My two older boys share a room and both have allergies. Tyler (age 10) has severe allergies in the springtime to pollen and grass. Ryan (age 6) has dust, mold, and pollen allergies. Ryan also gets asthma and croup whenever he gets sick so by fall and winter time I'm pulling my hair out. Ryan wakes up every morning and sneezes two or three times. I've tried everything. I have tried dusting and vacuuming their room daily. I've tried not doing that. I've tried taking all of the clutter/toys out of the room. I've tried allergy bedding, vitamins, showers every night. You name it, I've tried it. When news of the swine flu came around I was just in a shear panic. I just knew it was going to devastate our family. A simple cold causes enormous problems. We somehow avoided all of that (knock on wood) by dousing them with hand sanitizer, insisting that they take their shoes off and wash their hands as soon as they enter the house, etc. The only other possible measures that I could have taken would have been to set up a decontamination area and hosed them down with hot water and alcohol. That seemed a tad severe, so we opted not to do all of that.
So the only thing that I have not tried was getting an air purifier for their bedroom. I researched those things for weeks and read customer review after customer review. Having done so, I decided to fork over $330 for a RabbitAir BiosGS 421-A (there will be a test later). It took a week to get here and when it did I was like a kid at Christmas. I thought, "now THIS is going to be the answer to all of our problems". A tad hopeful I realize. The air purifier had a lot to live up to. So I opened it up and put the thing together like the instructions said. The filters were quite impressive. Very thick. The unit looks great. I got the metallic blue which I wondered if that would be a mistake but it looks quite good. It comes with a remote and on the front of the unit has an odor sensor (which does work by the way and I'd rather not tell you how I know this LOL). It also has a particle sensor which picks up dust, pollen, etc. It's very quiet too and has lots of settings and options.
So, this thing has been in my kids' room now for 4 days now. My son STILL wakes up sneezing. The air does seem a little fresher in their room. I'm pretty sure there's a LITTLE less dust in there but I do see dust on their television today. My test to see if the thing actually worked or not was to see if my son still woke up sneezing and if we go by that test, the unit has failed miserably. I feel like I've given it quite a fair shake but will continue to monitor how this spring goes. I even tried to get on a live chat on the RabbitAir website on Sunday but it took so long to get a response that I just gave up. I have to admit that I'm a tad bit disappointed. The reviews on Amazon were amazing. People kept saying how great their customer service was and how it was the best money they'd ever spent on their health. You would have thought that this thing made Hellen Keller hear, speak and see. I kind of hate to give this kind of negative review on my blog. The thing looks great, it is very, very quiet, the filters are impressive, but I just don't know if it's working or not for my kids. The unit I bought is the smaller one but it did say that it would cover an area of up to 300 square feet for an allergy or asthma sufferer, and I guess 600 square feet for everyone else.
I like that the unit is flat because it's easy to carry around (has a carrying handle on the back). The air comes in through the front of the unit, through the filters (a pre-filter, a HEPA and an activated charcoal filter) and then the clean air goes up through some vents on the back of the unit. I like that it's not blowing air directly at my kids. The front part of the unit sort of prevents the flow of clean air from going towards anyone in the room.
I do want to give this air purifier a fair shake so I'll take some pictures of the filter pretty soon and post them on here. I guess that will be where the real proof is.
UPDATE: I had to come back and update this post. I started running the air purifier at full speed during the pollen season. Since I've up'ed the speed, the kids' bedroom smells a lot fresher than the rest of the house and my son hasn't had the morning stuffiness that he has always had. Not only that, but he had some type of cold a few weeks ago and we did not suffer through croup and we didn't have to break out the nebulizer for his asthma cough. I can count on one hand the number of times in his life that he has gotten a cold and actually was able to get over it without multiple trips to the doctor's office! I would HIGHLY recommend the Rabbit air purifiers! Yay!