One of the most common causes of allergies, dust mites present a big irritant for many. If you’re seeking relief there are a number of options available and some include natural remedies that can treat surfaces like your bed and fabric. However, there’s still the problem of lingering airborne particles they produce.
Do air purifiers help with dust mites? I have some great news, and I’ll explain more in detail below.
Understanding dust mites and the allergens they produce
What is a dust mite?
Measuring only about 1/4 to 1/3 of a millimeter, they’re far too small to see with only your eyes and no magnifying glass or microscope. Resembling translucent or almost white bugs, the mites have 8 legs are similar to spiders are classed not as insects but as arthropods.
One of the reasons they thrive so well in homes is because they do well in optimal temperatures of about 68 to 77 degress Farenhiet (20-25 degrees Celsius), and especially humidity levels of around 70-80%. Mainly they feed on the tiny fragments of skin that humans and your pets produce daily. Not surprisingly these skin particles end up between threads and deep within layers in furniture, your bed, carpets, and even stuffed toys and clothing.
Dust mite allergens
It’s the waste products as well as the body parts of the mites that cause an allergic reaction for many humans. As they die their dead bodies and waste are left behind, and as clothing, furniture, and bedding, are disturbed it can become airborne where it may cause skin, nose, and other symptoms when it contacts humans and even enter the lungs.
The difficulty of dealing with dust mite allergen byproducts
Obviously, due to the tiny size they are difficult to treat and deal with properly. The main difficulty lies in the microscopic sizes of the dust mite body and fecal matter which is the primary allergen source. Studies have shown sizes ranging from 5 to 40 micrometers (or sometimes called “microns”). 1 micron = 1/100,000 meter. No sprays, deodorizers, or fans can help with the problem.
The other is that even if the mite population is destroyed, allergens still will remain and will continue to cause allergy suffering in people in the home. The optimal solution is the removal of these allergens.
The role of an air purifier – how it can help
Air purifiers work by pulling air through a series of filter sections using a small fan and ultimately do not only circulate the air in a room, but they reduce dust mite problems by actually filtering and trapping these mite allergens.
In order to do so a filter capable of trapping particles as small as the 5 microns mentioned earlier (and below) is necessary. The industry standard is the highly efficient particulate air (HEPA) filter, a standardized type of filter which must meet the following requirements:
Filter and trap elements as small as 0.3 microns
Must trap 99.97% of all particles in the air that moves through the filter
This means if over a period of time that air containing 10,000 particles and substances moves into the filter only 3 will escape! An excellent amount of filtration.
A true HEPA filter must meet these requirements – hence as you can see it is critical to have one that meets these criteria in order to reduce your allergy suffering. Note also that most typically are also bundled with or attached to 2 other filter sections: one for filter larger elements (like air, larger dust particles, and so on) and a carbon filter with traps chemical substances like odor-causing chemicals or organic chemical matter. Dust mite allergens will be no problem in this case.
Owners of air purifiers have reported relief and noticeably better breathing air in their home or other rooms after using on. Note that it is critical to replace the filter after some time to restore the filtering ability after a large amount of mite matter has been trapped.
To answer the question – do air purifiers help with dust mites?