Can Air Purifier Help with Asthma?

In this article, you will see what is asthma and its triggers. Then comes with answer to questions that how air purifier help with asthma, how to select air purifier for asthma as well as which air purifiers are not suggested for asthma.

1 What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma can cause shortness of breath, tight or painful chest, whistling or wheezing, coughing when it attacks.

2 Who may get Asthma?

Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children.

3 What can trigger or cause Asthma?

It’s important to understand the many asthma triggers to take an active role in controlling your asthma and reducing the frequency of asthma attacks.

Allergies Can Cause Asthma

Allergies with asthma is very common. 80% of people with asthma get allergies to airborne substances such as pollens, mold, pet dander, dust mites, and cockroach particles. Airborne pollen from trees, grasses and weeds have a way of finding their way indoors. In addition to pollen, the main indoor asthma triggers in the home are dust mites, mold, pets, cockroaches and household irritants.

Smoking and Asthma

People who smoke are more likely to get asthma. Smoking with asthma may make asthma symptoms such as coughing and wheezing worse. Women who smoke during pregnancy increase the risk of wheezing in their babies. Secondhand smoke can also bring on symptoms in the home for adults and children who suffer from asthma.

Food and Exercise

Food allergies or strenuous exercise can cause asthma too.

Overview: Asthma can be triggered by many things, it is commonly associated with exposure to allergies such as pollens, mold, pet dander, dust mites and cockroach particles.

4 How do air purifiers help the symptoms?

Usually air purifier or air cleaner can filter the airborne substances to reduce the number of asthma triggers such as pet dander, mold spores, dust and tobacco smoke particles. If you live with a smoker, an Air purifier or air cleaner is likely to be helpful.

5 How to choose air cleaner or air purifier help with Asthma?

Here we suggest to follow the rule: The air purifiers or air cleaners should remove airborne asthma triggers EFFICIENTLY, SILENTLY and NO HARMFUL BYPRODUCTS. Besides, it should be user friendly (most of air cleaners need you to replace filter or wash the filters regularly) and better with low running cost. There are many kinds of air filtration technologies available.

Mechanical air filters: It use a fan to force air through a special screen that traps particles such as smoke, pollens, and other airborne allergens.

Fiberglass air filters: A disposable filter made of layered fiberglass fibers. It is mostly used to provide protection for heating and cooling components and not for cleaning the air. The filters have a medium efficiency rating for capturing larger airborne particles and a low efficiency for filtering dust mites, viruses, bacteria and dander.

Pleated media filter: similar to fiberglass filters, disposable pleated polyester filters have a sizable surface field and a rating of 5 to 13.  Filters with a rating of 7 to 13 provide a level of effectiveness compatible with absolute high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. However, pleated HVAC filters have less airflow resistance compared to HEPA filters and support quieter operation of the blower fan.

Activated carbon filter: It is widely used to remove chemicals and odors which most of the other filters cannot remove.

HEPA Filter: HEPA filters, as defined by the DOE standard adopted by most American industries, remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 micrometers (µm) in diameter. A disadvantage of these units is the noise of their fan and the cost of electricity to operate the fan motor because of its high press drop.

ULPA Filter: It can remove even higher proportions of very small particles than HEPA. Below is a chart for HEPA filter and ULPA filter efficiency.


Germicidal air cleaners use UV lights to kill bacteria, viruses, and molds that pass through the area with the UV light. UV light can kill germs without chemical residual efficiently. It has widely used in hospitals for disinfection.

There are many home air purifiers are integrating many air filtration technologies in one device for a better performance. However, some manufactures just want to integrate more as selling points but do not care the performance of each. You may spend a lot on an air purifier which is not powerful.

6 Types of air purifiers that we do not suggest for Asthma

Electronic air cleaner or electrostatic Precipitator: use electrical charges to attract and deposit allergens and irritants. It is washable and efficient at air filtration, but NOT SUGGESTED for ASTHMA since it will release ozone, although in small amounts. If the electrostatic air filter is too dirty or in malfunctions, so as to arc or spark, then it will produce much more ozone than ordinary level. Ozone irritates airways, causing temporary bronchospasm in those with asthma, and nasal congestion in those with hay fever or rhinitis.

 Ozone generators: It is used to produce high concentrations of ozone to sterilize or purify the air in a room. Ozone causes bronchospasm in people with asthma, even in low concentrations, and thus should be avoided.

7 Tips other than air cleaners or purifiers for asthma

  • Wash your beddings and clothes frequently to reduce your exposure to dust mites (one of the triggers). Also don’t forget to wash your curtains.
  • Lower indoor humidity to reduce molds spores and dust mites.
  • Replace carpeting with hardwood or linoleum flooring if possible.
  • Regularly bathe and groom your pets to reduce the amount of dander in your surroundings.
  • A N95 musk can help in air polluted days.
  • Close window when there are many pollens outside.


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