Allergies, what are they and what to do?


Almost a quarter of us will experience some sort of allergic reaction at some stage in our life with the figures being highest and rising each year amongst children. Symptoms vary from person to person but commonly include runny nose, itchy eyes, wheezing, coughing, a shortage of breath, sinus problems and skin rash. Often these are harmless but severe cases can result in hospitalisation or even unfortunately death. It happens when the body overreacts to normally harmless substances, most commonly pollen, house dust mites, moulds, pet dander, wasp/bee stings, chemicals, medicines and foods.

Allergy suffers have to first know what they are allergic to so that they can avoid contact. Depending on what you are allergic to this can be easier said than done. In the case of food you can choose not to eat them, in the case of medicines you can work with your doctor to avoid them, in terms of the allergens brought to us by nature and allergens that are a bi-product of western industrial life it can be very difficult.

At the top of the list of allergens for many are pollens, pet dander, mould spores, and the house dust mite. All of these will be present in our home and since we spend a huge percentage of our life in our home what can we do to protect ourselves?

Mould spores and dust mites both like the same thing - moisture. If you can keep the relative humidity down then you can stop them from reproducing. Lower reproduction rates will mean that there is less in the air to irritate you. For detailed information on Dust Mites we have a page dedicated just to them here. Using a dehumidifier is the only reliable way to keep the level of relative humidity down low enough to ensure that both mould and dust mites are kept under control. A dehumidifier like the Meaco DD8L benefits from an accurate humidistat to keep the levels down, a silver-nano filter to kill bacteria and an ioniser to help trap particles in it's filter.

So dust mites and mould can be controlled, that leaves pollen, pet dander, and the mould spores and dust mite dander that is floating around before we get the relative humidity under control. This is where a good air purifier comes into play.

Air purifiers do exactly what they say, they are a combination of a fan and a filter and they clean the air. The thing about an air purifier is that you have to remember they generally only do the one room and they tend to only specialise in one group of allergens. So you have to think what you need to clean from the air and whether you can afford multiple units or are you going to concentrate on just the one room?

There are lots of different types of air purifier filters and it can be confusing. Most will of been independently tested to confirm their effectiveness and you should look at this independent data before you buy anything. But just as importantly you need to look at the cost and time required to maintain the air purifier.

Ask yourself and the retailer the following questions.

  • How often do the filters need to be replaced?
  • How much will it cost to replace the filters?
  • What room size can the air purifier control?
  • Once the filter is dirty how effective is the air purifier?
  • How noisy is the air purifier?
  • Can the filters be cleaned?

These are all very important questions because.

Some filters need to be replaced every three months. Replacement filters at £100 per filter set soon becomes a major expense.

Match the air purifier to your room, too small an air purifier in a room will result in a poor performance and the problem will not be solved.

As the filter becomes clogged with dirt it's effectiveness will reduce and it's ability to clean the air will reduce. If you leave the filter then then air purifier will not be doing it's job, dirt could escape back into the room and you have a machine that is not doing the job that you bought it for.

Most people look to put their air purifier into their bedroom because that is the room in the house where you spend the most time. But if it has a noise level above 38dB we doubt that you would want to sleep with it!

Filters that can be cleaned increase the interval between having to buy new ones and save you money.

The Meaco Airvax and the Airfree

When we looked at which air purifiers we might like to put our name to and sell to our customers we wanted something that did not involve expensive filter changes for customers and we wanted something that you could live with and use long term. We also wanted something that offered a wide range of protection to users whilst at the same time still being effective against each individual type of allergen. Not an easy task.

The Meaco Airvax is different to all other air purifiers in that it offers effective protection against both particles and chemicals, it is quiet enough to use in the bedroom, the filter can be cleaned and will last up to three years and it looks great!

The performance of the Meaco Airvax has been proven time and time again in independent tests and we are satisfied that it is a good enough product to carry the Meaco name. Further details can be found here.

The Airfree range of air purifiers work in a different way, they have no filter at all. Instead the Airfrees' have a tube in their core which is heated to 400°F. This creates a natural convection point within the room so the air slowly works it's way through the Airfree, allergens are destroyed by the heat and the air comes out of the top of the Airfree with 99.9% of all microrganisms having been destroyed.

The Airfree has again been tested by independent laboratories, the results are not as fast as fan assisted air purifiers but they are impressive. Further details can be found here.

A dual pronged attack is best

So a combination of a dehumidifier to help keep the level of moisture down and provide partial cleaning of the air combined with an air purifier like the Meaco Airvax can provide effective relieve against the causes of allergic reactions.

If you have any questions on the air purifiers then please do contact us on free call 0500 418458 or email us via We would be delighted to hear from you. For further details on allergies we recommend the Allergy UK website.

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