As an air purifier, the Reme Halo is often purchased by those attempting to rid their home of allergens. For the most part, bacteria and viruses are bought in by people, but allergens can have home-related sources that are more difficult to combat.
Let’s look at the information that is available regarding the effectiveness of Reme Halos against allergies, what you need to be careful of before just accepting the information and the mechanism of action by which allergens are removed by these appliances.
Reme Halos eliminate up to 98% of mold, 99+% of certain fungi, and reduce particulate matter to ISO class 3 levels. The results are from independent labs but were reported by the manufacturer. The mechanism is possible, but the studies are unverified. Most users say the unit helped; some report no change.
What Causes Allergies in the Home?
As plants begin to grow in the spring, many people will begin to develop seasonal allergy symptoms linked to flowering and pollinating plants.
Allergens in the home are most apparent to those who have pets that produce dander. The hair and feathers that pets can shed are a hassle to clean up but it is the dander, which is actually skin flakes, that tend to trigger allergy symptoms in those who are allergic to pets.
Even if you don’t have pets that produce dander, your home can still contain allergens. Other household allergens include dust mites, mold spores, and products shed by cockroaches.
Allergens can be mitigated through intensive cleaning of the various surface of your home, especially those in areas where dust sticks and accumulates (such as curtains, rugs, etc.). Controlling the entry of air into a home will also help to minimize the concentrations of allergens in indoor air.
Unfortunately, however, these methods will not stop all allergens from entering your home, particularly if you have inside pets. This is why many allergy sufferers invest in air purifiers.
Reported Reduction in Allergen Concentrations
The Reme Halo manufacturers have reported that the Reme Halo reduces the concentrations of a variety of allergens.
- One test by the California Microbiology Center found that, in 48 hours, there was a 97-98% reduction in mold in general.
- Kansas State University found a 99+% reduction in Stachybotrys chartarum, a type of fungus.
- Kansas State University also found that, in 24 hours, the air contained less than 1,000 particles (of 0.1 micrometers in size) per cubic meter. This falls into the ISO Class 3 level, which is a clean room standard.
In most cases, the Reme Halo seems to be able to reduce allergens in the first two days after it is activated.
Since allergy symptoms may last a few hours or a few days, it is important to note that, although the Reme Halo may have removed most allergy triggers, you may not feel the effects until a few days after the Reme Halo is installed.
What You Need to Know About the Report
It is important to note that, while the studies carried out by Reme Halo manufacturers evidence that their products work, this evidence is not undeniable.
Results Based on One Study
There were many studies done by a variety of different labs to show how much of an airborne component the Reme Halo can get rid of. However, as far as I can tell, the results per pollutant type were only from one study.
In science, where experiments have countless factors that can influence their results, results can vary drastically from experiment to experiment.
For example, the mold reduction in one experiment can be as high as 99% but on another day, the mold reduction may only be about 30%. This could be a result of different weather patterns, collection methods, times of day, times of the year, unit-to-unit variations, etc.
The data given by Reme Halo may not be true for every single situation a Reme Halo is used in. This means their results cannot be regarded as undeniable facts for every situation.
Mechanism of Action is Possible
Reme Halos sit in your HVAC system in the supply plenum. This means that the air passing through the HVAC system and into the various rooms of your house goes through the air purifier. Furthermore, it means that the products of the Reme Halo are also transported to these rooms.
Reme Halos produce hydrogen peroxide ions via a process known as photohyrdoionization. These ions transfer charges to allergens like pollen and dander, causing them to clump together. When they clump together, they are bigger and heavier.
The increased size means that they are more easily caught and removed by filters in the HVAC system. The greater weight means that they settle out of the air onto surfaces. While this might not seem ideal, it means that they are less likely to be inhaled and they are more readily cleaned up by regular cleaning methods, such as vacuuming and wiping with a wet cloth.
Study Carried out by Independent Lab
Each study done with the Reme Halo lists the lab it was carried out in. These labs were independent and there was a variety of them as well.
This is good for the study since independent labs have less risk of introducing bias (like waiting for favorable conditions or ignoring less than ideal results) into the study.
Reported by Manufacturer
For obvious reasons, the Reme Halo company would like their experimental results to show the reduction of air pollutants to be very high in percent. This would mean that their product is efficient and successful and will sell better.
Even if the results generated by the lab were completely free of bias, the fact that they were reported by the manufacturer introduces the chance for bias.
This isn’t to say that the reported data is completely inaccurate, but it is possible that more favorable data sets were chosen, or if a range of results was given, then the upper range may have been selected for presentation.
What Do Users of Reme Halo Say?
Various reviews note that their allergy symptoms are improved but not entirely gone. Some customers have been able to reduce their allergy medication because of the removal of allergens in their homes.
There are a few reviews where the customer has experienced no change or only a bit of change in their situation. The latter customers remark that the Reme Halo did help with their allergies but not enough to make the symptoms nearly unnoticeable.
The overall impression I get is that, for most, the Reme Halo reduces allergies a noticeable amount but not entirely. For some, the Reme Halo may have little or no impact on allergies but this seems fairly rare.
Can Reme Halo Worsen Allergies?
A valid concern about the Reme Halo is the fact that Reme Halos produce ozone. Ozone, in the right quantities, has respiratory effects and can worsen allergy symptoms, including headaches, coughing, dry throat, and shortness of breath.
There is little reason to fret, though, since the amount of ozone produced by a Reme Halo is very small and is unlikely to have any short or long-term effects on your health.
If you have other devices that produce ozone, though, the concentrations of ozone may be high enough for adverse health effects. This is especially true for those with respiratory conditions such as asthma since overexposure to ozone manifests in various respiratory effects.
Appliances that produce ozone include UV bulbs, refrigerator air purifiers, facial steamers, vegetable washers, and laundry water treaters.
It is unlikely that the installation of the Reme Halo will lead to ozone overexposure but if you have several ozone-producing appliances or a respiratory illness, it is good to be aware of the potential risk.