Over the next few weeks we will be discussing the triggers that can spoil Christmas for allergic people. Learn more about how you can help reduce the triggers that can cause unpleasant symptoms and which products might be a better option for Christmas gifts. We start with air pollutants and how they can affect allergies.

We learned the hard way when our children were small and the Christmas tree had to be hauled outside, decorations and all. We weren't aware at that time what it was that was causing the problem, but now realise it's not just the Christmas tree that can cause trouble.

How an air purifier can help reduce airborne allergens at Christmas

Moulds have been found to grow on natural Christmas trees. Many people nowadays bring the tree in several weeks before Christmas and this can make the difference between an allergic person tolerating it and it causing unpleasant symptoms.

When the trees are brought into the house and are warmed up the moulds that are on the needles and the bark will start to grow and release mould spores into the air. At about two weeks after bringing the tree in the mould spores have multiplied to the extent that they can cause serious symptoms in asthmatic people and those who are mould sensitive or have chemical sensitivity. Not only can moulds be an irritant to the respiratopry system, they can also be toxic. Moulds produce VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which is one reason that they affect people with chemical sensitivity. 

It's not just moulds that can cause allergic reactions or sensitivities over Christmas. Triggers include:

 ~ Mould and mould spores from sources other than Christmas trees 
 ~ Airborne particles including dog and cat allergens
 ~ Smoke particles
 ~ Bacteria
 ~ Viruses
 ~ Dust mites and their faeces
 ~ Pollutants from open fires or wood stoves
 ~ Car fumes particularly diesel fumes
 ~ Fragranced toileteries and candles
 ~ Chemicals particularly VOCs - from new plastics, PVC, new electrical equipment.

Make sure you have an air purifier than can deal with the most likely substances in the indoor air

Here at The Healthy House, we can’t overstate the benefits of using an air purifier at home or work. Tackling a range of allergens, particles and pollutants, air purifiers take away unwanted impurities, so you can breathe air that’s pure and clean. We believe that everyone can benefit from an air purifier, particularly those with allergies and chemical sensitivities.

There are several options of air purifier that we offer and your choice will depend on the allergens or particles that you wish to remove. Some of these options are:

Air Sterilisers: These units don't have filters but either sterilise the air using a heating element (the Airfree range) or use hydroxyl radicals with a UV light and titanium dioxide to eliminate bacteria, mould and fungi, viruses, dust mites, allergens and harmful VOCs giving you clean healthy air (Hextio). The Airfrees are perfect for controlling moulds but not suitable for chemical removal. The Hextio is a great all rounder with the capacity to neutralise moulds, chemicals and particles.

Advanced Air Purifiers: These air purifiers have a HEPA filter to remove particles and activated carbon to remove standard chemicals as well as either an enhanced activated carbon filter (Blueair 203) or Plasmawave Technology (Winix P Range) to  effectively remove VOCs, solvents and formaldahyde.  Please see the specs on each machine to confirm which features are included.

Broad Range Specialist Air Purifer: The Airvax has a special SEFF filter that will not only capture a wide range of particles it will also remove smells, mould and a wide range of chemicals. This unit is suitable for a small room only.

Hextio Air Steriliser Air Purifier with Sterilising Reactor Chamber

 ~ The Hextio destroys harmful VOC’s, viruses and bacteria, mould and fungi, fine dust particles and allergens
 ~ Reactor chamber sterilises the air
 ~ Enhanced pollution destruction including smoke, diesel fumes and nitrogen dioxide
 ~ Hextio is compact, stylish, cost effective, fully automatic & super efficient
 ~ Visual air quality indicator, automatic mode and sleep mode for peaceful sleeping
 ~ Can be all mounted or free standing
 ~ Ideal for one room use - up to 20 m2

Airfree Air Sterilisers for rooms from 16m2 up 60 m2 - from £94.00

The Airfree Air Sterilisers have the following benefits:

 ~ An incinerator removes bacteria, mould and particles from the air instead of trapping them in a filter
 ~ Perfect for the removal of airborne allergens, viruses and bacteria.
 ~ They are completely silent
 ~ No moving parts and no filters to replace
 ~ (Not suitable for chemical removal)

Winix P Range of air purifiers suitable for rooms from 15 m2 - 45 m2- from £179.99

 ~ True HEPA filter to remove up to 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns including dust, pollen, pet dander, mould spores,
    smoke particles and other allergens.
 ~ activated carbon filter which removes smoke and household odours for a fresher indoor environment.
 ~ sophisticated PlasmaWave technology - producing hydroxyl radicals that neutralize bacteria, moulds, volatile organic                compounds, odours and chemical gases including traffic fumes giving you clean healthy air.

Blueair Air 203 Purifier with Smokestop Filter (Enhanced Activated Carbon Filter) - £255.00

Why would the Blueair 203 with SmokeStop filter be so beneficial?

 ~ The Blueair units have a robust steel casing. For people who are sensitive to plastics this is a definite advantage.
 ~ The SmokeStop filter removes gases, VOCs and formaldehyde that can aggravate breathing or symptoms of multiple                chemical sensitivity.
 ~ The HEPASilent filter removes particles down to 0.1 micron leaving clean air free of tiny particles that can be breathed in.
 ~ The Blueair is quiet when in use.
 ~ Suitable for a room up to 37 m2.
 ~ 5 year manufacturer's guarantee.

Meaco Airvax Air Purifier - available in Black or White - with SEFF Filter - £139.99

The Meaco Airvax has a revolutionary long-lasting SEFF filter. This special filter will:

 ~ capture up to 99.9% of particles in the air, including dust, smoke, odours, bacteria, mould, carbon monoxide and VOCs.
 ~ remove smells, moulds, viruses, carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke, car exhaust gases, allergens, formaldehyde, toluene, 
    benzene, pollens, germs and bacteria.
 ~ cleans rooms up to 13 m2.
 ~ filter lasts up to 3 years.

The Airvax comes in both black and white, has a remote control and operates on 12 volts so can be used in both your home and in your  car. 

Christmas Pollutants Air