Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to outdoor or indoor allergens, such as pollen, dust mites or tiny flecks of skin and saliva shed by cats, dogs and other animals with fur or feathers. It is usually at its peak in south-east Australia in spring and early summer. In Queensland, it strikes from December to April, while the pollen-rich air of WA sees cases spike in July and August. In addition to medication and practical advice from organisations such as Asthma Australia, there are some effective items including air purifiers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers and allergy busting vacuums to help you breathe easier this hay fever season.
Starting at around the size of a small speaker and increasing in power depending on the size of the room you want to service, the best air purifiers use a four-step process: a high efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA); a carbon filter that minimises odour and smoke; a pre-filter to tackle dust and pet hair; and a microbe light shield to combat germs, bacteria and even some viruses. Result? Super-clean air that you can regulate with the use of a nifty smartphone app. For larger spaces, try the Samsung AX7500K Air Purifier with Wi-Fi.
Hay fever is a curious beast. Some people need more moisture in their air to combat it, and others need less. If you fall into the first category, a humidifier like the Breville The Smart Mist Humidifier can be a godsend. Essentially they work by putting moisture back into dry air.
Why is this important? Because breathing higher humidity air can relieve the discomfort and symptoms of allergies - that means nasal congestion and irritation could be reduced, or even a thing of the past. The latest humidifiers are also so quiet, you won’t even know they’re there.
Hay fever buddies mould and dust mites thrive in moist environments, such as laundries. Add the humidity found in many parts of Australia – particularly in summer – and you know the itchy-eyed outcome. Dehumidifiers like the DeLonghi 16L Aria Dry Multi Dehumidifier ease that by removing moisture from the air. It features anti-dust and allergy filters built-in, as well as specialist laundry modes and antibacterial bio-silver filtration.
HEPA Vacuum Cleaners
HEPA vacuum cleaners work by filtering the dirt and particles you can’t see, rather than recycling them back into the air. In order to qualify as a HEPA vacuum, they need to trap at least 99.97 per cent of a vacuum’s emissions down to 0.3 microns in size. The leading vacuums on the market today (think the Dyson V15 Detect Total Clean Cordless Vacuum) do away with cords entirely and run on rechargeable batteries for up to an hour. But where things really border on science fiction is the ability to laser scan for microscopic dust, automatically increase suction where needed and sense whether you’re cleaning carpet or floorboards.
“HEPA vacuum cleaners work by filtering the dirt and particles you can’t see, rather than recycling them back into the air. In order to qualify as a HEPA vacuum, they need to trap at least 99.97 per cent of a vacuum’s emissions down to 0.3 microns in size.”
Pet-friendly Wet Vacs
There was once a time that wet vacuuming meant hiring a noisy and ungainly piece of equipment. These days, the tech in wet vacs, such as the Bissell Pro Heat 2 x Revolution Pet, is much smaller, for easier use without sacrificing power or efficiency. Better still, they remove up to 66 times more allergens than a traditional dry vacuum, and floors are dry in an hour. As pet dander – microscopic particles of hair and skin – are a known cause of hay fever, look for a model with modes to conquer anything your hound or moggie can shed (or worse).
To help give hay fever the heave-ho, visit us in-store or online and find out more about the products in this article. Also be sure to check out our spring cleaning guide to help cut down on allergies.
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