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The Most Common Household Air Pollutants That Are Making You Sick

There is a good reason why we associate being outdoors with getting "fresh air"; the air inside is usually more polluted than the air outside. The air inside your home is stagnant and has very little airflow in comparison, which makes it the perfect siphon for airborne particles to fall into, but never escape.

These free-flowing, airborne particles are mostly harmful to your long-term respiratory health and exacerbate existing symptoms of asthma and allergies. This is why we use air purifiers and air filters to create and support indoor airflow. Using airflow, air filters are then able to capture the irritants floating through the air and trap them in the crevices.

If you have asthma, allergies, or other respiratory problems, then you should certainly consider using an air purifier to directly target the source and help relieve symptoms. However, it’s also important to know where the air pollution might be coming from.

These are the top three most common airborne pollutants trapped in your household that actively affect your health:

1. Pollen

Pollen is a fine, powdery substance that's produced by flowering plants; it is released into the air by trees and flowers. It helps to fertilize and grow other plants but can be a major cause of allergy symptoms.

The amount of pollen in the air varies depending on many factors such as the time of year, weather conditions, and location. During the spring and summer, when plants are in bloom, pollen counts are typically higher. Pollen is also the reason why we associate Spring with allergies!

If you're allergic to pollen, you may be tempted to stay indoors when pollen counts are high. However, keeping your windows and doors shut can actually make your symptoms worse by trapping pollen and other allergens inside your home.

The best way to reduce your exposure to pollen is to use an air purifier and a HEPA filter.

Symptoms of Pollen Allergy

If you're allergic to pollen, you may have symptoms such as:

• Sneezing
• Runny Nose
• Congestion
• Itchy Eyes
• Coughing

These symptoms usually peak during the spring and summer months.

2. Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny (microscopic) creatures that thrive in humid environments. They live off of the dead skin cells that humans and animals shed daily. Dust mites are too small to see with the naked eye, but they can cause a lot of problems for people who are allergic to them.

Dust mites are most often found in bedding, including mattresses, pillowcases, and blankets. They can also be found in upholstered furniture, carpets, and curtains.

The best way to reduce your exposure to dust mites is to keep your home clean and free of clutter. Regularly wash bedding in hot water and vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture. Using an air purifier and a HEPA filter is also an excellent choice to help reduce their numbers.

Symptoms of Dust Mite Allergy

If you're allergic to dust mites, you may have symptoms that are identical to a pollen allergy.

3. Pet Hair

Cats and dogs as pets are wildly popular (in America particularly), which makes pet hair the third most common irritant. Including pet hair, a pet's saliva is also an extremely common irritant for people, ranging in severity from mild to severe.

Pets are a beloved part of many families, but their shedding can cause problems for people with allergies or asthma. If you are not taking your dog or cat to a groomer regularly, the least you should do for your family’s health is to use an air purifier.

Pet hair is considered a “large” particle and is easily cleaned up by carbon air purifier filters.

Symptoms of Pet Hair Allergy

If you're allergic to pet hair, you may have symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, congestion, itchy eyes, and coughing.

Pets shed a lot during the spring and summer, but you may experience symptoms year-round if you have certain dog breeds that shed constantly.

Honorable Mentions:

These airborne particles, though not among the "Top Three" most common irritants, are still very destructive and deserve to be warned about.

Mold

Mold is a type of fungus that grows in moist, humid environments. It's often found in basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas of the home where there's a lot of moisture.

Mold spores are very small and can be easily inhaled. This can cause a variety of respiratory problems, such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Mold spores can also trigger allergic reactions, such as sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes.

Bacteria

Bacteria are single-celled organisms that can cause a variety of respiratory infections, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinus infections. Bacteria are most often found in humid environments, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

The best way to reduce your exposure to bacteria is to keep your home clean and free of clutter. Regularly wash bedding in hot water and vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture.

If you're infected with bacteria, you may have symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and fever. These symptoms usually peak within a few days of exposure to the bacteria. If you have a severe bacterial infection, you may need to be hospitalized.

Air Purifiers Solve All of These Problems

The top three most common household air pollutants in America are pollen, dust mites, and pet hair. Among the world of airborne particles, mold spores and bacteria are also very common and particularly harmful to your health. While these airborne particles may not be as problematic for your health as pollen or other allergens in the home, they can still cause a variety of respiratory problems that might require medical attention if left untreated.

The best way to reduce exposure to all of the above is by keeping an air purifier in your home that you use for a couple of hours per day (except during peak allergy season.) Air purifiers are designed to clean the air -- and the best way to handle allergies is not by taking medication, but by targeting the source directly.

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