Calling Dr. Bauer
Dear Dr. Bauer,
I’m considering installing a new heating system in my home and am wondering if a UV or electronic air cleaner would be beneficial to me or is it a waste of money
BK, Las Vegas, NV
Air purification systems are likely to help those with allergy/asthma breath- ing problems rather that those who have COPD/emphysema. Although manufacturers make many claims, there is little scientific proof that air purifiers are helpful.
Electrostatic precipitators are the most heavily promoted purifiers. They use electric charges to trap particles onto filters. They should be used with extreme caution since these devices may emit ozone, a potent respiratory irritant. Never buy an air purifier that is classified as an “ozone generator.” Air filtering systems are the best for trapping dust, pollens and smoke indoors. High efficiency particulate (HEPA) filters are especially helpful and are thought to be more effective.
If you have forced air heating, a whole home air purification system is prefer- able over individual room air cleaners. A whole home system should be professionally installed.
Before you spend hard earned dollars on an air purification system, the American Lung Association recommends less expensive options. These would include banning indoor smoking, keeping pets out of bedrooms, removal of old carpeting, opening windows when possible and use of outdoor venting systems in the bathroom and kitchen.
I hope this information has been helpful to you and I sincerely wish that you and all our Pulmonary Paper members find peace and joy in this upcoming holiday season!