Have you heard of the September Asthma Peak? Until recently I had no idea that September saw such a dramatic increase in the number of asthma flare ups in children. In fact, some studies have shown that prescriptions for asthma medication are twice as high in September than they are in August! Why the sudden increase? Well there are a few things that contribute to it. First, allergies are a big trigger for most kids with asthma and there are certain pollens in the air in September than can cause a flair up. Another factor is that many people get lax with the preventative asthma medication (steroid inhaler) over the summer. So when you combine that with going back to school and being in a room full of germy kids – it’s not a great mix.
Our daughter has asthma, but since she’s not old enough to be in school yet we haven’t had to deal with that back to school virus spreading overload that September brings. No, our little one is in daycare five days a week all year long so she is constantly exposed to all kinds of wonderful bugs. She’s had some pretty awful flare ups over the years but, luckily, by being diligent with her inhaler and making some smart lifestyle changes we’ve managed to get her asthma under control. In fact we were recently able to cut her steroid use in half (never change your child’s dosage without consulting with your doctor first).
Something in the Air
I have an entire post about helping parent manage their child’s asthma. One of the tips I talk about, and it’s one that has made a huge difference for our daughter, is investing in an air purifier. When we think of air pollution we usually think about outdoor air. And it’s true that outdoor air at time, when it’s full of pollens and smog, can be pretty dangerous for people with asthma. But when you consider that the average person spends 90% of their time indoors it just makes sense that we also pay attention to indoor air quality as well. Of course keeping your house as dust and allergen free as you can is important and an air purifier can’t pull the dust mites out of your carpet but it can make a significant difference in the air quality of your home.
Which air purifier is right for you? Just like most products these days there are a lot of options out there and a lot of products that make some pretty big promises. It can be difficult to know which one to choose.
AeraMax from Fellowes Canada
A little about the AeraMax:
The AreaMax line uses a combination of the most effective filtration and cleaning methods as part of a 4-stage filtration process to remove 99.97 per cent of airborne pollutants and particles down to 0.3 microns in size. This level of performance makes it the perfect clean air solution for any space up to 300 square feet.
Cutting-edge technologies provide maximum protection, including:
- A Four-Stage Purification System, which captures 99.7% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns
- AeraSafe™ Antimicrobial Treatment that offers built-in protection from the growth of odour causing bacteria, mildew and fungi on True HEPA filter
- An AeraSmart™ Senor that monitors the air quality and automatically adjusts the fan speed to keep your air purified. Blue, amber and red lights indicate the purity of your air
- Aera+™ Mode, which is designed for peak allergy conditions and increases air flow by up to 50% compared to the lowest speed setting
- Filter Change Indicators that let you know when it’s time to replace your filters
- A Carbon Filter that removes odours and captures large airborne particulates
- A True HEPA Filter that captures the tiniest particles and impurities including: mold spores, pollen, dust mites, most airborne microbes, allergens and cigarette smoke
The AeraMax is not the first air purifier I’ve used. When we bought our first air purifier the AeraMax didn’t exist. Instead I had to do a ton of research to find one that we felt would be a good investment. When it comes to products like this, products that I have to depend on to do what they claim, I’m most likely to go with a brand I already know and trust. Fellowes is one of those brands. I’ve been an executive administrator for a lot of years and have seen first hand the quality that comes with Fellowes products. So when I had the opportunity to try out the Fellowes AeraMax I was pretty confident that it wouldn’t let me down.
I was also reassured that the Aeramax is a quality product when I saw the sticker telling me it is certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.They don’t hand those out to just anyone.
Let’s talk about style. I know that probably isn’t, and maybe shouldn’t be, your first consideration when picking an air purifier. But it just so happens that the AeraMax, when it comes to air purifiers, is pretty stylish. It’s sleek enough to blend into your home without looking like you have an industrial piece of equipment in your room.
The AeraMax is also surprisingly quiet. Most of the time you won’t even hear it at all. Because of it’s built in sensors the fan runs on low most of the time and only picks up when it senses pollutants in the air that it needs to deal with. And even when the fan is running on a higher speed it’s still very quiet.
Another feature I love about the AeraMax, one that my other purifier doesn’t have, is how easy it is to get to the filters. In my older machine I have to take the whole unit apart to get to the filters. With the AeraMax you just slide them out of the side of the machine. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Let’s talk about controls. Some of the air purifiers you can get either have no options at all or there are so many you feel like you need to pull out the manual every time you need to adjust anything.
With the AeraMax you can pretty much just plug it in and walk away. Most of the time you will probably run it in auto mode, because of the built in sensors the AeraMax takes care of everything. But if you feel that you need more “air purification” at any given time you can do that too. The Aera+ Mode can be turned on during peak allergy season and will increase the air turnover rate by 50% versus low fan setting. You can also just tap on the fan speed adjustment buttons to increase circulation anytime you wish. There are indicators for both filters to let you know when it’s time to change them.
I decided that a great way to put the AeraMax to the test was to do some much needed house cleaning the day I received it. With a four year old, two cats and a carpenter husband, cleaning can stir up a lot of dust (and other things) around here. It was pretty evident that the sensors were doing their job. When I was sweeping up dust, cat hair and who knows what else from under the love seat that hadn’t been moved in some time I noticed that the fan picked up to deal with the dust I was creating. I spent most of the afternoon cleaning (and still didn’t finish by the way) while my daughter, with asthma, played closed by. I didn’t hear a single cough (her most predominant asthma symptom) all day.
With the recent addition of two cats in our home, and with cold and flu season on our heels, I’m grateful to have another weapon in our arsenal to help keep our family, and especially our asthmatic daughter, healthy. I actually picked up a very nasty cold at the office last week and, fingers crossed, nobody else at home has caught it from me.
The AeraMax comes in several models to fit every budget and home. You can find out more about them on the Fellowes Canada website.
I was provided with compensation and/or product to facilitate this review. Opinions are 100% my own.
Win your own AeraMax
I’m thrilled to tell you that Fellowes Canada will be giving one lucky Mommy Outside reader an AeraMax of their own. To enter fill out the Rafflectopter form below.
And for more chances to win be sure to join us for the #PurifyYourAir Twitter party on September 15th. You can find all the details and RSVP here.
Giveaway is open to Canadian residents (except Quebec) age 18+.