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I’ve heard for sometime that air purifiers can help improve airborne allergies and asthma, but I’d never experienced one personally and was concerned about spending so much money without having ever tested it. I decided to buy one during the holidays last year and I’ve been thrilled with the results. I’ll share what I’ve learned about air purifiers and share a review of the affordable and effective model I chose and having been using for the last six months.
Before we get started, I hope you’ll take a moment to endorse me for at least one of the three WEGO Health Awards for which I’ve been nominated this year. I’m so honored to be recognized for the work I do at The Zebra Pit blog and our new and improved Facebook TZP Spoonie Health and Wellness Group. I’ve been nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award, A Best in Show: Blog award and a Best in Show: Facebook award! To nominate, just pop over to my WEGO Health Award profile and endorse the options you feel I’m worthy of receiving and don’t forget to look for your other favorite patient leaders to endorse as well.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming! 🙂
About HEPA Air Purifiers
HEPA is an acronym for High Efficiency Particulate Air and it’s a standard for air purifiers that matter a lot. Air purifiers use a system of internal fans to pull the air in your home through a series of filters that remove harmful airborne particles like dust, dust mites, smoke, pollen and mold spores. The air purifier then circulates the purified air back into the room. This process repeats itself several times an hour, keeping your environment healthy.
Much like an N95 mask, True HEPA filters are effective at removing ultra fine particles (dust, dander, pollen, mold and other common allergens in the home). The industry standard for such is that the unit must be able to remove at least 99.97% of particulates measuring 0.3 micron diameter in a lab setting.
HEPA filters do have their limitations. They aren’t meant to remove gaseous pollutants like VOCs or radon from the air that may accumulate from adhesives, paints, or cleaning products. Without a high watt UVC light, they’re also not as effective against bacteria. Ironically, the UVC light and anion used to combat bacteria can create ozone and increase the symptoms of asthma!
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Reasons To Use a HEPA Air Purifier
- The EPA estimates that the air inside your house or business contains up to five times more pollutants than the great outdoors.
- Air purifiers don’t only clean the air, they also help get rid of unpleasant odors of all kinds! Since I began using purifiers, I am amazed by how clean my house smells despite being unable to use deodorizers of any kind.
- Air purifiers trap airborne allergens released by pets, be it dander, fur, or the pollen and grass they’ve tracked in on their coats and paws. Air purifiers help combat these allergens by trapping them before they settle into your home.
- Air purifiers help neutralize smoke, whether it’s from cigarettes, cigars or your fireplace, keeping your home clear of these common respiratory irritants.
- There will always be dust. No matter what you do to keep your home clean, dust accumulates: However, an air purifier helps trap dust before it has the chance to settle, reducing build-up and leaving you with less to clean while helping to protect us from dust mite allergies.
- Amazingly, HEPA filters remove 99.97% of small airborne particles like pollen, mold spores, pet dander, smoke, dust and dust mites, lint and odors.
- Air purifiers keep your lungs healthy. As many of us with MCAS know well, consistent exposure to dust, pollen, dander, and other airborne particles can cause long-term breathing and health issues for you and your family. While it helps keep down the histamine load of asthmatics and masties, it could help keep other family members from experiencing the same mast cell related health issues we’ve already developed, or at least help them to manage it better.
Kinda sounds like everyone could benefit from air purifiers!
The Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier
The delightful Caz, a lifestyle and chronic illness blogger over at Invisibly Me first turned me on to the model I chose and I’ve come to rely on her picks for more than a few items (thanks, Caz!). If you’ve never visited Invisibly Me, you should check it out. She reviews lots of great products that can help the many complex symptoms of chronic illness. She also discusses her chronic illness life with some much valued honesty and a healthy sprinkling of wit.
Okay, so on to the actual review! I even made a video! 🙂
Based on all the research I’ve read, I had a list of requirements I wanted to meet. The LV-H132 met them all despite it’s affordability. Several benefits of this unit include:
- True HEPA filtration that’s 100% ozone free
- Advanced 3 Stage Filtration System: Imported HEPA Filter and High-Efficiency Activated Carbon Filter
- Designed specifically for allergens and pets
- An affordable unit with genuine replacement filters that are affordable compared to competitors
- Runs quietly, manufacturing only 25 dB noise, creating a gentle buzz in the background
- A compact high efficiency unit designed for small to medium rooms
- Easy to clean and care for
- Settings and controls are located on top of the unit for easy access
- Comes with a gently glowing night light with a low/high setting
- A filter change warning light so you don’t have to keep track
- Only requires a filter change every six months on average
- Easy to access filter makes changes a snap
- Comes in a compact size and is available in choice of black or white (the white one looks totally space age. Could be an air purifier, could be R2-D2)
- 3 fan speeds help you adjust how hard this unit works
- The unit comes with a pre-installed filter, so you’re covered for the first 6 months
- Lightweight and easy to move
If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you probably know I do an extensive amount of research and a lot of comparison shopping. I generally end up with a mid-priced product that manages to do most of what the more expensive units do without the ridiculous price tag.
The extensive features of this unit really impressed me, while the affordability of both the unit and the genuine replacement filters guarantees a cost I can live with over the life of the unit. I can’t quote specific prices, but with the two pack of filters, you can get a year’s supply of filters for most of their units for under $30.
Unboxing this air purifier was easy and came with excellent instructions. The bottom of the unit unscrews easily, so you can access the filter quickly. Even when I did my first filter change 6 months later, I didn’t need the instructions. I was impressed with how easy it was. I simply removed and tossed the old filter, gave the unit a quick wipe down with a damp cloth and it looked good as new! Popping the filter in is also easy, as it comes with clear labels for which side should be inserted. This video demonstrates just how easy it is!
After unboxing it, it was clear within a few hours how powerful this unit is. I experienced an immediate reduction in my rhinitis and my mast cell symptoms became much easier to manage with this unit running beside me. Once I started using it in my bedroom and my living room, it made my mornings much more pleasant, despite my dust mite allergies. It’s refreshing to wake most days without the goopy eyes and snotty nose that just seemed a fact of life.
My husband and I also noticed a definite change in the air overall. Our house smells cleaner and we aren’t sitting with the same accumulating smells of our home-cooked meals. It even makes dusting easier. There’s much less to contend with and I’m not dying if I don’t manage to vacuum and dust as often as I would like.
Kinda makes it seem like everyone could benefit from one of these units, especially if you’re feeling allergic to cleaning!
Overall, we feel better and enjoy our home more now that this unti is a full time fixture in our lives. Ideally, I’d like to have two; one for the bedroom and one for the living room, but it’s also very light and easy to move, provided you have the available outlet.
The only problem we’ve had, which is slightly hilarious is the cat antics that have ensued around the unit. For whatever reason, Rocket thinks it’s pretty cool to tap the buttons to turn the unit off and on, adjust the power level and turn the nightlight on or off. Maybe I need to get him some toddler toys! He’d probably enjoy a speak and spell. That cat is too smart for me! Luckily, his fascination with it died relatively quickly.
Despite the cat antics, we’ve been very happy with this unit and I’m more than comfortable with giving it The Zebra Pit seal of approval. It’s a great way to help mitigate histamine levels and turned out to be a big help with the ever-growing challenges of housekeeping during my post-COVID complications. It’s been a special blessing with the pollen levels, too!
To purchase the unit through Amazon, simply click the the best link for your preferences below. I even included a two pack bundle in case you want one for the bedroom and one for the living room. I guess I will just have to live in envy of you for now!
While you’re at it, grab a replacement filter so you don’t have to worry about it in 6 months. Alternatively, you can save these filters to your wish list for easy ordering later. Don’t worry if you forget. There’s a tag right on each filter you can scan which will take you directly to Amazon. You can even have them delivered on a schedule you choose and save an extra 5% by utilizing Amazon’s Subscribe and Save service. Simply choose that option when placing them in your cart and choose how often you’d like them to be delivered.
- The Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier
- Save on 2! The Levoit LV-H132 Air Purifier 2 Pack
- LV-H132 Replacement Filter (Single)
- LV-H132 Replacement Filters (2 pack) – Buy 2 and save more!
If you’ve enjoyed this post, I sure hope you’ll take the time to click like and share it. Thank you!
If you’re looking for even more ways to get control over your allergies, Asthma or MCAS, take a look at one of these great posts:
Housh, Will. “Air Purifier Benefits and How They Work,” HVAC.com. 23 Aug 2017. Accessed 3 July 2020.
Jia-ying, Luo, et al. “Efficacy of air purifier therapy in allergic rhinitis” Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology. 4 Dec 2018. 36:217-221 DOI 10.12932/AP-010717-0109. Accessed 3 July 2020.
Myoshi, Takao, et al. “Can air purifier promote the indoor cleanliness and improve the patients with asthma?” European Respiratory Journal Sep 2018, 52 (suppl 62) PA1691; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.congress-2018.PA1691. Accessed 3 July 2020.
Silver, Natalie. “Which Air Purifiers Work Best for Allergies?” Healthline. 26 Nov 2019. Accessed 3 July 2020.