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I just moved into a cute little cottage near lake Michigan. I never noticed the moldy smell, typical of many cottages near water, before I moved in. My allergies are ramped up and the smell is making me sick. Does anyone know if air purifiers really work and if they would take care of the allergens and the odor? If so what brand and type do you recommend?

Sue asked this
October 4, 2012 at 8:00 AM



Ooh! Interesting question! I'm going to have to google this one.

googling, googling, googling

Okay! The answer I found: Kind of. They can help, but they won't completely solve the problem of either allergies or odor and some are definitely more effective than others.

Allergies: You'll still need to clean your floors and surfaces to remove dust and account for the fact that some allergens like pollen are too heavy to float for long.

Odor: They'll definitely help when they're loaded with several pound of new carbon, but this will lose effectiveness over time so you'll have to stay on top of replacing it.

Best Bets: "Of the ones they recommend, the IQAir HealthPro Plus air purifier garners the most accolades for the best all around air purifier. The Airfree Sterilizer is recommended for virus capture and the Airpura T600 Smoke air purifier is recommended for the removal of smoke and its associated odors." -

Keep In Mind: "One of the major problems associated with air purifiers is the production of a heavy oxygen gas known as ozone. Ozone in the atmosphere serves as a protective layer against harmful solar radiation, but concentrated ozone in a confined space can cause a number of serious health problems. Many air purifiers using electrically-charged plates do generate ozone as part of their process. The health benefits of purified air may not be enough to overcome the potentially harmful effects of ozone-producing air purifiers. Consumers should look for HEPA filtration, low ozone production and some form of air circulation when shopping for air purifiers. The passive electrostatic air purifiers may offer some piece of mind, but very little actual health benefit." -

Erin Froehlich answered
October 9, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Thank you Erin! That was very helpful.

Sue answered
October 10, 2012 at 8:42 AM

I lived in a house in a damp environment and was not in love with the musty smell either. Frequently, you'll find a spot in the house (three in our case) where the mold/mildew is heavy. If you can open that area up and keep it aerated and dry for a while, it'll really help. A good dehumidifier in the basement or hallway works wonders, as does cleaning your windows, floors, wood trim, and surfaces with a thyme based cleaner.

sprouty answered
October 10, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Thanks Sprouty!

Sue answered
October 10, 2012 at 10:44 AM

An air purifier is definately a great investment for older homes to purify and clean the air of allergy causing particles in the air. I've bought 3 and the one i'd recommend is the smallest and cheapest by Holmes you might want to buy several of these I like this one because its cheap to replace the filters compared to the larger and more expensive ones i bought before. I'd also recommend a bigger one that you simply wash the filter and that one I bought was by Honeywell. Also in your central air i'd purchase a high quality allergen filter great investment. Next, clean all your windows with a vinegar solution you can also put this in a spray bottle to clean any damp prone to mold mildew areas such as bathroom. letting your house air out is important too. as well as removing as much allergy causing mold mildew as possible, you can add lemon to the vinegar for a better smell and cleaning power of lemon is very good, bleach can also be used to remove mold growth and then i'd let that dry a day and go over with the lemon vinegar solution. For your allergies I'd take allergen my hellolife and if you have seasonal allergies add local honey to your diet. hope this was helpful.

Kim answered
April 20, 2016 at 12:19 PM
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