If you have pet allergies, you know how hard it can be to stay healthy when friends and family have pets and you are forced to be around them. It can get really tricky when you live with said pets.
In the United States alone more than 65% of households have at least one pet. That means many allergy sufferers live with the very thing that causes them to feel so ill.
What’s a person to do? Break up with their partner? Get rid of the beloved dog or cat? While those are options, they aren’t necessarily the best ones.
In looking for solutions, many people wonder if air purifiers can help with pet allergies. The short answer is, “Yes! Absolutely.” But keep reading because we will go into a bit more depth on exactly how they help and what to look for in a unit.
What Causes Pet Allergies?
Before we get into how air purifiers work, let’s talk a little bit about how our immune system works so you understand what you’re up against.
Your immune system’s job is to protect your body from pathogens that might threaten its health. When you have a pet allergy, you have an overly sensitive immune system that sees the pet dander, which is basically harmless, as a threat to the body. In response to this supposed threat, your immune system flares up and sets off an allergic reaction to attack the invading dander.
Okay, so what is pet dander exactly? People think they are allergic to pet hair, but this isn’t really the case. Pet dander is a protein that is found in your cat or dog’s dead skin, saliva, feces and urine. While that all sounds very unpleasant, the reality is, dander is completely harmless. Unless you have an allergy.
Pet dander is shed from your animal’s skin and becomes airborne. It can travel throughout your home clinging to draperies, furniture and carpeting. When you walk, sit, or brush by the drapes, the dander is once again sent aloft where you can inhale it.
And this is where an air purifier comes in…
How Does an Air Purifier Help with Pet Allergies?
An air purifier’s sole job is to remove harmful particles from your home’s air. Air purifiers are great at removing pet dander as well as other allergens such as dust, bacteria, mold spores and tree and grass pollen.
How does the technology work exactly?
Well, air purifiers use specialized filtration systems to remove “bad stuff” from the air. An internal fan motor causes air to be sucked into the unit where it then passes through the filter. After the air has been cleaned it is sent back out into the room. This process goes on continually, keeping your home’s air free and clear from harmful pollutants.
Why True HEPA Filters are Key to Your Health
Now that you know the basics of how an air purifier can help with pet allergies, it’s important to mention that the key to your health is ensuring you buy a unit that uses a True HEPA filter. A lot of filters on the market claim to be HEPA but aren’t True HEPA. This label means the filter has been tested and certified to be able to remove up to 99.97% of particles ranging from 0.3 microns in size and up. That means it will be able to remove microscopic particles like pet dander and the other pollutants we listed.
This is really important because not all air purifiers use a HEPA filter and some of the ones that do aren’t True HEPA. So be sure to read those labels.
Other Things to Keep in Mind When Buying/Using an Air Purifier for Pet Allergies
Here are a few more things to consider when shopping for an air purifier so you can get one that will help you feel better:
Keep Size in Mind
Air purifiers are built with a specific square footage in mind. In this way they are similar to air conditioners. You would never buy a small air conditioner for a tiny bedroom and expect it to keep your entire living room/dining room area cool. It won’t be able to work efficiently or effectively.
Be sure to measure the room(s) you will put an air purifier in so you can be sure the units will be able to work in that space.
Remember to Replace Those Filters Often!
Your air purifier can only work when your filters are clean. Think about it, after weeks or months of removing garbage from your air, your filter is going to become clogged like the filter in your car. You’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for how often you will need to change filters.
Also keep in mind that some households may have to replace filters more frequently than even what the manufacturer recommends. For instance, a home with one dog will not have as much pet dander as a home with 3 dogs and 2 cats. It’s always a good idea to keep additional filters on hand so you always have a new one ready when needed.
Keep Doors and Windows Shut
When the weather is nice, it’s tempting to open up the doors and windows to let fresh air in. The problem is, with the fresh air comes pollen and pollution. So you are forcing your air purifier to handle an even bigger job. It’s best to keep your doors and windows shut so your unit can keep up. The great thing is, running an air purifier or two will give your home the fresh air you seek.
Can an air purifier help with pet allergies? Undoubtedly yes, provided you follow these guidelines and select the right one for your needs.
Get in touch. We don’t think of ourselves as a company that sells air purifiers. We think of ourselves as a group of people with a mission of helping others breathe easier.