Buying A Pet Air Purifier – The Good, The Bad And The Hairy

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I am guessing you have arrived on this page because you or someone in your household is suffering from a pet related allergy or asthma. 
For some of us, living in a pet free house is not an option. But we still want to be comfortable at home… The best option is to have a pet air purifier to target the specific allergens that are bothering you. 

All animals with hair or fur will cause problems if you are allergic to pets. These machines are effective in minimizing your allergies while living with your pets if this is the choice you have made. If you would like to check out some pet air purifiers and their prices, click this link to amazon. Otherwise,                                                                                              read on to find out about all you need to know about pet air                                                                                                   purifiers. 

Click on the chart below to skip ahead to an individual question, or continue on to read the whole review.

Who Needs Pet Air Purifiers?

family-dog

As you probably already know by speaking to your doctor, if you are allergic to animals, then the best way to avoid a reaction is to live without a pet. But sometimes this is just not possible. We do become attached to our pets and it is difficult to part ways with a trusted companion.

So you have made the decision to keep your pet. Now the first thing to do is figure out how to manage your allergies or asthma while living with Rover or Cuddles…

The thing that will bring you the most relief from pet allergies is an air purifier. Vacuuming and cleaning can only remove so much hair and pet
dander 
from the air. So investing in an air purifier
that can target these nasty contaminants is a smart
idea.

What Causes Pet Allergies?

Pet allergies are caused by an immune system that is sensitive to pet proteins.The allergic reaction itself is not caused by the hair on your pet, it is usually caused by the dander that your pet sheds regularly. It can also be a result of coming into contact with saliva, urine or fecal matter. Pet dander can get stuck in the hair, on the floor, carpet, and your bed. It can remain a problem for your allergies even months after it is shed.

Some of the symptoms that you can experience include, Sneezing, sinus congestion, inflamed eyes, rash, and breathing problems. How severe it is all depends on your personal reaction. Some people might feel a small amount of discomfort, while others experience more severe symptoms.

Whichever end of the scale you find yourself in, you will be looking to reduce whatever symptoms are bothering you. This is where an air purifier can help to relieve symptoms of pet allergies.

What Do Pet Air Purifiers Do?

Air purifiers in general, are able to remove contaminants such as mold, dust, pet dander, pollution and smoke. Although most good air purifiers can do a great job at all of these, some are specifically designed to target specific contaminants, like pet allergens.

You need to be careful when choosing which to buy. Although some might say they target pet allergens, a regular air purifier might be more suited to your situation and living space. Just because an air purifier is labelled as a “Pet Air Purifier”, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will decontaminate pet particles better than one that doesn’t. The key to finding a air purifier that will be best suited to your situation is to look at the features explained below.

What Features Should I look For?

The air purifier industry is filled with terms that are difficult to understand if you are looking at a product for the first time. Sometimes companies prey on people that haven’t done their research with misleading terms.

But if you cut to the chase, there are three things that you need to look for in air purifier performance: If it has a True HEPA filter, the CADR rating, and the area it can cover in square feet. If you want to learn about the ins and outs of air purifiers in more detail, please have a look at my home page article on Air Purifiers.

HEPA Filter

You will notice that any air purifier over around the $120 mark will have a HEPA filter. This can be seen on the label as “True HEPA”. It is a specific type of filter that needs to clean 99.97 of contaminants 0.3 microns or larger. Pet dander is about 5 microns in size. So this kind of air purifier is very effective in dealing with this problem. Anything that is labelled HEPA-Type or 99%-HEPA does not meet the same standards. If you want to know more about HEPA filters, take a look at my article HEPA Air Purifiers: Everything You Need To Know.

CADR

The CADR rating refers to the Clean Air Delivery Rate. This is the rate that the air purifier can decontaminate an area in cubic feet per minute. The higher the CADR rating, the more efficient the product is in air purification. The CADR ratings range from around 50 to 450.

Area Coverage

Lastly, probably the most important thing you need to consider is the area that the air purifier decontaminates. Say an air purifier is able to clean a 400 square foot room for example. But this number assumes that the room is empty. So if you put a lot of furniture into that room it might only be able to clean 300 square feet.

This all depends on how much space is cluttered up. So you need to measure the size of the area you want to decontaminate, then start looking for air purifiers that can cover at least that amount of space. Remember that if you choose an air purifier that covers more space than you have, you can put it on a lower setting to save electricity and cut down on noise.

To effectively target pets, look for air purifiers with higher airflow. This is because pet dander is a larger particle and the filter doesn’t need to target very small particles, like you would need to for other contaminants.

Do Air Purifiers Help With Pet Hair?

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Yes, air purifiers definitely will help to collect pet hair. If you have a pet that sheds a lot of hair, then it is a smart idea to find an air purifier that has a carbon pre-filter.
The pre-filter traps the larger particles, such as hair, and leaves the more expensive to replace HEPA filter, to deal with pet dander, mold, dust, and smoke. It is not a necessity, but it will probably save you money and energy in the long run.

Where Should I Put The Air Purifier?

You might be tempted to put your air purifier in the living room if the pet spends the most time there. But I would always recommend you to place the machine in the bedroom. The reason for this is, you will spend at least one-third of your day in the bedroom and that is just if you sleep there. If you read in bed or if you have a serious Netflix addiction, this amount of time can increase significantly! There are many microscopic contaminants found on your bed also…

So it makes sense to place your air purifier in the area that you are spending the most time in.  Many reviewers have commented that once they have the air purifier in their bedroom, they notice a huge reduction in allergy symptoms. There is nothing better than waking up feeling fresh! Take this advice from someone that has suffered sinus problems for many years…

Are Air Purifiers Safe For Pets?

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The answer to this question depends on the air purifier you are looking at buying. Some cheaper ones called ionizers, or ionic air purifiers, can produce excess ozone. We consume it naturally in the environment, but too much ozone can be harmful, for both us and our pets.

So when you use an air purifier that produces excess ozone you can be doing more harm than good. The EPA has warned that these products can cause damage your lungs, breathing problems, and chest pain.

However, not all air purifiers that use an ionization process produce excess ozone. So you need to check this before you make any decision about a purchase. I would not recommend any air purifier that produces more ozone than is natural in the environment. So for your and your pets safety, choose a purifier that does not use an ionic filter.

Which Air Purifier Would You Recommend For Pets?

I will recommend three air purifiers in the low, mid, and high ranges. Keep in mind that just because an air purifier has the word pet in their product title, this does not necessarily mean that it is better for dealing with pet related particles. I will recommend air purifiers with pre-filters for the hair and smell as well as good airflow to target pet dander.

Keep in mind that you need to figure out how much space the air purifier needs to cover. It is always better to buy an air purifier that covers more space than you need. All air purifiers are designed to decontaminate pet allergens, but the ones below are the best in each price range. If you are sensitive to noise, please read my article about Blueair Air purifiers, which contain HEPASilent technology.

Low Range

Honeywell 50250-S

This is by far the best value for money low-cost air purifier. It will be very effective for pets having a carbon pre-filter for the hair and larger particles. The smaller contaminants are picked up by the HEPA filter. It covers a large area of 390 square feet for the price. Many customers who have bought this machine have said that they are happy with their purchase. This is one of the most popular air purifiers on the market for all uses. For a more comprehensive review on this product, click on the link to my article on the Honeywell 50250-S.


Mid Range

Winix WAC9500 Ultimate Pet True HEPA Air Cleaner

A machine that is designed to deal with pet related airborne contaminants. It contains three separate filters: One pre-filter for the larger particles, one carbon filter for odour control, and a True-HEPA to capture 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns or larger. The pre-filter and carbon filter are both washable, which will extend the life of each filter.

The machine has smart sensors and auto mode. This function will automatically adjust the air purifier to suit how contaminated the room is. When the room is dirty, the machine will set itself on a higher setting, and then lower it when it has become cleaner. Great option for medium sized rooms!

High Range

Austin Air Pet Machine Healthmate 410 Air Cleaner

If you have a large area to decontaminate, this machine is a great option. It covers rooms up to 1500 square feet!The HEPA filter is medical grade, it has 4 stage filtration to catch different sized particles, decontaminates 250 cubic feet of air per minute, has a carbon filter for the smell, and 360-degree air intake.

Austin air purifiers advertise that they clean to the same level as a hospital clean room. The filters usually last for around 3-5 years, which makes maintenance a lot cheaper and easier. The machine also comes with a 5-year warranty. This product is very effective in decontaminating a large area to a medical grade standard.

Final Thoughts?

Living with allergies and a pet at the same time doesn’t need to make your life uncomfortable. If you do your research properly and find an air purifier to suit your living space, your symptoms can be reduced dramatically. The key is to find out your minimum requirements to decontaminate your living area, then make your decision. If you would like to browse through air purifiers targeted towards pet decontamination, click this link to amazon.