Buying an air purifier for dust mites
Dust in our homes can lead to a host of problems. Many people experience allergies to dust and dust mites, but for those who experience respiratory conditions like asthma, the presence of dust in our rooms or in the home may trigger respiratory distress or even asthma attacks. Read on to learn more about how dust can impact your daily life and how an air purifier for dust allergy symptoms may help you.
Dust, dust mites, and associated health problems
What are dust mites?
Dust mites are microscopic creatures that belong to the spider family. They live off dead human skin cells, pollen, dust, and fungal spores that collect in the corners of the rooms of your home. Dust mites are generally harmless – they do not bite or sting, and they cannot enter into the human body. They are allergens, however, and many people are sensitive to their droppings and skin cells that they, themselves, leave behind1. For many individuals, exposure to dust in the home can trigger allergies, allergic rhinitis (especially for people with eczema), asthma attacks, and respiratory difficulties.
These mites prefer high-trafficked, high-humidity, dark areas of the home, meaning that they tend to live in or near the bedroom; however, they can be found in any room and anywhere that dust accumulates. Places you can find them may include in and on pillows and pillowcases, all types of mattresses (wool, cotton, and memory foam), blankets, rugs and carpets, clothes, curtains, in and on furniture, and on toys and stuffed animals. They circulate whilst you sleep and can also become airborne when you move about and dust your home, shake out rugs and blankets, vacuum, and make your bed, giving them direct access to your respiratory system when you breathe them in and causing allergies.
What should you do if you have a dust allergy?
It may be easy to confuse dust mite allergy with other types of seasonal allergies. Some symptoms of dust and dust mite allergy may include:
- Runny nose and/or congestion
- Asthma symptoms like wheezing and shortness of breath
- Eye and throat irritation2
If you are experiencing these symptoms, allergen testing is a useful way to determine if you do, in fact, have a dust allergy. Doctors (allergists specifically) offer skin prick tests and blood tests that may help provide clarification, and if your allergy is particularly severe, a doctor may prescribe medication to help ease those symptoms.
Some everyday tips that can may reduce your exposure to dust mite allergens are keeping your pillows and comforters covered with easily washable duvets, rid each room in your home of carpets and/or rugs, wash your bedding in warm water (hotter than 60°C) at least once a week, keep the humidity level in your home below 50%, and ventilate your home for one hour per day to keep humidity levels down. It also helps to allow sunshine into your room.
If you are looking for another long-term solution to help ease your symptoms of allergen exposure, an air purifier to combat your dust allergy may be just what you need.
The advantages of buying an air purifier for dust allergy
Dust mites themselves measure about 20 μm, but their droppings are even smaller, measuring about 10 μm3. Due to their small size, both are invisible to the naked eye, making it difficult to both see them and remove them from your breathing air in your rooms at home.
Trap dust, dust mites, and other allergens
By installing an air purifier in your home for dust, you can trap not only airborne dust mites but their droppings as well. However, keep in mind that not all air purifiers can remove particles of this size from your air! It is recommended to purchase an air purifier containing a filter that is HEPA-certified. HEPA-certified filters filter coarse particles and fine particles alike down to a size of 0.01 μm. Not only can you remove dust and dust mites, you can also remove other allergens and contaminants like pollen, pet dander, germs (viruses and bacteria), and fine particle pollution (particulate matter or PM). Eoleaf’s air purifiers, for example, offer filters containing medical-grade HEPA H13 filters as one part of its 8 purification technologies.
Ease your asthma symptoms
As dust is a common trigger of asthma attacks for individuals with asthma, the addition of an air purifier for dust may make a life-changing difference in their daily lives. With a reduced number of allergen triggers in the air, an air purifier would allow asthmatics to live with lower risk of experiencing an asthma attack at home.
Protect yourself from symptoms caused by dust allergy
As mentioned above, dust allergies can bring about a host of unpleasant symptoms. Other symptoms like skin irritation and eczema can arise as a result of exposure to dust in the home. Not only can an air purifier protect you from allergens, it can also keep your breathing air at home free of pathogens like viruses and bacteria. During the annual flu season or more exceptional pandemics like COVID-19, an air purifier at home can help keep you healthy if pathogens are present in your air at home.
How to choose an air purifier for dust and dust mites?
When choosing your air purifier to combat dust and dust mites in the home, there are multiple things to look for. A few questions that will help guide you in your search for an air purifier are:
- What kind of filter(s) does your air purifier have? Is it equipped to filter particles down to a size of 10 μm, the size of dust mite droppings?
- As you may have read above, a HEPA filter would be your best bet.
- Air purifiers are made to filter rooms of a certain size, so ensure proper sizing of your device before purchase. Contact us for a personalised sizing.
- If your space is small and noise is a concern, choose an air purifier that is quiet yet still powerful.
- Also, in choosing the location to place your air purifier, be sure to put it near the source of contaminants (a room that gets particularly dusty and may contain dust mites, for example).
- If placing your air purifier in a room that is prone to become dusty, avoid a device that pushes air out towards the floor. This will avoid blowing dust and allergens around your space.
- Different air purifiers offer different filtration technologies with some more wide-ranging than others. Not every device is made to filter the same pollutants or contaminants, including dust and dust mites.
- Some air purifiers consume a lot of energy, so be sure to choose one that is energy-efficient to keep your energy expenses and usage low.
For more on how to choose your air purifier and where to put it, refer to our Buying Guide and our article on how to choose a location for your air purifier at home.
1 Healthdirect Australia. (2021, March). Dust mites. Healthdirect. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dust-mites
2 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, July 31). Dust mite allergy. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dust-mites/symptoms-causes/syc-20352173
3 Denomme, D. (2022, February 4). Dust Mites: Size, Facts, and Life Cycle. Study.com. https://study.com/academy/lesson/dust-mites-size-life-cycle-facts.html