There are certain things in life that just don’t seem fair. Humidity, for example. The fact that cheesecake is so delicious AND so fattening. And the fact that so many people love dogs and cats but are terribly allergic to them.
If you’re one of the thousands of households in this country that has four-legged family members despite the fact some of the two-legged family members are highly allergic, you may be wondering if there is any way to have your cheesecake and eat it, too. Or in this case, have your pet and vibrant health, too.
In order to have pets and still breathe easy, it’s important to understand what causes you to be allergic to them in the first place. For that we need to speak microscopically…
Pet Dander – It’s Small and It’s Nasty
Most people think it is the dog or cat’s hair that they are allergic to. This is why so many people look for hairless breeds. But it’s not the hair itself that causes you to sneeze your head off.
The major allergen in dogs and cats is a protein that is excreted and shed from their skin. These microscopic bits of skin (yummy!) are flung out into the environment every time your pet scratches, shakes or rubs up against a piece of furniture. Dander is essentially everywhere in your home’s environment, and if you are allergic, it is making your life miserable.
How an Air Purifier Can Help with Pet Allergies
Now you may be wondering if an air purifier can really help with pet allergies and the short answer is yes, it absolutely can. Air purifiers have been designed to “inhale” the air in your home, remove the pollutants, and then “exhale” the clean air back out into the space.
What kind of pollutants can an air purifier remove from your home’s atmosphere? Well, besides pet dander, an air purifier can also remove harmful particles such as:
- Dust mites
- Volatile organic chemicals (VOCs)
Now, at this point I need to mention that in order for your air purifier to remove pet dander from the environment so you can keep Mr. Bosco, you MUST make sure you buy the right one!
Which Air Purifier Works Best for Pet Allergies?
If you’ve spent any time recently looking online at the air purifiers currently on the market, you know that there are a lot of units to choose from. If you want to be sure you choose the right one to handle your pet allergy problem, follow these guidelines:
Look for One with a HEPA Filter
As we mentioned, pet dander is microscopic, so you’ve got to make sure you choose a purifier that has the right filtration system for the job. You’ll want to look for a unit that comes with a HEPA filter.
HEPA filtration technology is the gold standard in the industry and for good reason: it can remove 99.97% of particles .03 microns in diameter. Just how small is that? Consider that the average human hair is between 50 and 75 microns in diameter and you get an idea how good these filter are at trapping and removing really really tiny particles – like pet dander – from your home’s air.
If you’ve got pets, it’s a good idea to look for a unit that also comes with an antibacterial pre-filter. These are actually great at catching any loose pet hairs. While it’s not the pet hair you’re allergic to, don’t you like the idea of something collecting that loose hair for you? These pre-filters will also eliminate harmful bacteria your dog or cat may drag into the house on their coat or paws.
Activated Carbon Filter
While you’re at it, you might as well go ahead and get a unit that also comes with an activated carbon filter. This will remove those not-so-pleasant pet odors (we’re talking to YOU litter boxes!). While HEPA filters are great at trapping particulate matter, they can’t trap odor-causing gases.
Get the Right Size Unit for the Space
Air purifiers are a lot like air conditioners in that they are built with a certain square footage in mind. Just as you wouldn’t expect an air conditioner built for a 250 square foot bedroom to handle a 600 square foot living room, you shouldn’t expect an air purifier built to handle a small space to work optimally in a large space.
Be sure to measure the room or rooms in your home you plan on using an air purifier, then read the specs carefully to select the unit(s) that can handle the size.
Filter Replacement Indicator
Your unit can only work efficiently when the filter is nice and clean. Remember, these filters are trapping all sorts of garbage 24 hours a day. At some point, they will become so clogged that they can’t trap anymore, and your air won’t get clean. Then one day you wonder why you are sniffly-sneazy again?
To be sure you change your filters as often as the manufacturer recommends, look for units that come with a filter replacement indicator light. When it lights up, it’s time to change. Also, be sure to always have clean filters on hand.
So now you know exactly what pet dander is and how the right air purifier can help you have your furry best friend AND your vibrant health, too!
If you are in the market for an air purifier for pet allergies, we invite you to take a look at our selection. Have any questions? Please get in touch with us. We like to say we’re not just in the business of selling air purifiers, we’re in the business of helping families breathe easier.