1. You live in an energy-efficient building
Ventilation is key to good air quality. Energy-efficient buildings may be particularly at risk of poor air quality; due to thorough sealing and caulking of buildings, pollutants are more likely to become trapped. Many new-build and well-insulated homes are very energy-efficient, which is great for saving you money, but may encourage the proliferation of mould spores and dust mites due to increased warmth and humidity.
2. You have a pet
We love our furry friends, but they can come with downsides. According to Allergy UK, domestic pets are the second biggest allergy trigger in the home. The allergens (found in the animal's saliva, urine and sweat) becomes airborne easily and can last in the home long after the pets have gone, causing sympoms in humans which may include sneezing and wheezing.
What's more, pet fur and litter trays can also create a very unpleasant odour which you may even have become accustomed to. Look for an air purifier like the Fellowes PT65 Pet (£149.99 with free HomeCleanse spray for a limited time only) which tackles both the pet allergens and the smell. An activated carbon filter is ideal for reducing odours.
3. You live with a smoker who won’t quit
If you live with someone who smokes, it goes without saying you should try to get them to stop or, at the very least, smoke outside. However, this can be very much easier said than done! You may even have a neighbour whose smoking is affecting your own health.
Some powerful air purifiers will actually help to reduce the impact of second-hand smoking, although it cannot be denied that smoking in any form is detrimental to health. You'd need to look for a model which tackles gases, VOCs and odours. The SmokeStop™ range of BlueAir air purifiers is especially designed for environments with heavy gaseous pollutants - be sure to choose a unit appropriate for your room size.
4. You have a baby or child
Regardless of whether or not your baby or child has respiratory problems, an air purifier is still a worthy investment.
Developing lungs are much more susceptible to irritants and it makes sense to give your baby or child the best start in life by allowing them to breathe pure, clean air free from toxic pollutants.
5. You have mould in your home
Mould allergy can cause many unpleasant symptoms, ranging from wheezing to panic attacks. Even if you're not allergic to mould, it's still unhealthy to breathe in mould-infested air.
We recommend looking for an air steriliser (such as a unit from the Airfree or Radic8 range) as they incinerate the mould spores rather than filtering them away.
6. You are chemically sensitive
Your indoor air can contain a whole host of chemicals that nature didn't intend us to inhale. VOCs can be emitted from everyday items such as household solvents, paint, aerosols, cleaning products, office equipments. Formaldehyde can be 'off-gassed' from, for example, chemically-treated mattresses, nail varnish, glues and certain kinds of pressed wood.
Pthalates can be released from common plastic-based household products, such as shower curtains, vinyl flooring, adhesives and PVC. If you're chemically sensitive you could be experiencing all sorts of symptoms, from headaches to itching skin.
Even if you're not chemically sensitive, it's still a wise idea to remove these particles from the air you breathe due to their unknown potential long-term health effects. Look for an air purifier which is able to remove chemicals and gases if this affects you. The Roomaid air purifiers, and other units that remove chemicals are particularly good at removing these.
7. You have hay fever
If hay fever symptoms are a barrier to a good night's sleep for you, then an air purifier can help by filtering the pollen spores away. Keep windows closed at night when possible and use an air purifier to create a 'safe haven'.
8. You’re allergic to dust mites
Dust mites cause no symptoms for many people but if you're allergic, you might experience signs such as sneezing and wheezing which tends to be worse in the morning. Air purification can complement dust mite reduction methods such as using barrier cases, allergy sprays and a dehumidifier. Air sterilisers (such as those from the Airfree and Radic8 ranges) are particularly beneficial for dust mite allergy as they can incinerate the mites and their allergenic faeces.
9. You and your family are prone to colds and viruses
If you have children at school or you work in a large, poorly-ventilated office you may feel like your family is constantly battling bugs and colds. Look for an air purifier with a UV filter or an air steriliser to help combat bacteria and viruses. You could use one at home to help prevent illnesses spreading amongst the family, or even use one in your workplace.
10. You have a fireplace/wood burner
Burning fuels like oil, gas, coal, wood and kerosene can release combustion by-products such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Look for an air purifier with advanced chemical removal to help reduce the impact of these by-products.
11. You’ve just moved into a new home
New building materials, kitchen fittings, carpets, vinyl flooring, paint...the list of items that may be hazardously 'off-gassing' chemicals is endless!
That lovely 'new house smell' is actually anything but. Breathing in Volatile Organic Compounds like formaldehyde may have long-term health-effects and in the short term can be an allergy trigger and respiratory irritant.
It's thought that carpets can off-gas for up to 3 years and building materials for up to 5 years. An air purifier which removes chemicals and gases is therefore a worthwhile choice.
12. You live near a farm or a road
Living close to a farm or busy road can be toxic. Crop spraying could result in you inhaling potentially hazardous pesticides and exhaust fumes can even affect you indoors. Again, an air purifier which takes care of chemicals and gases is the one to choose when tackling this particular issue. The HeavenFresh HF380 or Radic8 range are excellent for gas and chemical filtration.