If you ask, can a life with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (progressive lung diseases, like emphysema and bronchitis) be easier with an air purifier? The short answer is yes. Someone suffering from COPD has a reduced airflow to the lungs which makes breathing hard. And the breathing becomes even more painful with the COPD progress. Most common symptoms include chronic cough, shortness of breath, wheezing… The damage this diseases cause to the lungs is irreversible.
It is estimated that more than 12 million people in the United States suffer from COPD. Many more are not even aware of the disease. COPD is a progressive disease, meaning an individual might suffer from it without even knowing. The earlier you catch it the better. COPD is a disease very common in smokers. But you do not even have to be a smoker. Secondhand smoke can be as equally bad. Early diagnosis and fast intervention is the best way to fight COPD. COPD is incurable, but taking medicine and taking care of your air quality can ease your problems. That is why fresh and clean air is important for people suffering from lung problems.
What Is An Air Purifier, And How Can It Help?
An air purifier is used for removing pollutants, allergies, pollen, dust, pet dander, taking care of bad odor, and overall improving the air quality. It works by filtering the air in your room and catching the pollutant particles. This is good for people suffering from COPD since the disease blocks their airways. An air purifier can clean the air and make it more breathable.
An air purifier is not a substitute for any medical treatment. That is why talking to a doctor, right diagnosis, and management is the best thing you can do. But air purifiers can ease your problems with breathing. Indoor air can contain particles (dander, pollen, dust, allergens, chemical) that can narrow your airways and make breathing painful and difficult. Filtering the air helps the lungs reduce stress from irritation. It is important to stop these pollutants on the first line. By removing them from the air and preventing them from entering the lungs.
How does the air purifier work, you might ask? Actually, it is quite straightforward. The device uses internal fans and filters. Fans take the air inside your room and push it into the combination of filters. The number of filters depends on the type of device. Some filters are designed to trap particles like allergens, pollen, dust, mold spores… Others are great for smoke and odors. After the air purifier is done with this simple process of draw and filtering, it gives you back clean and fresh air.
How To Chose The Best Air Purifier For COPD?
As we know, people suffering from COPD have narrow airflow. That is why need to look for a 99% efficient air purifier with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are known for catching particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. Some can even catch 0.1 micron particles! Just to give you a sense of how insane that is. Human hair is about 70 microns in size! If the smoke is bothering you, then look for an activated carbon filter. This filter is ideal for removing smoke, odor, and chemicals.
It is important to state the differences between HEPA and activated carbon filters. HEPA filters are effective for solid particles. Dust, pollen, allergens, mold spores, pet dander… They can remove smell only if the source of the smell is a solid particle. Smoke and odors just go through the filter and go back into your room. However, activated carbon filters are made for smoke and odor. They filter and clean, returning you fresh air. This is ideal for individuals that are exposed to secondhand smoke. It can also filter chemicals that can irritate. Both filters are equally important for people suffering from COPD.
So the first thing before buying an air purifier is to look at the specifications. It is important to know what is causing you the most irritation. Is it dust, pollen, smoke, or maybe chemicals? You need to know what type of particles to target. It is best to go for a device that specifically catches particles known to cause breathing problems. Particles like VOC (volatile organic compounds), allergens, chemicals.
Also, one more thing to state. Some air purifiers can get loud. This might be the problem for the people who are audio-sensitive. On the other hand, there are air purifiers that are almost soundless. This is important to state if you are planning to use an air purifier for better quality sleep.
Medify Air MA-112 V2.0 Air Purifier
AllerAir Air Purifier 5000 DS Sandstone
Alen BreatheSmart 75i
Best Air Purifiers For COPD (Top 5 Devices Reviewed)
1. Medify Air MA-112 V2.0 Air Purifier
This unit has an insane CADR rating of 950! One of the highest! It can cover up to 3700 sq ft. It comes with the new H13 HEPA filter, one of the best HEPA filters on the market. Removing up to 99.9% of airborne particles. This makes it ideal against dust, pollutants like pet dander, odors, smog… The H13 HEPA filter is supported by an activated carbon filter. In just thirty minutes, Medify Air Ma-112 V2.0 is a versatile device that can clean up to 2500 sq ft! It has touch screen panels to control the fan speed, ionizer function, or chose mode (sleep, auto, child lock safety…). The company proves a lifetime warranty. Pros:
- Excellent CADR rating
- H13 HEPA filter
- Great against allergies
- Very quiet
- HEPA filters on both sides
- Sensor can take time to auto-adjust
- CADR is not tested by AHAM
2. AllerAir Air Purifier 5000 DS Sandstone
Stated as Amazon’s Best Seller and the company’s most popular device for a reason! This unit can cover up to 1000 sq ft. AllerAir 5000 DS is specifically designed to catch and absorb harmful particles like chemicals, odors, cigars, wildfires, and cigarette smoke. Micro-HEPA particle filter is combined with carbon filter and UV-C light filter and specially made prefilters. Micro-HEPA filter can trap airborne particles 0.1 microns in size! This is a piece of important information, especially if you are buying an air purifier for COPD. The strongest trump card of the AllerAir 500 DS is the excellent performance. Noise is the only bad side to strong performance. And the higher the setting the louder it gets. If you are too audio-sensitive, then look for other options.
- The performance is top-notch
- High fan power
- High quality
- There are no smart features
- Not budget-friendly due to high power consumption
3. Alen BreatheSmart 75i
A top-notch performance is something this device is proud of. Alen BreatheSmart 75i is equipped with a Pure filter, a true HEPA filter that can catch up to 99.97 particles. The fresh filter is here to improve the Pure filter. Besides, you will get the Pet filter and Healy Oder. The number of filters and their efficiency makes Alen BreatheSmart 75i ideal for people with lung problems. This device can cover up to 1300 sq ft at its highest settings. And 350 sq ft on the lowest! You can sleep with ease since this air purifier creates only 49 decibels at the highest settings. To make the noise bearable, the device produces a pink noise frequency. Pink noise frequency is known for helping people fall asleep. A pink nose may help you with creativity and productivity. If you think all this is impressive, the brand gives a lifetime warranty and a free shipping policy.
- Great performance
- Excellent sq ft coverage
- Very quiet even at the highest settings
- Some competitive devices have higher CADR rating
4. Winix 5500-2
Amazon’s best seller and the company’s most successful model! Winix 5500-2 is excellent for people struggling with allergies or asthma. The four-stage filtration system is great in all situations. True HEPA filter captures up to 99.97% of pollutants (dust mites, pollen, allergens). AOC carbon filter is here to fight against odors and smoke. And it is washable! Plasmawave technology is created for killing bacteria, viruses, and it safely takes apart pollutants and chemical vapors. Smart Sensors are here to monitor your air quality (The VOC sensor detects a variety of odorous particles), and Auto Mode adjusts the fan filter on its own. LED light indicator changes the color depending on the air quality.
- 4-stage filtration system
- TRUE HEPA filter
- Washable activated carbon filter
- Air quality sensors and indicators
- Energy Star Certified
- Loud in turbo mode
- Not designed to pick up heavy particles like pet hair and dust
5. Whirlpool WPPRO2000B
Another Amazon’s Best Seller! It comes with a multi-stage combination of filters. This system works together to catch and remove pollutants in the air. It is good against dust, pet fur, link, VOCs, cooking odors… And it is often recommended to households with pets. Whirlpool WPPRO2000 is awesome against infections and asthma. Which is great for people suffering from COPD. The true HEPA filter is here to capture particles to 0.3 microns in size. The active carbon filter is here to reduce odors and smoke. Sleep mode clears the air at a low speed. It is perfect for bedrooms or offices. This device is marketed as the quietest high-efficiency air purifier.
- True HEPA
- Large coverage area
- High CADR rating
- 100% ozone free
- AMAM approved
- Energy Star Certified
- High maintenance costs
- A bit louder
COPD is third on the list of leading causes of death in the USA. The first two are cancer and heart disease. With 12 million Americans diagnosed with it. And the as same number of people suffering from it, without knowing. COPD is a progressive disease, meaning problems may start even before they show up. Exposure to air pollutants may make things worse. Also, a lot of people spend their time indoors, on average 90% of their time. That is why an air purifier is important for people dealing with COPD. It purifies indoor air, giving you back fresh air. This is important since people with COPD have narrow airflow.
Narrow airflows already make breathing hard on its own. Having air particles flying all over the place and getting into your respiratory system can make life with COPD even worse. However, not every air purifier is suitable for people with COPD.
It is important to look for HEPA filters. They are capable of capturing from 99.97% up to 99.99% airborne particles. If odors and smokes are causing you problems, then look for an activated carbon filter. This type of filter can remove odors, smoke, and chemicals in the air. Choosing a good air purifier can help you with breathing as the clear air goes through narrow airflows. Lastly, have in mind the loudness of the device. A lot of people with COPD like to sleep with an air purifier on. Some devices can get really loud, even on lower settings, while others are quiet even on higher settings.