About 2 years ago I invested in a not-so-cheap air purifier. It’s rather huge and sits on top of a filing cabinet in my apartment. It sort of looks like a souvenir from an abandoned spaceship. It totally doesn’t blend in well, unless I throw laundry on top of it. 😉
My original intent was to use the air purifier at night to help with my nocturnal asthma symptoms. Anyone with asthma will know that your chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath get worse at night. I figured investing in a good air purifier would help alleviate some of those symptoms– especially with all the never-ending NYC dust.
After reading numerous reviews on air purifiers, the company I went with is Air Purifiers America. I purchased their Alen A350 for 400.00 dollars, which is a lot, but not necessarily a lot for an asthmatic who sometimes struggles to breathe at night.
The air purifier definitely helped me breathe easier. I also really liked the extra noise the purifier created at night, because it helped me sleep better. My neighbor is a noise-maker, so this is a major plus. But the air purifier did much much more…
I was going for my Master of Public Health at NYU when I purchased my air purifier, and during many of my lectures, I would hear about particulate matter and air pollution and all of the oxidants floating around in our overly-polluted air supply. Most striking to me was a study I read showing that particulate matter independently increased the risk for heart disease. Not only that, but particulate matter also increased the chance of dying from heart disease. The study went on to conclude that reducing particulate matter in the air decreases one’s risk of heart disease. Therefore, a major side advantage of sleeping with my air purifier on is that it helps reduce the levels of atmospheric particulate matter, which therefore reduces my risk of cardiovascular disease. Reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease is a practical and effective anti-aging technique, because when your heart functions better and blood flows better through your body, you will be more effective at nourishing your cells and eliminating toxic wastes.
Of course my air purifier cannot eliminate ALL of the particulate matter in my bedroom at night. But mitigating a risk should always be the realistic goal, and my air purifier meets that standard.
My air purifier also eliminates dangerous oxidants floating around in the polluted city air. Lots of people equals lots of construction dust, rat and roach dander, smoke from cigarettes and bongs, weird crap from weird human, etc. When those oxidants are absorbed by your skin, your skin will age. Oxidants damage the skin and age the skin. In fact, one reason I tell everyone to always put on a good facial moisturizer cream FIRST and THEN sunscreen, is because the moisturizer will help protect your skin from oxidants. Sun screen doesn’t. Therefore, having an effective air purifier that eliminates oxidants from the air will also help protect your skin and help maintain its healthy glow. Definitely wear the moisturizer too. ( You can never have too many tricks in your bag. 😉 ).
I want to comment on my air purifier’s “Ionizing” ability. A lot of air purifiers come with an option to ionize. It sounds like a cool sci-fi way to eliminate your haters, but… not so much. 😉
If you decide to try the ionizing option, this means that a voltage will be applied to a series of built-in needles, thereby creating electrons that are discharged into the air and bind to air molecules. When the electrons bind to air molecules, the air molecule becomes charged, and an ion is born. Since electrons are negatively charged, the new ions will have a negative charge. These ions then float around the room and attach to things like smoke particles, dust, pollen, etc., thereby creating larger particles that are easier to filter. NOW, if your HEPA filter is overflowing and needs to get changed, then the “ionizing” option is useless. Always be sure to empty your filter or frequently invest in a new one. (It’s easy to forget to do this, which is why I’m writing out a seemingly obvious tidbit.)
Some popular “ionizing” air purifiers have recently been scrutinized for INCREASING levels of ground ozone in one’s room. I haven’t had issues with this, but if you are concerned, Google eagerly awaits your search.
Serious Wellness-Freaks think that being surrounded by “Negative Ions” is better than being surrounded by “Positive Ions.” I have no idea what they are talking about, but, again, if you are curious, Google awaits your search.
In summary, I am VERY happy with my air-purifier. I think it helps me breathe better, sleep better and keep my skin healthier. It’s not an “anti-aging tool” most people think of, but definitely one I think everyone should invest in.