Allergy-proof your home this spring

The right vacuum cleaner and air purifier will help you through the season

Published: April 09, 2014 01:30 PM

The worst winter in years could make this one of the worst spring allergy seasons in a while, too. That's because cold weather and lots of snow provides the right conditions for a pollen explosion. That can make heading outdoors tough for people with severe spring allergies. But for many allergy sufferers, pollen works its way into their homes, too. Combating that starts with making sure that your windows and doors close tight. But it can help to have a good air filter and vacuum cleaner too.

This Whirlpool AP51030K portable room air filter did well in our tests.

Indoor air filters

Forced air heating and cooling systems have built-in filters; as the air circulates in your home, the filter can remove particles, such as dust and pollen. It’s worth choosing a filter that traps large and small particles so that it clears the air of as many allergens as possible. Consumer Reports recommends the 3M Filtrete Elite Allergen 2200 MPR ($24). Whatever filter you use, be sure to check it periodically and change it when it looks dirty. Otherwise, you might opt for a portable air purifier for your bedroom—the place where you spend the most time—such as the Whirlpool AP51030K ($300). It is a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

Read about the best ways to treat spring allergies, including how to save money on drugs.

The Kenmore Progressive 31069 upright model was a CR Best Buy.

Vacuum cleaners

Be careful doing housework. Dusting and vacuuming can stir up any pollen that may have snuck in. Using a vacuum cleaner that doesn’t let dust and pollen escape can be helpful. Consumer Reports recommends: Miele S 7210 Twist ($475), Kenmore Progressive 31069 ($200), and Hoover WindTunnel Max UH30600 ($180). They all received excellent emissions ratings.

Editor's Note:

This article also appeared in the May 2014 issue of Consumer Reports on Health.

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