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How to Choose an Air Purifier and Pay For It With Your HSA/FSA

How to Choose an Air Purifier and Pay For It With Your HSA/FSA

How to Choose an Air Purifier and Pay For It With Your HSA/FSA

How to Choose an Air Purifier and Pay For It With Your HSA/FSA

Air quality is one of the most important — and underlooked — variables for at-home health. If you’re thinking about buying an air purifier, breathe easy with our how to guide.

Air quality is one of the most important — and underlooked — variables for at-home health. If you’re thinking about buying an air purifier, breathe easy with our how to guide.

Air quality is one of the most important — and underlooked — variables for at-home health. If you’re thinking about buying an air purifier, breathe easy with our how to guide.

Air quality is one of the most important — and underlooked — variables for at-home health. If you’re thinking about buying an air purifier, breathe easy with our how to guide.

December 18, 2023
December 18, 2023
December 18, 2023
December 18, 2023
Sam O'Keefe
Co-founder & CEO of Flex
Sam O'Keefe
Co-founder & CEO of Flex
Sam O'Keefe
Co-founder & CEO of Flex
Sam O'Keefe
Co-founder & CEO of Flex
Flex Wynd Air Purifier
Flex Wynd Air Purifier
Flex Wynd Air Purifier

Overview

The importance of indoor air quality has gained a lot of attention in recent years, for good reason: Mold, allergens, chemicals, and other airborne particulates can cause a range of health issues, including respiratory and heart disease, impact your cognitive function, and even contribute to cancer.

This has led to increased popularity for air purifiers, from HVAC systems at the office, to home-based options, and even personal, portable ones. Generally speaking, these devices remove contaminants from the air, creating a healthier and more comfortable living environment. 

Understanding what the options are and how they work is crucial for making informed decisions, especially when it comes to choosing an air purifier that may be covered by your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Savings Account (FSA).

What We’ll Cover About Air Purifiers

In this article, we will review a wide range of questions about HSA and FSA eligible air purifier units, such as:

  • The health impacts of poor air quality

  • What air purifiers actually do

  • What you should look for when purchasing an air purifier

  • How to use an air purifier

  • Whether air purifiers are HSA and FSA eligible

  • How to use your HSA and FSA to pay for your air purifier

…and more.

Health Impacts of Poor Air Quality

According to a 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) report, air pollution has become the world's single biggest environmental health risk. In fact, it is estimated that about 7 million people die each year as a result of air pollution exposure (both in the environment and at home).


You can think of air similarly to the quality of food you eat or beverages you drink — if you consume bad meat or polluted water, that will inevitably affect your body. Likewise, the characteristics of the air we breathe determines the health of the lungs, and in turn, the rest of our organs.

Health benefits of air purifiers

There is a lot of research looking at the effectiveness of air purifiers for improving health. We’ll highlight a few below: 

What Does an Air Purifier Do?

Air purifiers work by various technologies and mechanisms to capture or eliminate particles, allergens, and pollutants in the air. 

Particle sizes of particular importance

First, let’s talk about size. Typically, the human eye can see things, like dust, down to about 25 microns in size. For context, a single hair is roughly 70 microns. We’re focused on matters much smaller, but of greater importance.

Particles that range from 0.3 to 0.9 microns are of health concern because they can get past the small hairs that act as filters in our breathing passages but are too large to be easily exhaled. Common particles in this range include tobacco smoke, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, auto exhaust, metallic fumes, mold spores, and textile dust.

This size of particle can become lodged in lung tissue, leading to a wide range of health problems from headaches and dizziness to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

How do air purifiers work?

Air purifiers commonly use mechanical filtration, which involves a physical barrier to trap particles. You’ve probably heard of High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which are widely used and capable of capturing particles as small as 0.3 micrometers — such as dust mites and allergens — with an efficiency of 99.97%. 

Another popular technology is electrostatic precipitation, where charged plates attract and capture particles as they pass through. This method is effective for smaller particles — as small as 0.01 microns — and was originally designed for cleaning industrial fumes. Meanwhile, ultraviolet (UV) light technology is employed to kill bacteria, viruses, and mold spores by disrupting their DNA structure.

Lastly, activated carbon filters play a vital role in the adsorption of gasses and odors. These have a porous structure that attracts and physically traps gas molecules, effectively eliminating unpleasant smells and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). 

Some advanced air purifiers combine multiple technologies to provide comprehensive air purification.

Which common health issues can air purifiers help with?

Air purifiers play a vital role in addressing common health issues related to airborne allergens, pollutants, and irritants. 

These devices are beneficial for individuals suffering from respiratory conditions such as asthma and allergies, can reduce the risk of respiratory infections, lessen the impact of environmental pollutants, and ultimately, create a healthier living environment.

Can air purifiers help children and babies?

Air purifiers are particularly useful for children and babies, who are typically more vulnerable than adults to the effects of indoor pollutants. 

Young children, especially infants, have developing respiratory and immune systems, making them more susceptible to respiratory issues. A good air purifier significantly reduces the risk of respiratory infections, asthma exacerbations, and allergies in children.

Air purifiers and pets

For pet owners, air purifiers are essential in managing indoor air quality by effectively capturing pet dander and neutralizing odors. Specially designed models for pets contribute to a healthier living space, ensuring that pet owners can enjoy the companionship of their furry friends without compromising on air quality.

What Should You Look for When Purchasing an Air Purifier?

Choosing the right air purifier requires consideration of a few key factors. Here are some factors to consider to make sure it fits your needs and is eligible for HSA or FSA reimbursement.

  • Coverage Area: Determine the square footage of the room where you intend to use the air purifier. Models are designed for different room sizes so you want one with appropriate coverage.


  • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR): The CADR rating indicates how quickly the device can clean the air in a specific-sized room. Look for a model with a CADR that matches your room's size to achieve efficient air purification.


  • Filter Replacement: Note the ease of replacement and the cost of new filters. Some air purifiers have washable or reusable options, while others require regular replacement. Factor in ongoing maintenance costs when making your decision.


  • Noise Level: Consider the noise level of the air purifier, especially if you plan to use it in a bedroom or a quiet space. 


  • Energy Efficiency: Opt for an energy-efficient air purifier to minimize electricity consumption. Energy Star-certified models are a good choice, as they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency.


  • Filtration Technology: Depending on your specific needs, choose an air purifier with suitable filtration technology. HEPA filters are effective against particles, while activated carbon filters are excellent for removing odors and gasses.

Smart Features: Some modern air purifiers come equipped with smart features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile apps, and voice control. These features enhance convenience and allow you to monitor and control the device remotely.

How to Use an Air Purifier

Once you've selected the best air purifier for you, understanding how to use it effectively is crucial to maximizing its benefits. Follow these steps for optimal usage:

  • Placement: Position the air purifier in a location where it can circulate air efficiently. Avoid placing it behind furniture or in corners, as this can impede airflow. Getting an air purifier for your kids' room is a good idea, especially if you live in an area with low air quality or your children have respiratory issues.


  • Proper Sizing: As noted above, make sure the air purifier is appropriately sized for the room. Using an undersized unit may result in inadequate cleaning, while an oversized one can waste energy.


  • Adjust Settings: Some air purifiers come with adjustable settings such as fan speed, timer, and various modes. Higher fan speeds provide faster purification but may generate more noise. Experiment with settings to find the right balance for your preferences. 


  • Regular Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for filter replacement and general maintenance. Regularly clean or replace filters to ensure the air purifier continues to operate efficiently.


  • Monitor Air Quality: You’ll want to test the air quality ahead of getting a filtration device, and ideally measure how well the air purifier is working once up and running. This will give you a before and after evaluation. Some advanced air purifiers feature built-in air quality sensors or you may want to get a standalone device. Whichever you use, monitoring real-time air quality allows you to adjust settings as needed.


  • Use in Specific Scenarios: Consider using the air purifier in specific scenarios, such as during high pollen seasons, when cooking, or after home renovations. Tailor the usage to address specific air quality concerns in your environment.

Are Air Purifiers HSA and FSA Eligible?

Air purifiers are generally not eligible for reimbursement through HSA or FSA accounts. However, a qualified medical professional can prescribe air purifiers for a specific medical condition. 

Isn’t that a sigh of relief?

When could an air purifier be prescribed as a medical necessity?

Air purifiers may be prescribed for various health conditions where improved indoor air quality can directly treat or prevent the medical issue. Some examples include:

  • Asthma: Individuals with asthma may benefit from air purifiers to reduce airborne triggers such as dust mites, pet dander, and pollen, helping to minimize the risk of asthma attacks.


  • Allergies: People suffering from allergies, whether triggered by pollen, mold spores, or pet allergens, could receive a prescription for an air purifier to alleviate symptoms and create a more allergy-friendly environment.


  • Chronic Respiratory Conditions: Individuals with chronic respiratory conditions, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or bronchitis, may be prescribed air purifiers to minimize exposure to airborne irritants and pollutants.


  • Immunocompromised Individuals: Those with compromised immune systems, such as individuals undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplant recipients, may be prescribed air purifiers to create a cleaner environment and reduce the risk of infections.


  • Severe Allergic Reactions: People prone to severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, may be recommended air purifiers to minimize exposure to airborne allergens that could trigger life-threatening reactions.


  • Environmental Sensitivities: Individuals with heightened sensitivities to environmental pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), may benefit from air purifiers prescribed to reduce exposure and improve overall well-being.

How to use your HSA and FSA to pay for air purifiers (the old slow way)

To potentially qualify for reimbursement, a medical professional must provide a Letter of Medical Necessity (LOMN) stating that the air purifier is necessary for the treatment of a specific health condition. 

Here is how the typical process works without using Flex (a much easier and more seamless process we cover below). When considering if your HSA or FSA will cover your air purifier, keep the following in mind:

  • Consult with a Medical Professional: Before making any purchase, consult with your healthcare provider to determine if an air purifier is a recommended solution for your specific health needs.


  • Keep Documentation: If your healthcare provider recommends an air purifier, ensure that you obtain a letter of medical necessity. Keep all documentation, including receipts and invoices, to support your claim for reimbursement.


  • Understand Restrictions: Some HSA and FSA plans may have restrictions on the types of air purifiers that qualify for reimbursement. Ensure that the model you choose meets the criteria outlined by your plan.

Why It’s Easier to to Pay For Air Purifiers With Flex

Flex simplifies the order process for at-home air purifiers.

Here’s how it works

If you order an air purifier from a company that is partnered with Flex we will check your eligibility for a Letter of Medical Necessity. When you go to checkout, a doctor’s appointment takes place: 

  1. Fill out a short eligibility form, sharing relevant information with Flex’s medical team. 

  2. If you qualify, Flex sends the LOMN to you via email.

  3. Then, simply enter your HSA or FSA card details and complete the purchase. 

That’s it. For your HSA, there is no need to collect receipts or submit for reimbursement! Note that in some cases, your FSA may ask for further details, like a receipt.

Ready to buy an air purifier? Consider our partner, WYND, which offers some of the highest-quality, AI-powered solutions out there.

WYND: Air Quality Essentials That Elevate Your Living Space

Ray Wu experienced problems caused by bad air quality while living in Beijing, where he describes the air smelling like scorched metal and feeling like his throat was coated with dust.

He then set out to create an intelligent air purifier that could sense the air and clean it as needed, wherever he was. That’s what led him to start WYND, which offers an AI-powered air quality monitor and several medical grade purifiers. Using a combination of antimicrobial pre-filters interlaced with silver, an activated carbon layer, and HEPA filter, WYND’s air purifiers kill germs and remove particulates and gasses, including allergens, mold, toxic odors, and air pollution.

Both Wynd and Flex are passionate about enabling healthy spaces for everyone. With our new partnership, WYND purifiers are now more accessible when using your HSA or FSA dollars via Flex.

Curious what else you can use your HSA and FSA for? We have a guide for other medical and wellness products you can purchase, such as fitness and sleep trackers, genetic tests, and a whole host of other items.

Ready to Buy an Air Purifier With Your HSA/FSA?

Food, water, air. So many of us obsess over what we put in our bodies — we drink filtered water and eat organic food — but how often do we really consider the quality of the air we breathe? 

That’s what makes air purifiers a natural choice for healthier living, they are versatile devices that address a myriad of health concerns. Ready to upgrade the air you breathe? Believe us — you’ll feel the difference.

You can shop HSA/FSA eligible WYND Air Purifiers here.

Overview

The importance of indoor air quality has gained a lot of attention in recent years, for good reason: Mold, allergens, chemicals, and other airborne particulates can cause a range of health issues, including respiratory and heart disease, impact your cognitive function, and even contribute to cancer.

This has led to increased popularity for air purifiers, from HVAC systems at the office, to home-based options, and even personal, portable ones. Generally speaking, these devices remove contaminants from the air, creating a healthier and more comfortable living environment. 

Understanding what the options are and how they work is crucial for making informed decisions, especially when it comes to choosing an air purifier that may be covered by your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Savings Account (FSA).

What We’ll Cover About Air Purifiers

In this article, we will review a wide range of questions about HSA and FSA eligible air purifier units, such as:

  • The health impacts of poor air quality

  • What air purifiers actually do

  • What you should look for when purchasing an air purifier

  • How to use an air purifier

  • Whether air purifiers are HSA and FSA eligible

  • How to use your HSA and FSA to pay for your air purifier

…and more.

Health Impacts of Poor Air Quality

According to a 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) report, air pollution has become the world's single biggest environmental health risk. In fact, it is estimated that about 7 million people die each year as a result of air pollution exposure (both in the environment and at home).


You can think of air similarly to the quality of food you eat or beverages you drink — if you consume bad meat or polluted water, that will inevitably affect your body. Likewise, the characteristics of the air we breathe determines the health of the lungs, and in turn, the rest of our organs.

Health benefits of air purifiers

There is a lot of research looking at the effectiveness of air purifiers for improving health. We’ll highlight a few below: 

What Does an Air Purifier Do?

Air purifiers work by various technologies and mechanisms to capture or eliminate particles, allergens, and pollutants in the air. 

Particle sizes of particular importance

First, let’s talk about size. Typically, the human eye can see things, like dust, down to about 25 microns in size. For context, a single hair is roughly 70 microns. We’re focused on matters much smaller, but of greater importance.

Particles that range from 0.3 to 0.9 microns are of health concern because they can get past the small hairs that act as filters in our breathing passages but are too large to be easily exhaled. Common particles in this range include tobacco smoke, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, auto exhaust, metallic fumes, mold spores, and textile dust.

This size of particle can become lodged in lung tissue, leading to a wide range of health problems from headaches and dizziness to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

How do air purifiers work?

Air purifiers commonly use mechanical filtration, which involves a physical barrier to trap particles. You’ve probably heard of High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which are widely used and capable of capturing particles as small as 0.3 micrometers — such as dust mites and allergens — with an efficiency of 99.97%. 

Another popular technology is electrostatic precipitation, where charged plates attract and capture particles as they pass through. This method is effective for smaller particles — as small as 0.01 microns — and was originally designed for cleaning industrial fumes. Meanwhile, ultraviolet (UV) light technology is employed to kill bacteria, viruses, and mold spores by disrupting their DNA structure.

Lastly, activated carbon filters play a vital role in the adsorption of gasses and odors. These have a porous structure that attracts and physically traps gas molecules, effectively eliminating unpleasant smells and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). 

Some advanced air purifiers combine multiple technologies to provide comprehensive air purification.

Which common health issues can air purifiers help with?

Air purifiers play a vital role in addressing common health issues related to airborne allergens, pollutants, and irritants. 

These devices are beneficial for individuals suffering from respiratory conditions such as asthma and allergies, can reduce the risk of respiratory infections, lessen the impact of environmental pollutants, and ultimately, create a healthier living environment.

Can air purifiers help children and babies?

Air purifiers are particularly useful for children and babies, who are typically more vulnerable than adults to the effects of indoor pollutants. 

Young children, especially infants, have developing respiratory and immune systems, making them more susceptible to respiratory issues. A good air purifier significantly reduces the risk of respiratory infections, asthma exacerbations, and allergies in children.

Air purifiers and pets

For pet owners, air purifiers are essential in managing indoor air quality by effectively capturing pet dander and neutralizing odors. Specially designed models for pets contribute to a healthier living space, ensuring that pet owners can enjoy the companionship of their furry friends without compromising on air quality.

What Should You Look for When Purchasing an Air Purifier?

Choosing the right air purifier requires consideration of a few key factors. Here are some factors to consider to make sure it fits your needs and is eligible for HSA or FSA reimbursement.

  • Coverage Area: Determine the square footage of the room where you intend to use the air purifier. Models are designed for different room sizes so you want one with appropriate coverage.


  • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR): The CADR rating indicates how quickly the device can clean the air in a specific-sized room. Look for a model with a CADR that matches your room's size to achieve efficient air purification.


  • Filter Replacement: Note the ease of replacement and the cost of new filters. Some air purifiers have washable or reusable options, while others require regular replacement. Factor in ongoing maintenance costs when making your decision.


  • Noise Level: Consider the noise level of the air purifier, especially if you plan to use it in a bedroom or a quiet space. 


  • Energy Efficiency: Opt for an energy-efficient air purifier to minimize electricity consumption. Energy Star-certified models are a good choice, as they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency.


  • Filtration Technology: Depending on your specific needs, choose an air purifier with suitable filtration technology. HEPA filters are effective against particles, while activated carbon filters are excellent for removing odors and gasses.

Smart Features: Some modern air purifiers come equipped with smart features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile apps, and voice control. These features enhance convenience and allow you to monitor and control the device remotely.

How to Use an Air Purifier

Once you've selected the best air purifier for you, understanding how to use it effectively is crucial to maximizing its benefits. Follow these steps for optimal usage:

  • Placement: Position the air purifier in a location where it can circulate air efficiently. Avoid placing it behind furniture or in corners, as this can impede airflow. Getting an air purifier for your kids' room is a good idea, especially if you live in an area with low air quality or your children have respiratory issues.


  • Proper Sizing: As noted above, make sure the air purifier is appropriately sized for the room. Using an undersized unit may result in inadequate cleaning, while an oversized one can waste energy.


  • Adjust Settings: Some air purifiers come with adjustable settings such as fan speed, timer, and various modes. Higher fan speeds provide faster purification but may generate more noise. Experiment with settings to find the right balance for your preferences. 


  • Regular Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for filter replacement and general maintenance. Regularly clean or replace filters to ensure the air purifier continues to operate efficiently.


  • Monitor Air Quality: You’ll want to test the air quality ahead of getting a filtration device, and ideally measure how well the air purifier is working once up and running. This will give you a before and after evaluation. Some advanced air purifiers feature built-in air quality sensors or you may want to get a standalone device. Whichever you use, monitoring real-time air quality allows you to adjust settings as needed.


  • Use in Specific Scenarios: Consider using the air purifier in specific scenarios, such as during high pollen seasons, when cooking, or after home renovations. Tailor the usage to address specific air quality concerns in your environment.

Are Air Purifiers HSA and FSA Eligible?

Air purifiers are generally not eligible for reimbursement through HSA or FSA accounts. However, a qualified medical professional can prescribe air purifiers for a specific medical condition. 

Isn’t that a sigh of relief?

When could an air purifier be prescribed as a medical necessity?

Air purifiers may be prescribed for various health conditions where improved indoor air quality can directly treat or prevent the medical issue. Some examples include:

  • Asthma: Individuals with asthma may benefit from air purifiers to reduce airborne triggers such as dust mites, pet dander, and pollen, helping to minimize the risk of asthma attacks.


  • Allergies: People suffering from allergies, whether triggered by pollen, mold spores, or pet allergens, could receive a prescription for an air purifier to alleviate symptoms and create a more allergy-friendly environment.


  • Chronic Respiratory Conditions: Individuals with chronic respiratory conditions, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or bronchitis, may be prescribed air purifiers to minimize exposure to airborne irritants and pollutants.


  • Immunocompromised Individuals: Those with compromised immune systems, such as individuals undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplant recipients, may be prescribed air purifiers to create a cleaner environment and reduce the risk of infections.


  • Severe Allergic Reactions: People prone to severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, may be recommended air purifiers to minimize exposure to airborne allergens that could trigger life-threatening reactions.


  • Environmental Sensitivities: Individuals with heightened sensitivities to environmental pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), may benefit from air purifiers prescribed to reduce exposure and improve overall well-being.

How to use your HSA and FSA to pay for air purifiers (the old slow way)

To potentially qualify for reimbursement, a medical professional must provide a Letter of Medical Necessity (LOMN) stating that the air purifier is necessary for the treatment of a specific health condition. 

Here is how the typical process works without using Flex (a much easier and more seamless process we cover below). When considering if your HSA or FSA will cover your air purifier, keep the following in mind:

  • Consult with a Medical Professional: Before making any purchase, consult with your healthcare provider to determine if an air purifier is a recommended solution for your specific health needs.


  • Keep Documentation: If your healthcare provider recommends an air purifier, ensure that you obtain a letter of medical necessity. Keep all documentation, including receipts and invoices, to support your claim for reimbursement.


  • Understand Restrictions: Some HSA and FSA plans may have restrictions on the types of air purifiers that qualify for reimbursement. Ensure that the model you choose meets the criteria outlined by your plan.

Why It’s Easier to to Pay For Air Purifiers With Flex

Flex simplifies the order process for at-home air purifiers.

Here’s how it works

If you order an air purifier from a company that is partnered with Flex we will check your eligibility for a Letter of Medical Necessity. When you go to checkout, a doctor’s appointment takes place: 

  1. Fill out a short eligibility form, sharing relevant information with Flex’s medical team. 

  2. If you qualify, Flex sends the LOMN to you via email.

  3. Then, simply enter your HSA or FSA card details and complete the purchase. 

That’s it. For your HSA, there is no need to collect receipts or submit for reimbursement! Note that in some cases, your FSA may ask for further details, like a receipt.

Ready to buy an air purifier? Consider our partner, WYND, which offers some of the highest-quality, AI-powered solutions out there.

WYND: Air Quality Essentials That Elevate Your Living Space

Ray Wu experienced problems caused by bad air quality while living in Beijing, where he describes the air smelling like scorched metal and feeling like his throat was coated with dust.

He then set out to create an intelligent air purifier that could sense the air and clean it as needed, wherever he was. That’s what led him to start WYND, which offers an AI-powered air quality monitor and several medical grade purifiers. Using a combination of antimicrobial pre-filters interlaced with silver, an activated carbon layer, and HEPA filter, WYND’s air purifiers kill germs and remove particulates and gasses, including allergens, mold, toxic odors, and air pollution.

Both Wynd and Flex are passionate about enabling healthy spaces for everyone. With our new partnership, WYND purifiers are now more accessible when using your HSA or FSA dollars via Flex.

Curious what else you can use your HSA and FSA for? We have a guide for other medical and wellness products you can purchase, such as fitness and sleep trackers, genetic tests, and a whole host of other items.

Ready to Buy an Air Purifier With Your HSA/FSA?

Food, water, air. So many of us obsess over what we put in our bodies — we drink filtered water and eat organic food — but how often do we really consider the quality of the air we breathe? 

That’s what makes air purifiers a natural choice for healthier living, they are versatile devices that address a myriad of health concerns. Ready to upgrade the air you breathe? Believe us — you’ll feel the difference.

You can shop HSA/FSA eligible WYND Air Purifiers here.

Overview

The importance of indoor air quality has gained a lot of attention in recent years, for good reason: Mold, allergens, chemicals, and other airborne particulates can cause a range of health issues, including respiratory and heart disease, impact your cognitive function, and even contribute to cancer.

This has led to increased popularity for air purifiers, from HVAC systems at the office, to home-based options, and even personal, portable ones. Generally speaking, these devices remove contaminants from the air, creating a healthier and more comfortable living environment. 

Understanding what the options are and how they work is crucial for making informed decisions, especially when it comes to choosing an air purifier that may be covered by your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Savings Account (FSA).

What We’ll Cover About Air Purifiers

In this article, we will review a wide range of questions about HSA and FSA eligible air purifier units, such as:

  • The health impacts of poor air quality

  • What air purifiers actually do

  • What you should look for when purchasing an air purifier

  • How to use an air purifier

  • Whether air purifiers are HSA and FSA eligible

  • How to use your HSA and FSA to pay for your air purifier

…and more.

Health Impacts of Poor Air Quality

According to a 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) report, air pollution has become the world's single biggest environmental health risk. In fact, it is estimated that about 7 million people die each year as a result of air pollution exposure (both in the environment and at home).


You can think of air similarly to the quality of food you eat or beverages you drink — if you consume bad meat or polluted water, that will inevitably affect your body. Likewise, the characteristics of the air we breathe determines the health of the lungs, and in turn, the rest of our organs.

Health benefits of air purifiers

There is a lot of research looking at the effectiveness of air purifiers for improving health. We’ll highlight a few below: 

What Does an Air Purifier Do?

Air purifiers work by various technologies and mechanisms to capture or eliminate particles, allergens, and pollutants in the air. 

Particle sizes of particular importance

First, let’s talk about size. Typically, the human eye can see things, like dust, down to about 25 microns in size. For context, a single hair is roughly 70 microns. We’re focused on matters much smaller, but of greater importance.

Particles that range from 0.3 to 0.9 microns are of health concern because they can get past the small hairs that act as filters in our breathing passages but are too large to be easily exhaled. Common particles in this range include tobacco smoke, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, auto exhaust, metallic fumes, mold spores, and textile dust.

This size of particle can become lodged in lung tissue, leading to a wide range of health problems from headaches and dizziness to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

How do air purifiers work?

Air purifiers commonly use mechanical filtration, which involves a physical barrier to trap particles. You’ve probably heard of High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which are widely used and capable of capturing particles as small as 0.3 micrometers — such as dust mites and allergens — with an efficiency of 99.97%. 

Another popular technology is electrostatic precipitation, where charged plates attract and capture particles as they pass through. This method is effective for smaller particles — as small as 0.01 microns — and was originally designed for cleaning industrial fumes. Meanwhile, ultraviolet (UV) light technology is employed to kill bacteria, viruses, and mold spores by disrupting their DNA structure.

Lastly, activated carbon filters play a vital role in the adsorption of gasses and odors. These have a porous structure that attracts and physically traps gas molecules, effectively eliminating unpleasant smells and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). 

Some advanced air purifiers combine multiple technologies to provide comprehensive air purification.

Which common health issues can air purifiers help with?

Air purifiers play a vital role in addressing common health issues related to airborne allergens, pollutants, and irritants. 

These devices are beneficial for individuals suffering from respiratory conditions such as asthma and allergies, can reduce the risk of respiratory infections, lessen the impact of environmental pollutants, and ultimately, create a healthier living environment.

Can air purifiers help children and babies?

Air purifiers are particularly useful for children and babies, who are typically more vulnerable than adults to the effects of indoor pollutants. 

Young children, especially infants, have developing respiratory and immune systems, making them more susceptible to respiratory issues. A good air purifier significantly reduces the risk of respiratory infections, asthma exacerbations, and allergies in children.

Air purifiers and pets

For pet owners, air purifiers are essential in managing indoor air quality by effectively capturing pet dander and neutralizing odors. Specially designed models for pets contribute to a healthier living space, ensuring that pet owners can enjoy the companionship of their furry friends without compromising on air quality.

What Should You Look for When Purchasing an Air Purifier?

Choosing the right air purifier requires consideration of a few key factors. Here are some factors to consider to make sure it fits your needs and is eligible for HSA or FSA reimbursement.

  • Coverage Area: Determine the square footage of the room where you intend to use the air purifier. Models are designed for different room sizes so you want one with appropriate coverage.


  • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR): The CADR rating indicates how quickly the device can clean the air in a specific-sized room. Look for a model with a CADR that matches your room's size to achieve efficient air purification.


  • Filter Replacement: Note the ease of replacement and the cost of new filters. Some air purifiers have washable or reusable options, while others require regular replacement. Factor in ongoing maintenance costs when making your decision.


  • Noise Level: Consider the noise level of the air purifier, especially if you plan to use it in a bedroom or a quiet space. 


  • Energy Efficiency: Opt for an energy-efficient air purifier to minimize electricity consumption. Energy Star-certified models are a good choice, as they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency.


  • Filtration Technology: Depending on your specific needs, choose an air purifier with suitable filtration technology. HEPA filters are effective against particles, while activated carbon filters are excellent for removing odors and gasses.

Smart Features: Some modern air purifiers come equipped with smart features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile apps, and voice control. These features enhance convenience and allow you to monitor and control the device remotely.

How to Use an Air Purifier

Once you've selected the best air purifier for you, understanding how to use it effectively is crucial to maximizing its benefits. Follow these steps for optimal usage:

  • Placement: Position the air purifier in a location where it can circulate air efficiently. Avoid placing it behind furniture or in corners, as this can impede airflow. Getting an air purifier for your kids' room is a good idea, especially if you live in an area with low air quality or your children have respiratory issues.


  • Proper Sizing: As noted above, make sure the air purifier is appropriately sized for the room. Using an undersized unit may result in inadequate cleaning, while an oversized one can waste energy.


  • Adjust Settings: Some air purifiers come with adjustable settings such as fan speed, timer, and various modes. Higher fan speeds provide faster purification but may generate more noise. Experiment with settings to find the right balance for your preferences. 


  • Regular Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for filter replacement and general maintenance. Regularly clean or replace filters to ensure the air purifier continues to operate efficiently.


  • Monitor Air Quality: You’ll want to test the air quality ahead of getting a filtration device, and ideally measure how well the air purifier is working once up and running. This will give you a before and after evaluation. Some advanced air purifiers feature built-in air quality sensors or you may want to get a standalone device. Whichever you use, monitoring real-time air quality allows you to adjust settings as needed.


  • Use in Specific Scenarios: Consider using the air purifier in specific scenarios, such as during high pollen seasons, when cooking, or after home renovations. Tailor the usage to address specific air quality concerns in your environment.

Are Air Purifiers HSA and FSA Eligible?

Air purifiers are generally not eligible for reimbursement through HSA or FSA accounts. However, a qualified medical professional can prescribe air purifiers for a specific medical condition. 

Isn’t that a sigh of relief?

When could an air purifier be prescribed as a medical necessity?

Air purifiers may be prescribed for various health conditions where improved indoor air quality can directly treat or prevent the medical issue. Some examples include:

  • Asthma: Individuals with asthma may benefit from air purifiers to reduce airborne triggers such as dust mites, pet dander, and pollen, helping to minimize the risk of asthma attacks.


  • Allergies: People suffering from allergies, whether triggered by pollen, mold spores, or pet allergens, could receive a prescription for an air purifier to alleviate symptoms and create a more allergy-friendly environment.


  • Chronic Respiratory Conditions: Individuals with chronic respiratory conditions, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or bronchitis, may be prescribed air purifiers to minimize exposure to airborne irritants and pollutants.


  • Immunocompromised Individuals: Those with compromised immune systems, such as individuals undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplant recipients, may be prescribed air purifiers to create a cleaner environment and reduce the risk of infections.


  • Severe Allergic Reactions: People prone to severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, may be recommended air purifiers to minimize exposure to airborne allergens that could trigger life-threatening reactions.


  • Environmental Sensitivities: Individuals with heightened sensitivities to environmental pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), may benefit from air purifiers prescribed to reduce exposure and improve overall well-being.

How to use your HSA and FSA to pay for air purifiers (the old slow way)

To potentially qualify for reimbursement, a medical professional must provide a Letter of Medical Necessity (LOMN) stating that the air purifier is necessary for the treatment of a specific health condition. 

Here is how the typical process works without using Flex (a much easier and more seamless process we cover below). When considering if your HSA or FSA will cover your air purifier, keep the following in mind:

  • Consult with a Medical Professional: Before making any purchase, consult with your healthcare provider to determine if an air purifier is a recommended solution for your specific health needs.


  • Keep Documentation: If your healthcare provider recommends an air purifier, ensure that you obtain a letter of medical necessity. Keep all documentation, including receipts and invoices, to support your claim for reimbursement.


  • Understand Restrictions: Some HSA and FSA plans may have restrictions on the types of air purifiers that qualify for reimbursement. Ensure that the model you choose meets the criteria outlined by your plan.

Why It’s Easier to to Pay For Air Purifiers With Flex

Flex simplifies the order process for at-home air purifiers.

Here’s how it works

If you order an air purifier from a company that is partnered with Flex we will check your eligibility for a Letter of Medical Necessity. When you go to checkout, a doctor’s appointment takes place: 

  1. Fill out a short eligibility form, sharing relevant information with Flex’s medical team. 

  2. If you qualify, Flex sends the LOMN to you via email.

  3. Then, simply enter your HSA or FSA card details and complete the purchase. 

That’s it. For your HSA, there is no need to collect receipts or submit for reimbursement! Note that in some cases, your FSA may ask for further details, like a receipt.

Ready to buy an air purifier? Consider our partner, WYND, which offers some of the highest-quality, AI-powered solutions out there.

WYND: Air Quality Essentials That Elevate Your Living Space

Ray Wu experienced problems caused by bad air quality while living in Beijing, where he describes the air smelling like scorched metal and feeling like his throat was coated with dust.

He then set out to create an intelligent air purifier that could sense the air and clean it as needed, wherever he was. That’s what led him to start WYND, which offers an AI-powered air quality monitor and several medical grade purifiers. Using a combination of antimicrobial pre-filters interlaced with silver, an activated carbon layer, and HEPA filter, WYND’s air purifiers kill germs and remove particulates and gasses, including allergens, mold, toxic odors, and air pollution.

Both Wynd and Flex are passionate about enabling healthy spaces for everyone. With our new partnership, WYND purifiers are now more accessible when using your HSA or FSA dollars via Flex.

Curious what else you can use your HSA and FSA for? We have a guide for other medical and wellness products you can purchase, such as fitness and sleep trackers, genetic tests, and a whole host of other items.

Ready to Buy an Air Purifier With Your HSA/FSA?

Food, water, air. So many of us obsess over what we put in our bodies — we drink filtered water and eat organic food — but how often do we really consider the quality of the air we breathe? 

That’s what makes air purifiers a natural choice for healthier living, they are versatile devices that address a myriad of health concerns. Ready to upgrade the air you breathe? Believe us — you’ll feel the difference.

You can shop HSA/FSA eligible WYND Air Purifiers here.

Overview

The importance of indoor air quality has gained a lot of attention in recent years, for good reason: Mold, allergens, chemicals, and other airborne particulates can cause a range of health issues, including respiratory and heart disease, impact your cognitive function, and even contribute to cancer.

This has led to increased popularity for air purifiers, from HVAC systems at the office, to home-based options, and even personal, portable ones. Generally speaking, these devices remove contaminants from the air, creating a healthier and more comfortable living environment. 

Understanding what the options are and how they work is crucial for making informed decisions, especially when it comes to choosing an air purifier that may be covered by your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Savings Account (FSA).

What We’ll Cover About Air Purifiers

In this article, we will review a wide range of questions about HSA and FSA eligible air purifier units, such as:

  • The health impacts of poor air quality

  • What air purifiers actually do

  • What you should look for when purchasing an air purifier

  • How to use an air purifier

  • Whether air purifiers are HSA and FSA eligible

  • How to use your HSA and FSA to pay for your air purifier

…and more.

Health Impacts of Poor Air Quality

According to a 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) report, air pollution has become the world's single biggest environmental health risk. In fact, it is estimated that about 7 million people die each year as a result of air pollution exposure (both in the environment and at home).


You can think of air similarly to the quality of food you eat or beverages you drink — if you consume bad meat or polluted water, that will inevitably affect your body. Likewise, the characteristics of the air we breathe determines the health of the lungs, and in turn, the rest of our organs.

Health benefits of air purifiers

There is a lot of research looking at the effectiveness of air purifiers for improving health. We’ll highlight a few below: 

What Does an Air Purifier Do?

Air purifiers work by various technologies and mechanisms to capture or eliminate particles, allergens, and pollutants in the air. 

Particle sizes of particular importance

First, let’s talk about size. Typically, the human eye can see things, like dust, down to about 25 microns in size. For context, a single hair is roughly 70 microns. We’re focused on matters much smaller, but of greater importance.

Particles that range from 0.3 to 0.9 microns are of health concern because they can get past the small hairs that act as filters in our breathing passages but are too large to be easily exhaled. Common particles in this range include tobacco smoke, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, auto exhaust, metallic fumes, mold spores, and textile dust.

This size of particle can become lodged in lung tissue, leading to a wide range of health problems from headaches and dizziness to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

How do air purifiers work?

Air purifiers commonly use mechanical filtration, which involves a physical barrier to trap particles. You’ve probably heard of High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which are widely used and capable of capturing particles as small as 0.3 micrometers — such as dust mites and allergens — with an efficiency of 99.97%. 

Another popular technology is electrostatic precipitation, where charged plates attract and capture particles as they pass through. This method is effective for smaller particles — as small as 0.01 microns — and was originally designed for cleaning industrial fumes. Meanwhile, ultraviolet (UV) light technology is employed to kill bacteria, viruses, and mold spores by disrupting their DNA structure.

Lastly, activated carbon filters play a vital role in the adsorption of gasses and odors. These have a porous structure that attracts and physically traps gas molecules, effectively eliminating unpleasant smells and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). 

Some advanced air purifiers combine multiple technologies to provide comprehensive air purification.

Which common health issues can air purifiers help with?

Air purifiers play a vital role in addressing common health issues related to airborne allergens, pollutants, and irritants. 

These devices are beneficial for individuals suffering from respiratory conditions such as asthma and allergies, can reduce the risk of respiratory infections, lessen the impact of environmental pollutants, and ultimately, create a healthier living environment.

Can air purifiers help children and babies?

Air purifiers are particularly useful for children and babies, who are typically more vulnerable than adults to the effects of indoor pollutants. 

Young children, especially infants, have developing respiratory and immune systems, making them more susceptible to respiratory issues. A good air purifier significantly reduces the risk of respiratory infections, asthma exacerbations, and allergies in children.

Air purifiers and pets

For pet owners, air purifiers are essential in managing indoor air quality by effectively capturing pet dander and neutralizing odors. Specially designed models for pets contribute to a healthier living space, ensuring that pet owners can enjoy the companionship of their furry friends without compromising on air quality.

What Should You Look for When Purchasing an Air Purifier?

Choosing the right air purifier requires consideration of a few key factors. Here are some factors to consider to make sure it fits your needs and is eligible for HSA or FSA reimbursement.

  • Coverage Area: Determine the square footage of the room where you intend to use the air purifier. Models are designed for different room sizes so you want one with appropriate coverage.


  • Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR): The CADR rating indicates how quickly the device can clean the air in a specific-sized room. Look for a model with a CADR that matches your room's size to achieve efficient air purification.


  • Filter Replacement: Note the ease of replacement and the cost of new filters. Some air purifiers have washable or reusable options, while others require regular replacement. Factor in ongoing maintenance costs when making your decision.


  • Noise Level: Consider the noise level of the air purifier, especially if you plan to use it in a bedroom or a quiet space. 


  • Energy Efficiency: Opt for an energy-efficient air purifier to minimize electricity consumption. Energy Star-certified models are a good choice, as they meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency.


  • Filtration Technology: Depending on your specific needs, choose an air purifier with suitable filtration technology. HEPA filters are effective against particles, while activated carbon filters are excellent for removing odors and gasses.

Smart Features: Some modern air purifiers come equipped with smart features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile apps, and voice control. These features enhance convenience and allow you to monitor and control the device remotely.

How to Use an Air Purifier

Once you've selected the best air purifier for you, understanding how to use it effectively is crucial to maximizing its benefits. Follow these steps for optimal usage:

  • Placement: Position the air purifier in a location where it can circulate air efficiently. Avoid placing it behind furniture or in corners, as this can impede airflow. Getting an air purifier for your kids' room is a good idea, especially if you live in an area with low air quality or your children have respiratory issues.


  • Proper Sizing: As noted above, make sure the air purifier is appropriately sized for the room. Using an undersized unit may result in inadequate cleaning, while an oversized one can waste energy.


  • Adjust Settings: Some air purifiers come with adjustable settings such as fan speed, timer, and various modes. Higher fan speeds provide faster purification but may generate more noise. Experiment with settings to find the right balance for your preferences. 


  • Regular Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for filter replacement and general maintenance. Regularly clean or replace filters to ensure the air purifier continues to operate efficiently.


  • Monitor Air Quality: You’ll want to test the air quality ahead of getting a filtration device, and ideally measure how well the air purifier is working once up and running. This will give you a before and after evaluation. Some advanced air purifiers feature built-in air quality sensors or you may want to get a standalone device. Whichever you use, monitoring real-time air quality allows you to adjust settings as needed.


  • Use in Specific Scenarios: Consider using the air purifier in specific scenarios, such as during high pollen seasons, when cooking, or after home renovations. Tailor the usage to address specific air quality concerns in your environment.

Are Air Purifiers HSA and FSA Eligible?

Air purifiers are generally not eligible for reimbursement through HSA or FSA accounts. However, a qualified medical professional can prescribe air purifiers for a specific medical condition. 

Isn’t that a sigh of relief?

When could an air purifier be prescribed as a medical necessity?

Air purifiers may be prescribed for various health conditions where improved indoor air quality can directly treat or prevent the medical issue. Some examples include:

  • Asthma: Individuals with asthma may benefit from air purifiers to reduce airborne triggers such as dust mites, pet dander, and pollen, helping to minimize the risk of asthma attacks.


  • Allergies: People suffering from allergies, whether triggered by pollen, mold spores, or pet allergens, could receive a prescription for an air purifier to alleviate symptoms and create a more allergy-friendly environment.


  • Chronic Respiratory Conditions: Individuals with chronic respiratory conditions, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or bronchitis, may be prescribed air purifiers to minimize exposure to airborne irritants and pollutants.


  • Immunocompromised Individuals: Those with compromised immune systems, such as individuals undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplant recipients, may be prescribed air purifiers to create a cleaner environment and reduce the risk of infections.


  • Severe Allergic Reactions: People prone to severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, may be recommended air purifiers to minimize exposure to airborne allergens that could trigger life-threatening reactions.


  • Environmental Sensitivities: Individuals with heightened sensitivities to environmental pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), may benefit from air purifiers prescribed to reduce exposure and improve overall well-being.

How to use your HSA and FSA to pay for air purifiers (the old slow way)

To potentially qualify for reimbursement, a medical professional must provide a Letter of Medical Necessity (LOMN) stating that the air purifier is necessary for the treatment of a specific health condition. 

Here is how the typical process works without using Flex (a much easier and more seamless process we cover below). When considering if your HSA or FSA will cover your air purifier, keep the following in mind:

  • Consult with a Medical Professional: Before making any purchase, consult with your healthcare provider to determine if an air purifier is a recommended solution for your specific health needs.


  • Keep Documentation: If your healthcare provider recommends an air purifier, ensure that you obtain a letter of medical necessity. Keep all documentation, including receipts and invoices, to support your claim for reimbursement.


  • Understand Restrictions: Some HSA and FSA plans may have restrictions on the types of air purifiers that qualify for reimbursement. Ensure that the model you choose meets the criteria outlined by your plan.

Why It’s Easier to to Pay For Air Purifiers With Flex

Flex simplifies the order process for at-home air purifiers.

Here’s how it works

If you order an air purifier from a company that is partnered with Flex we will check your eligibility for a Letter of Medical Necessity. When you go to checkout, a doctor’s appointment takes place: 

  1. Fill out a short eligibility form, sharing relevant information with Flex’s medical team. 

  2. If you qualify, Flex sends the LOMN to you via email.

  3. Then, simply enter your HSA or FSA card details and complete the purchase. 

That’s it. For your HSA, there is no need to collect receipts or submit for reimbursement! Note that in some cases, your FSA may ask for further details, like a receipt.

Ready to buy an air purifier? Consider our partner, WYND, which offers some of the highest-quality, AI-powered solutions out there.

WYND: Air Quality Essentials That Elevate Your Living Space

Ray Wu experienced problems caused by bad air quality while living in Beijing, where he describes the air smelling like scorched metal and feeling like his throat was coated with dust.

He then set out to create an intelligent air purifier that could sense the air and clean it as needed, wherever he was. That’s what led him to start WYND, which offers an AI-powered air quality monitor and several medical grade purifiers. Using a combination of antimicrobial pre-filters interlaced with silver, an activated carbon layer, and HEPA filter, WYND’s air purifiers kill germs and remove particulates and gasses, including allergens, mold, toxic odors, and air pollution.

Both Wynd and Flex are passionate about enabling healthy spaces for everyone. With our new partnership, WYND purifiers are now more accessible when using your HSA or FSA dollars via Flex.

Curious what else you can use your HSA and FSA for? We have a guide for other medical and wellness products you can purchase, such as fitness and sleep trackers, genetic tests, and a whole host of other items.

Ready to Buy an Air Purifier With Your HSA/FSA?

Food, water, air. So many of us obsess over what we put in our bodies — we drink filtered water and eat organic food — but how often do we really consider the quality of the air we breathe? 

That’s what makes air purifiers a natural choice for healthier living, they are versatile devices that address a myriad of health concerns. Ready to upgrade the air you breathe? Believe us — you’ll feel the difference.

You can shop HSA/FSA eligible WYND Air Purifiers here.

Flex is a modern marketplace for consumers to discover and purchase HSA/FSA eligible products. From fitness and nutrition, to sleep and mental health, Flex takes a holistic view of healthcare and enables consumers to use their pre-tax money to do the same.