It’s 75 degrees F today, the windows are open and there’s a nice cool breeze blowing. Unfortunately, tree and grass pollen are blowing in too. Yup, it’s pollen time here in Wisconsin. If I look outside I can see the grass starting to go to seed.  Our lilacs are also blooming, changing from purple to white. They smell nice, but they give me a sneezing fit. Ever since I started lifting weights in gyms (36 years ago), I’ve paid close attention to indoor air quality. One gym where I worked out was unbelievably stuffy, relying on just two small windows for the entire space. It made it difficult to breathe, and I remember getting headaches halfway through my workouts. Another gym was overly humid with an inadequate HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system. I saw moisture actually dripping from the ductwork onto the treadmills. It was so gross.  Another fitness club had absolutely filthy HVAC registers on the ceiling in the free weights and machines area. In the same gym, the HVAC register in the men’s locker room looked like some kind of science experiment gone wrong. Ick!  

In April, I purchased a  Honeywell HPA 300 HEPA Filter since I was only running my furnace occasionally (I’d open the windows just a crack during the day and close them up at night). What is a HEPA filter? It stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Absorbing filter and High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance filter.  The Honeywell HPA 300 HEPA Filter is a large, lightweight and portable filter that helps capture particles like pet dander, pollen, dust and smoke. It reduces up to 99.9% of certain airborne viruses, bacteria and mold spores, odors. It uses 3 HEPA filters and 1 pre-filter. I recently checked the HEPA filters and noticed they were no longer bright white but a light grey. That tells me it’s doing its job.

Here’s the million dollar question. Have I noticed a difference in air quality with the HEPA Filter running in my workout studio? The answer is YES. Not only does the air smell cleaner but I observe less dust on surfaces that require dusting. Also some of my clients own pets, and I often react with a runny nose within minutes of their arrival. I’m happy to report the nose is less runny.  Lastly, the HEPA filter circulates the air very well without being too noisy.

If you know me, you know that I am particular about my fitness studio. Safety, cleanliness and good air quality are top priorities.  I take pride in the fact that I clean all surfaces with disinfectant cleaning products in between client appointments. If the weather is being reasonable, I open a window, sliding patio door or a screen door to air out my studio.  Using the Honeywell HPA 300 HEPA Filter gives me peace of mind. It’s an extra level of protection for my clients and me. 

* One more thing. Heather reminded me that house plants like Peace Lily, Spider Plant, Snake Plant and Devil’s Ivy all help to improve air quality too.