Many people have heard about the dangers of air pollution in major cities and want to take action to make their homes or workspace safer. One option is an air purifier.
Air purifiers can be helpful for many reasons, but if you’re considering buying one, you must know the risks that come with them as well. This article will discuss how some people may get sick from using an air purifier and what steps they should take to prevent illness.
Can Air Purifiers Make You Sick?
The truth is it should not make you sick, but there are some instances where air purifiers could cause illness. One of the reasons that someone might get sick is because they use an air purifier to clean their home or workspace and don’t take proper precautions. Air purifiers can release ozone1 into the atmosphere, leading to respiratory problems in children and elderly adults. Children should be kept away from these appliances when they’re in operation, while those with asthma should monitor how often they run them as well since it could trigger attacks.
Older people have a lower immune system2. If an infected person has been near the machine, germs like colds or pneumonia can spread more easily around your space than being exposed elsewhere without one running.
Things to Consider When Choosing and Using an Air Purifier
To make sure that you can use an air purifier without it being a health risk, there are some things to keep in mind in the selection process and how you use it.
Use Your Air Purifier Correctly
It’s important to know how an air purifier works before you use it. Different types of air purifiers have different settings and modes to use them correctly. For example, an ionizer has a higher risk of causing problems if used incorrectly. It can release ozone, which is harmful to those with respiratory problems and diseases3 or low immune systems. It’s best to choose the right type of product for what you need so you know how to maintain it effectively.
For instance, someone who works at home would want something much less powerful than a commercial office building owner because they don’t encounter nearly as many particles in their space and wouldn’t require such high levels of cleanliness day-to-day.
Ensure That Your Air Purifier is Working Properly
If your home or workspace smells different when running, this may mean that there’s a problem with your machine. Be sure to contact customer service if you’re unsure what steps to take next for maintenance purposes since they should know better than anyone else who can help resolve any issue quicker. Be aware of any change in sound coming from their unit as well, which could indicate something wrong internally–most manufacturers will tell you what to do in a worst-case scenario.
Avoid Ozone Generating Air Purifiers
Some air purifiers release ozone which can be harmful to those with respiratory problems or an already low immune system. Ozone is created when the device’s fan runs at high speed and only needs to run like this temporarily to get rid of any particles. This releases additional air into your space, so it should ideally not stay on all day long, but if you’re running it overnight, then make sure that you leave some windows open during the daytime because closed-off spaces will lead to higher levels of ozone being generated by these units than they would otherwise produce.
It’s better to buy one without an ionizer4 since their purpose is more effective for cleaning the air than just keeping it clean. If you have a health condition that might make you more susceptible to getting sick from an air purifier, buying one with a HEPA filter is also recommended. These capture dust particles and other allergens better than any others.
Maintain Household Hygiene
Since an air purifier can’t clean surfaces (and you should not use it to do so), then be sure that the areas around them are sanitary. After handling any food, make sure to wash your hands before touching anything else and keep all surfaces clear of debris or dust where possible. Avoid using furniture to hold trash rather than throwing it away to reduce how much dust collects there, which could go into the machine when cleaning itself.
If you have children living with asthma who might need their inhaler more often because they’re allergic to particles found in these appliances, then look for one with a low particle performance rating from AHAM5 and doesn’t require high maintenance levels since those may trigger attacks if exposed too often.
Change The Filters Regularly
When your product starts to show signs of wear, you should change the filters at least every 12 months. This will help ensure that it operates safely since dirty or clogged filters can’t clean as much air efficiently, which is why early maintenance is important for these products and their longevity. The cost difference between an annual filter replacement versus buying new ones upfront might seem like just a little bit each year. However, over time this adds up, so replacing them annually saves money yet still provides the same level of quality service from every cleaning cycle.
Check Air Purifier Ratings and Standards Carefully
There are many different labels and certifications, which can be confusing, so it’s important to do your research beforehand. Always look for the AHAM seal to ensure that you’re buying one that won’t harm those with respiratory problems or low immunity–some manufacturers will only put this on models they’ve tested themselves. In contrast, others don’t require any testing at all.
It’s also best not to trust any online reviews because people who have never used an air purifier before may give their opinion without knowing how these work in the first place. Read what professionals think instead since they know exactly what goes into making them function effectively yet still keep things as safe as possible for users, especially children and pregnant women whose immune systems may be more fragile.
What Should I Do if I Get Sick by Using an Air Purifier?
Some people may get sick if their immune system is not strong enough, but that’s why it’s important to buy one with a low level of ozone.
Most units won’t cause you any problems unless they’re malfunctioning in some way like producing higher levels than usual or having all components be worn down after extensive use.
What if My Symptoms Aren’t Going Away?
If you still feel bad even after cleaning your unit regularly (or replacing its filters), then contact the manufacturer to investigate the problem further.
You might need a new unit, but it could also be that you’re having an allergic reaction to the dust particles being sucked into your air purifier’s intake instead of those from outside sources.
What if I Am Allergic to the Materials That Make up My Air Purifier?
Allergies are caused by the body’s immune system producing antibodies to fight off substances that it believes shouldn’t be in your home. However, you can find filters made with non-toxic materials like charcoal or bamboo which won’t trigger reactions during use.
How Can I Make Sure That My Air Purifier Won’t Harm My Family?
The best way to do this is to buy one with low particle performance and no ozone creation. This will ensure that it performs as intended while not generating anything which could affect your family’s health, especially those who have respiratory issues or allergies.
Air purifiers should not make you sick, but there are some instances where they could. It’s important to choose the right type of product for your needs and know how it works before using it so that you can work with a manufacturer if something goes wrong.
You’ll also want to be aware of any changes in sound coming from their unit, which can indicate an issue internally, and if that happens, contact the company that made it right away.