobacco smoke, cooking oil, tiny water droplets (e.g. from a sneeze), plus all the particles that filters with lower MERV ratings can catch

 

Primary vs. Secondary Air Filtration Devices

 

air filter pattern

 

Every home has a filter for their main HVAC ventilation system, and finding one that's high quality is a must, no matter how clean you keep your home. This air filter acts as your home's primary defense against dust, pollen, and other airborne particles, and it's important to find one that's effective for removing particles that can aggravate your COPD.

 

If your air quality is still poor or if you suffer from a breathing disorder like COPD, you may also want to get an electric air purifier to supplement your home's HVAC filter. They provide a second line of defense against dust and other hazardous particles that your HVAC filter can't screen out.

 

HVAC Filters: Your Primary Air Filtration Method

 

Air filter
Image from Homespot HQ

 

Every home has a ventilation system for pumping air, heat, and air conditioning throughout the house. All home ventilation systems also have a filter, usually called an HVAC filter or furnace filter, to catch dust, pollen, mold, and other particles as the fan pulls air through the vents.

 

HVAC filters are mechanical filters that work by taking these particles out of the air before they make it into the vents, that way they don't dirty the ducts or get circulated throughout your home. Over time, this filter gets clogged up with all the dust and other contaminates it catches and needs to be replaced.

 

Most experts recommend that you change your HVAC filter at least once every three months to keep your vents and the air that flows through them clean. However, you may need to replace the filter more often if you live in a very dusty climate, have pets, or for any other reason have high levels of airborne contaminates in your home.

 

How to Locate Your Home's HVAC Filter

 

Passive heating and cooling in a home (diagram).

 

In many homes the HVAC filter is located in the combined heating, air-conditioning, and ventilation unit, usually found in your basement or utility room. However, where your filter is located depends on the kind of ventilation system your house has installed, and it can sometimes be tricky to find.

 

The HVAC filter is usually located behind a “return vent,” which is a vent that sucks in air from the house into the ducts. This location allows the filter to screen out particles before they make it into the vents, which helps keep them clean.

 

The easiest way to find your HVAC filter is to look for the return vent on the main unit. The return vent may be located on the side, top, or bottom of the unit.

 

The filter itself usually fits into a slot just behind the vent. If not, the filter may be in the HVAC unit's blower compartment, which you can usually access by opening a door or panel at bottom of the unit.

 

In some cases, the air filter may not be part of the main HVAC unit at all, and is located behind a return vent somewhere else in the house. In that case, you will need to find another large return vent on the lower part of the wall in a different room.

 

Steel air vent for cold air

 

Although this is much less common, some HVAC systems have a separate return vent in every room in the house. In this kind of system, each return vent may have its own filter.

 

If you are still having trouble finding your home's HVAC air filter, check out this guide for more tips and diagrams to help you hunt it down. If all else fails, it may help to hire a HVAC technician, consult the blueprints for your house, or talk to the previous owners of your home.

 

When you install a new filter, make sure it fits in snugly and you install it with the correct side facing forward. Many filters have a front and back and use different colors for each side to help you ensure you don't install it backwards.

 

What to Look For in an HVAC Filter

 

If you've ever been to the air filter aisle in a hardware store, then you know that HVAC air filters come in dozens of sizes, brands, and materials. In fact, if you go in without a plan, your chances of coming out with the right kind of air filter are slim at best.

 

That's why you need to know ahead of time what size and type of air filter you you need to get. Read these next sections to learn how to use these characteristics to figure out what kind of filter you need.

 

Size

 

Room dimensions

 

First, you need to know the correct size of the air filter that your HVAC system requires. It's important to get the exact size right, otherwise the filter won't form a proper seal and may not fit into the filter compartment at all.

 

For the filter to work right and screen the air effectively, it's important that it fits snugly inside the filter slot. If the filter is too big or too small, it will leave gaps around the sides that allow dusty air to get by without going through the filter.

 

Material

 

Structure floor pattern macro craft paper

 

HVAC filters can differ dramatically in their materials, quality, and price. Which kind you should use depends on your personal preferences, sensitivities, and the outdoor air quality where you live.

 

High-quality air filters tend to be pricey, but they are made up of finely-woven materials that can filter out many different kinds of particles, including very fine particles like smoke and pollen. Cheaper ones tend to only filter out the largest particles of dust and lint, but not much else.

 

If you have COPD, you should avoid buying cheap air filters that can only filter out a small proportion of the airborne particles in your home. A cheap filter will not pick up smaller respiratory irritants like pet dander, bacteria, and tiny smoke and pollutant particles.

 

To really protect your lungs and improve the air quality in your home, you will probably have to spend more money on a higher quality filter that can screen out more of the hazardous particles that irritate your lungs. However, you can save money by buying your HVAC filters in multi-packs, which are usually cheaper than buying them one at a time.

 

How Often Should You Replace Your HVAC Filter?

 

HVAC filter
Image from Ivy Dawned

 

Most experts recommend that you replace your HVAC filter at least once every three months. That's how long it takes most filters to get clogged up with dust and other particles it screens out of the air.

 

However, you may need to change your filter more often if it gets clogged up more quickly or if you are particularly sensitive to airborne particles. This can happen if your indoor air is especially dirty or if there's a source of extra particles or pollution in your home.

 

Here are some reasons you may need to change your filter more often:

  • Someone in your home has severe allergies, asthma, COPD, or another respiratory condition
  • You have pets, which introduce lots of extra dander and fur into the air
  • You have many people living in your home, which translates to more dust, pollen, and debris being tracked into the house
  • You use your fireplace often
  • You live in an dry, dusty area
  • Your local air quality is low because of pollen, pollution, dust, or wildfires
  • You live near a construction site

 

Man changing HVAC filter
Photo by Senior Airman Tong Duong

 

Even if you expect your filter to last for the whole three months, you should still check it at least monthly for damage. If it is very dirty, damp, or shows signs of mold or bacterial growth, you should change the filter immediately.

 

Different Types of HVAC Filters

 

Now that you understand the basics of HVAC filters and maintenance, we're going to introduce you to the main types of filters and what they do. This will help you learn to distinguish high-quality filters from low-quality ones and decide what kind of filter you need to help your COPD.

 

Note that most of these filters are disposable, but some, including electrostatic filters, can be cleaned and re-used for years. However, they still need to be cleaned every month or two and are often less effective than disposable filters.

 

Fiberglass Filters

 

These filters tend to be inexpensive but can only do minimal, basic filtration. They can screen out large particles of dust and dirt, but only filter out 80% of particles that are 50 microns or larger.

 

These kinds of filters are mostly just useful for keeping dust and grime out of the vents, fans, and motors in your HVAC system. They will not, however, screen out fine contaminates that can irritate your lungs and airways.

 

Estimated MERV rating: 1 to 4

Filters out: pollen, dust, dust mites, carpet fibers

 

Mid-End Pleated Paper and Polyester Filters

 

Knife pleat 

 

These filters are relatively high quality and usually made up of a pleated paper or polyester material. They are a significant step up from fiberglass filters and can screen out 80 to 90 percent of particles that are 5 microns or larger.

 

The filter's pleats give the material more surface area to catch particles and makes it easier for air to pass through. However, the increased filtration ability raises the price point significantly. It is common for pleated paper and polyester filters to cost three to four times the amount that basic fiberglass filters do.

 

Estimated MERV rating: 5 to 8

Filters out: pollen, dust, dust mites, carpet fibers, mold spores, pet dander, hair spray, cement dust

 

Electrostatic Filters

Electrostatic filters are made with a specially-designed material with fibers that naturally create an electrostatic charge. This charge acts like a magnet that attracts particles floating in the air, causing them to stick to the surface of the filter.

 

Essentially, electrostatic filters attract tiny particles of dust and dirt in the same way that static electricity can cause a balloon to stick to your shirt. However, electrostatic air filters tend to be worse at filtering out larger particles than smaller ones. They also tend to create a lot of air resistance, which can hurt the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

 

Many electrostatic air filters are re-usable, but you have to wash them off with water at least once every two months. This can be a hassle to keep up with and take time, since you have to let the filter dry off completely before you put it back in your HVAC unit.

 

If you suffer from severe allergies or COPD, then an electrostatic filter may not be enough to protect your lungs from airborne particles like dust and pet dander. A mid- to high-end pleated filter is a better option for screening lung irritants out of the air.

 

Estimated MERV rating: 2 to 10

Filters out: pollen, dust, carpet fibers (some may also filter out mold spores, pet dander, hair spray, and cement dust)

 

High-End Pleated Filters

These are generally the highest quality HVAC filters you can get, second only to true HEPA filters, which don't work with most home ventilation systems. These filters can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns in size, including some viruses and bacteria.

 

These filters can get very expensive, but they are the best options if you want to protect your lungs from hazardous contaminates in the air. If you have COPD, this is your best option for getting rid of irritating particles that make your COPD symptoms worse.

 

Estimated MERV rating: 11 to 13

Filters out: pollen, dust, dust mites, carpet fibers, mold spores, pet dander, hair spray, cement dust, humidifier dust, lead dust, car emissions, milled flour

 

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HEPA and Other Ultra High-Efficiency Filters

 

HEPA high-efficiency filter

 

While HVAC filters with a higher MERV rating than 13 exist, they are usually only used in commercial or industrial buildings. That's because the filters are so fine, and create so much air resistance, that a typical residential HVAC system that you'd find in most homes is not strong enough to blow air through it.

 

It is possible to hire professionals to modify your HVAC system to work with a higher-efficiency filter. However, this can be expensive and may not work with all HVAC systems.

 

Estimated MERV Rating: 13-16

Filters out: pollen, dust, dust mites, carpet fibers, mold spores, pet dander, hair spray, cement dust, humidifier dust, lead dust, car emissions, milled flour, bacteria, tobacco smoke, cooking oil, tiny water droplets from sneezes

 

HVAC Bypass Filters

 

Air ducts

 

Getting a bypass air filtration system installed is a big and pricey project that requires hiring a professional HVAC installation company. The bypass filtration system is a small, separate bit of ducting that attaches to your main HVAC system and diverts air from the vents.

 

The high-efficiency filter is housed in a separate vent that is usually fitted with a more powerful fan and motor that allows it to push the air through the fine filter. Because of this, bypass systems can sometimes reduce the pressure and efficiency of your existing ventilation system.

 

However, bypass air purification systems are often expensive, inefficient, and make minimal improvements to overall indoor air quality. In fact, most are only able to clean about 30% of the air that flows through your vents.

 

These whole-house air purification systems can also cost a significant amount in electricity to run and are not very efficient. Many require an extra fan and motor and need to be left running constantly in order to make a difference.

 

In many cases, getting a few small, portable HEPA air purifiers for the main rooms in your home is more effective and more cost efficient than installing a whole-house air purification bypass system. In this next section, we'll look portable air purifiers in more detail and show you how to use them efficiently.

 

Portable Air Purifiers: Your Secondary Air Filtration Method

 

AOK Air Aether portable air purifier.

 

Sometimes the main HVAC system isn't enough to filter out all the tiny particles that are hazardous to your lungs. This might be the case if your ventilation system is old and inefficient or if you are particularly sensitive to certain contaminates, as many people with COPD are.

 

In that case, you may want to consider investing in a portable air purifier. These are small machines, about the size of a large space heater, that you plug into the wall to filter the air in the room.

 

Since portable air purifiers are not connected to your ventilation system, they each contain their own fan and motor to suck air through the machine. They also contain a single or multi-layered filtration system that varies depending on its type.

 

Unfortunately, portable air purifiers are not powerful enough to filter all the air in your house. However, they do a great job of cleaning the air in single rooms and small spaces, such as your bedroom or office.

 

One thing that's great about portable air purifiers is that, unlike HVAC filters, many come with additional functions and filtration options. For instance, you can get portable air purifiers that destroy bacteria, mold, and other microbes, and purifiers that can filter out gas and odors.

 

While portable air purifiers are good at filtering out fine particles, they tend to miss larger particles like dust and pollen. That's why a portable air purifier should be a supplement to a good HVAC filter and not your primary means of filtering dust and other particles out of the air.

 

A portable air purifier can be a great supplement to your primary ventilation system and can help catch particles that your HVAC system misses. Also, getting a high quality air purifier that catches super fine particles can be a great solution if your HVAC unit will not support a high-efficiency filter.

 

Using a portable air purifier in your bedroom while you sleep can also help if your COPD tends to flare up at night or in the morning when you get up. Portable air purifiers can also be useful for bringing along with you when you go on vacations and travel.

 

Here are some of the major pros and cons of getting a portable air purifier for your home.

 

Pros of getting a portable air purifier:

  • It can supplement your existing HVAC filter
  • It can be moved around your home or taken out with you as needed
  • It is great for use in small spaces such as your bedroom at night
  • Some include additional filtration options for removing microbes and gases
  • Many offer electrical filtration options (it doesn't limit you to mechanical filters, as your HVAC system does)
  • Cheaper than a whole-house air purification system

 

Cons of getting a portable air purifier:

  • Many high-quality purifiers are expensive
  • They are sometimes noisy
  • They are often less efficient at capturing larger particles (e.g. dust, pollen, and pet dander)
  • They only work in small spaces
  • They can create an unpleasant odor
  • Some emit harmful gases like ozone
  • Some require regular maintenance including filter cleanings and replacements
  • Takes up living space

 

What to Look for in a Portable Air Purifier 

There are several important factors to consider when shopping for a portable air purifier that is right for your home. Here is a quick overview of the major things you keep in mind as you make your decision.

 

Important factors to consider for a portable air purifier:

  • Size: Most air purifiers will give you a square foot measurement on the box to tell you how large of a space it can work in. It's important to make sure you get a purifier that's the right size for the space you intend to use it for.

  • Filtering Options: Some purifiers use just one type of filter, while others combine multiple types of filters. Some are built for filtering airborne particles while others are built to trap gases or neutralize viruses and bacteria. Consider what kinds of sensitivities you have and what kinds of contaminates are in your home when deciding what kind of filtration system to buy.

  • Features: Air purifiers come with a variety of different features, including wheels for easy movement, different fan speeds, on/off timers, remote controls, filter change indicators, and more. You should consider your space and how you plan to use your air purifier to determine what kinds of features you need.

  • Maintenance: Some air purifiers need more maintenance than others. Some have re-usable filters that have to be washed off, while others require you to buy a new disposable filter every time it gets clogged. Consider how much maintenance you are willing to do before choosing a purifier that requires a lot of upkeep.

 

Different Types of Portable Air Purifiers

There are many different types of portable air purifiers that use a variety of different filtration technologies. In these next sections, we'll go over each of these main types in more detail to help you figure out what kind of air purifier is right for you.

 

Electrostatic Air Purifiers

Portable electrostatic air purifiers are good for scrubbing both small and large particles out of the air. They work by using layers of thin, metal sheets that are electrically charged and cause airborne particles to stick to the filters.

 

However, to keep an electrostatic air purifier working efficiently, you have to remove and wash the filters on a regular basis. They also produce a small amount of ozone as they run, which can irritate your lungs and airways if it builds up in a poorly ventilated room.

 

Ionic Air Purifiers

Ionic air purifiers work similarly to electrostatic air purifiers, but they don't usually contain a filter. Instead, they remove particles like dust and pollen from the air by causing them to sink and settle on the floor and other surfaces.

 

They do this by giving the particles a negative electric charge, which causes them to stick together and sink down onto carpets, furniture, and walls. While this does get the particles out of the air, they will not stay negatively charged forever, and they will eventually re-enter the air once they lose their static charge.

 

In order to make an ionic air purifier effective, you must dust, vacuum, and clean your home diligently to get rid of the settled particles for good. Otherwise, the effects of the purifier will only be temporary, and sooner or later the particles will be back and contaminating the air you breathe.

 

In general, ionic air purifiers are probably not a good choice if you have COPD. Even the electrically-charged dust, pollen, smoke, and other particles that settle on furniture and carpet can still pose a risk to your lungs.

 

Activated Carbon Filters

 

Woven activated carbon cloth

 

This is a special kind of filter used to remove gases and odors from the air. Carbon filters are made up of a porous carbon material that allows air through, but captures things like chemical emissions, gases, smoke, and odors.

 

Carbon filters can be especially helpful for people with COPD and other respiratory conditions who are sensitive to fragrances and chemical fumes. It can even filter out formaldehyde, which can leak into the air from common household fixtures like carpet, furniture, and wood paneling.

 

Unfortunately, while carbon filters are great at capturing gaseous pollutants, they are not good at filtering dust and other airborne particles. Because of this, activated carbon filters are usually paired with another kind of particle filter, such as a HEPA filter.

 

Some activated carbon filters also contain a chemical adsorbent that scrubs volatile organic compounds (VOCs) out of the air. VOCs are hazardous organic chemicals that can irritate your lungs, and they are produced by a variety of cleaning products, sprays, pesticides, preservatives, and other common items used in and around homes.

 

UV Filters

 

light texture purple glass color space

 

Many portable air purifiers are capable of filtering out bacteria and mold by screening them through a very fine mesh. However, some portable purifiers take this a step further and use UV rays to kill any germs that pass through.

 

UV filters use UV lamps that are powerful enough to destroy the cells and genetic material of microorganisms that flow through the machine. This renders the microbes harmless, but doesn't do anything against other particles like dust and pollen.

 

Because of this, UV filters are almost always paired with a particle filter that can trap the airborne contaminates that the UV filter can't.

 

HEPA Filters

 

HEPA Filter diagram

 

We discussed HEPA filters in a previous section as one of the most powerful mechanical particle filters you can use. They are able to screen out 99% of particles 0.3 microns or larger, including bacteria, viruses, and pet dander.

 

Portable HEPA filters are generally affordable, but the cost goes up for multi-filtration purifiers that pair HEPA filters with other methods of filtration. In general, they are considered one of the most effective filters for people who suffer from allergies and other respiratory conditions.

 

Many portable air purifiers use a HEPA filter as their primary particle filtration method. The filter will need to be replaced when it gets clogged, but most HEPA filters last 1-2 years.

 

Unlike ionic and electrostatic filters, HEPA filters are purely mechanical, meaning they don't require any electricity to work. However, HEPA filters are often paired with other filtration technologies, including electrostatic filters, activated carbon filters, and UV technology for a more comprehensive air filtering system.

 

How to Get the Most Out of Your Portable Air Purifier

Once you have your own portable air purifier, you need to know how to use it correctly so it works as efficiently as possible. The first step is finding a good place to put it in your home.

 

It is usually best to put your portable air purifier in the room where you spend the most time. This will probably be your bedroom, since most people spend at least eight hours there every single day.

 

Of course, you can always move your air purifier around during the day if you need to, for example, to clean the air in your home office or another small space in your house. However, it is best to leave your air purifier in place for at least several hours in order to give it enough time to make a difference in the air quality.

 

Because of this, you should leave your air purifier running as often as possible, or even all day if you can. You shouldn't have to worry about your electricity bill too much; most portable air purifiers are built to be energy-efficient for everyday use.

 

Portable air purifiers need open space in order to work well, so make sure you don't put it somewhere crowded. Walls, furniture, drapes, and other objects nearby can inhibit the flow of air into the machine and make your purifier work less efficiently.

 

Since air purifiers can only pull in a small amount of air at once, it works best if there is another source of air flow in the room. It can help to turn on a ceiling fan or run your HVAC fan to churn the air so the purifier doesn't continually recycle the same small amount of air in its immediate vicinity.

 

Finally, you should always read your portable air purifier's instruction manual so you know how to keep it clean and working well. Many purifiers have filters that have to be cleaned or replaced on a regular basis, and it's important to know how and when to do it.

 

Conclusion

 

Air conditioner

 

If you have COPD, then it's important to know how to keep your indoor air clean, including how to find air filters and purifiers that can actually do the job well. Otherwise, you can end up with dangerous levels of hazardous particles and pollutants contaminating the the air in your home.

 

But if you use the right kind of air filtration products, you can enjoy fresher, cleaner, healthier air every time you're in your house. They help protect your lungs and airways from harmful airborne contaminants, preventing inflammation that makes you COPD symptoms worse.

 

But with so many different types of air filtration options, you have to know what you're looking for and be careful to avoid cheap, overpriced, and ineffective products. But if you use the tips in this article, you should have no problem finding a high-quality air filter that can remove the kinds of particles that are dangerous for your lungs.

 

Although many air filters only do the bare minimum, there are many effective filters that can truly make a difference in the air quality in your home. Now that you know all about the different kinds of air filtration systems and what they can do, you can navigate these options with confidence and find a filter that makes a difference for your COPD.

Topics: COPD, Respiratory Resource Center, Tips and Hacks

Duke Reeves

Written by Duke Reeves

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