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A high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is capable of removing pollutants and allergens that can exacerbate asthma. Children, as well as the elderly and ill, are considered part of a sensitive population. Even with a HEPA filter and a small number of allergen particulates in the air, a child may have an allergic reaction. Individuals that are not part of a sensitive population may not be affected by such a small number of particulates. By reducing allergens with the best hepa air purifier children with asthma may benefit.
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HEPA filters can capture particles from allergens such as:
- Some kinds of mold spores. Smaller mold spore varieties will not be captured.
- Dust mite particulates.
- Coachroach particulates.
The larger a particulate is, however, the quicker it will settle to the ground and the less likely it will be captured by a HEPA filter. HEPA filters can also reduce the amount of smoke particulates in the air, a common asthma trigger.
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Choosing a HEPA Filter
When choosing a HEPA filter to improve air quality, the following items should be taken into consideration:
- The defining factor of a HEPA filter is that 90% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger are captured during the filtering process. HEPA abbreviations may be on products that are less effective. Reading the label prior to purchasing HEPA-containing products, such as on the ground air filters and vacuums, is important in ensuring that it is, in fact, HEPA.
- The size and capability of the HEPA filter should match the room or area that it will be placed in. If it does not, the air will not be properly filtered.
- The volume of the noise that the HEPA filter makes should be taken into consideration, especially when used around children. A loud filter may be disrupting for certain activities such as playing a game or watching television.
- A HEPA filter that is constantly on can have a negative impact on an energy bill. Energy Star HEPA filters may help lower the energy bill.
- It is important to chose a HEPA filter that is easy to operate and change filters. Depending on the manufacturer, the filter material may need to be changed monthly. The cost of these filter materials should also be taken into consideration. If it is not changed as recommended, the HEPA filter will not operate efficiently.
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The best hepa air purifier children with asthma could have is one that is easy to operate, quiet, and filters efficiently.
The limitations of even the best HEPA filter are a reminder of how trying to prevent particulate matter is important. Keeping windows closed during times when there are high numbers of particulates present can help prevent allergens from entering a home. Certain allergen-causing agents, such as dust mites, can be reduced by frequent dusting. There are numerous products that can be used in conjunction with a HEPA filter to reduce allergens and particulates that exacerbate asthma such as specially designed pillow cases and cleaning products.
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Environmental Protection Agency: Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airclean.html
Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry: Environmental Triggers of Asthma: Treatment, management and prevention: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/asthma/treatment.html
WebMD: Can Air Filters Ease Asthma Symptoms?: http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/do-you-need-an-air-filter?page=3
Environmental Protection Agency: Residential Air Cleaners: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pdfs/residential_air_cleaners.pdf