Despite your best efforts at preventing colds, do you frequently suffer from a runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing? Research shows that irritants in the air – not germs – may cause chronic colds.
The best way to find relief may be to follow the lead of allergy sufferers and eliminate as many of those irritants as you possibly can.
Some of the most common and potent irritants are dust mites, microscopic creatures that thrive in warm, moist surroundings like carpeting, upholstery and the insides of mattresses. Researchers say most homes create at least 25 pounds of dust per year for every 1000 square feet of floor area, with each ounce of dust containing upwards of 40,000 mites.
To combat the invasion of mites and other irritants, many consumers turn to portable air cleaners, often with disappointing results.
Studies show that most small air cleaners won’t effectively remove allergens from the air because they don’t have enough air traveling through them. In fact, according to the American Lung Association, “Small [air cleaning] devices are more about hype than air purification.”
For a more effective solution you should perhaps consider a whole-house air cleaner. A whole-home air cleaner is attached to the furnace and installed by a professional contractor. Unlike portable air cleaners, the filter needs to be changed just once a year.
After the initial installation, operating a whole-house air cleaner costs about $40 a year, compared to more than $200 a year for portable units. Many homeowners would need up to 10 portable HEPA air cleaners to equal the effectiveness of one whole-house air cleaner.
For best results with any whole-home air cleaner, run the fan on your heating and cooling system continuously.