Asthma and Allergy Prevention with a HEPA Air Purifier

boy-inhaler-lrgAsthma and allergies are increasing in children. Coughing, sneezing, congestion, wheezing, shortness of breath, headaches and tiredness can be a miserable experience for your child (and for you, too). Untreated allergies can lead to other illnesses such as ear infections and sinusitis, so it’s important to deal with the allergy symptoms while removing the allergens from your child’s environment. A good HEPA Air Purifier is essential if anyone in your family has asthma or allergies.

Allergens and chemicals that can trigger asthma and allergies include pollen, mold, mildew, animal dander, dust mites, cockroaches, smoke, and heavy metals and chemicals in dust. Formaldehyde and other chemical off-gassing from carpets, particleboard, and pressed-wood furniture can also trigger asthma. PCBs and plastics containing phthalates and BPA are also known to increase the risk of asthma.

Allergens can often be worse inside your home than outside, but there are things you can do to improve the quality of the air in your home. See Indoor Air Pollution: How to Protect Your Children

If you or your child are suffering from allergies or asthma, a HEPA air purifier is important to use, since it’s designed to remove the tiny particles that trigger an allergic reaction. HEPA filters are significantly better at removing these tiny particles than the ionic and electronic air cleaners.

There are many HEPA air purifier products on the market with a wide range of prices. Be cautious about the cheap ones since they probably won’t do a good job of removing the allergens. With air purification, you certainly get what you pay for.

HEPA filters will do a great job of capturing particles, but not the VOCs. To also remove formaldehyde and other VOCs, (off-gassing) you will need an air purifier with at least 6 lbs. of activated carbon combined with potassium iodide. Air purifiers with plain activated carbon or granulated carbon are not as effective in removing VOCs. Photocatalytic air purifiers can also work well to remove VOCs, but they can be quite expensive.

We did a lot of research and thoroughly shopped around before choosing the Austin Air purifiers. They are the best purifiers for allergies, asthma, and reducing off-gassing in the home.

All Austin air purifiers have true HEPA particle filters. The Austin Allergy Machine is great for clearing asthma and allergy irritants – it has High Efficiency Gas Adsorption (HEGA) – a combination of military carbon cloth and true medical HEPA. But for also removing formaldehyde and other chemical gases, I recommend the Healthmate Plus. Most homes have a substantial amount of formaldehyde lingering in the air. The Healthmate Plus does an excellent job of removing asthma and allergy triggers, in addition to formaldehyde, and other chemical gases and odors. It can remove up to 3000 toxic chemicals, gases, vapors and fumes. It’s the best air purifier for protecting babies, children and people with chemical sensitivities.

The Austin Air HealthMate Plus has 60 sq/ft of true HEPA medical filter medium that removes harmful airborne particles. It also contains 15 lbs. of solid activated carbon and zeolite impregnated with potassium iodide to remove harmful odors & gases. The inch-thick barrier of carbon/zeolite/potassium iodide mix acts like a sponge, scrubbing hazardous gases from the air, before they reach the HEPA paper. No other air purifier does this. There is also a pre-filter that traps larger particles such as dirt, lint & hair.

The HealthMate Plus comes in two sizes:

HealthMate Plus Jr (effective for an area up to 700sq/ft – most bedrooms)

HealthMate Plus (effective for an area up to 1500sq/ft – large living areas)

With any of the Austin air purifiers you get a 5-year pro-rated filter warranty, by far the most comprehensive in the industry. With other companies, you likely have costly filter replacements every few months or years. But Austin Air filters are designed to last for 5 years. This makes the Austin air filters cheaper to own than every other carbon-HEPA air purifier on the market, while it is the most efficient. You can buy lower quality units at cheaper prices, but the cost of ownership will eventually exceed the cost of owning an Austin air cleaner, and it won’t do nearly as good a job of cleaning your air.

If you or your children have chemical sensitivities, allergies, asthma or other breathing problems, it is completely worth it to try an Austin HEPA air purifier. Try it out and see if it helps. Most people can feel the results within a few days. If not you can return it within 30 days for a full refund less $25 and the return shipping.


  1. Patrick K says

    I’m curious – what about the impacts of driving in vehicles, especially as hotter weather hits and we crank the AC – is there some sort of filtration (other than built-in cabin filters) that can be utilized? Or just roll the windows down and hope for fresh air?

    • Krista says

      Good question. I have often wondered the same thing. 2/3 of my children have asthmas and allergies, and I have found prevention is the best key (knowing and avoiding triggers). We have never been able to roll the windows down when we drive because it seems to affect my kids more negatively than the A/C.

  2. Erin says

    With the Austin air filter do you only change the filter every 5 years? If not, what is the annual/ monthly upkeep for this filter? Thanks!

    • Jane Sheppard says

      Yes, you only need to change it every 5 years. No monthly or annual upkeep so it ends up being less expensive than the cheaper ones where you have to keep changing the filters.


  3. Jayme DERRYBERRY says

    I thought my 7yr old was suffering from allergies because of her constant running nose, sneezing, cough and fatigue but it is actually her asthma. Her allergist recommending being more proactive with her medications. However after reading this article, a HEPA air filter is a great way to prevent exacerbations that is NOT a medication but a simple preventative measure. I must have one! This could really help my daughter, who rarely has a day when she feels normal. I never would have thought of an air purifier for asthma prevention. Thanks for the information!

  4. Bethany says

    How often should you run the air purifier? I want one for my son. We know he has issues with foods and we are just starting to realize the environmental ones as well.

    • Jane Sheppard says

      It’s recommended to run the air purifier continuously to keep the air clean at all times. It doesn’t take much electricity. On low, it’s very quiet and on high the sound is equivalent to a normal conversation.

  5. says

    Having asthma, I understand what this article and have air purifiers throughout my house. Some other considerations to add is keeping the basement dry by using a basement dehumidifier to prevent mold, a well known asthma trigger. Other ways to limit mold: fix leaks ASAP; keep home dry; make specifically that bathroom is kept dry.
    In other areas, do not use strong chemicals around children/folks with asthma. Cleaning needs to be done with natural products or green products. Natural products include: Borax, baking soda, Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide. I found a green, completely safe and biodegradable all around cleaner: Vital Oxide that kills a multitude of bacteria with no harsh odors.
    The best air purifier on the market hands down is the of IQAir NewAddition Health Care Pro Plus. If you want there is also a model with a multiple chemical sensitivity feature. These are expensive but are worth every penny. Austin air purifiers are excellent choices also. However, IQAir sets the standard for air purifiers on the market producing the cleanest air of all air purifiers. That is what asthmatics need.

    • Jane Sheppard says

      A humidifier does nothing to remove allergens and can create more allergy problems since mold, mildew and dust mites flourish when there is high humidity in the home. You also have to be careful with contaminated water sitting in a humidifier. It can release bacteria and fungi into the air. A better way to help allergy and cold symptoms is with nasal irrigation, such as a neti pot.


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