The air we breathe does not only contain oxygen but other gases as well. Additionally, it can also contain other airborne particles that may be detrimental to our health. And if we have pets, we’re exposing ourselves to pet dander and other pet-related particulate matter including odors. That is why investing in a good quality air purifier for pets is an excellent choice. These gadgets help remove unwanted particles in the air so that we’d have healthier, cleaner air to breathe. We’ve scoured the online market to check out what modern pet owners consider to be the best air purifiers for pets. Here are the 10 best.
Do I Really Need a Pet Air Purifier?
We live with our pets that pass gas, emit foul scents, or shed dander into the air. For most of us it is quite okay. Sadly, for the more vulnerable members of our household, it could literally mean life or death.
The problem is that pet dander is widely regarded as an allergen. These are molecules that can trigger an allergic reaction from the immune system. Cells of the immune system recognize the ‘allergen’ as a foreign body that needs to be eliminated from the system. This is attacked by immune system cells, leading to the release of various pro-inflammatory substances. These substances can have various effects including but not limited to increased diameter of the blood vessels leading to redness and swelling. If the swelling compresses on nerve endings, pain ensues.
That is why it is crucial to invest in high quality air purifier. It should be fitted with the most appropriate filtration system to remove pet dander and other allergens in the air. Additionally, it should also be able to filter and remove smoke, fumes, fireplace soot, dust, and other microscopic particles that may irritate the airways and lead to airway congestion, blockage, and suffocation.
Things to Consider When Buying a Pet Air Purifier
As you can see, even if you actually don’t have a pet it would still be ideal if you have an air purifier in your home especially if you really cannot get rid of dust and other airborne particles. The same is true with nasty odors coming from your bathroom and kitchen sink as well as your garage and crawlspaces. These can be filled with pathogens that we clearly cannot see. Now, in buying a pet air purifier, you might want to consider the following.
- Size of your room
Different units come in various capacities so you have to make sure that it should be able to provide ample coverage of your room. To do this, you’ll need to measure the dimensions of the room you want its ambient air purified. You’ll take the length and width of your room and multiply the two to get the dimension of your room in square feet.
- Placement of the unit
This is related to the size of the room as you would want to identify which part of your room you should place the pet air purifier in. If your pets don’t go inside your bedroom, then it may not be necessary to install a device in this part of the house. However, if you do need to install one, you have to make sure that it is not going to be very noisy, otherwise you won’t really be able to sleep very well because of the noise. Personally, we do recommend installing a device in your bedroom as this is where you will be spending a third of your day in, fully vulnerable to microscopic attacks as you’ll be dead asleep.
- Type of filtration that you require
If the main problems that you want to solve at home are smoke, pet dander, mold spores, dust mites, and even pollen, then getting an air purifying device with a HEPA filter is your best choice. If the main issue is related to airborne microorganisms like bacteria and viruses, then an ozone air purifier, UV-C light technology, and ionizers will be more effective.
- Cost of maintenance
Some devices are very easy to operate, clean, and maintain while others will require significant investment in both time and effort. As such, it is important to look into the ease of maintenance of the product you would like to buy. Also, you might want to check the cost and availability of the replacement parts. It may be easy to maintain but if it will require expensive parts should it break down, then you’ll eventually end up with a very expensive device that takes a lot of your time fixing and maintaining.
- Automatic monitoring
Most modern air purifiers come with infrared sensors that continuously monitor the amount or levels of particulates in a given area. This allows the device to make adjustments in the speed of its removal of these particulates to keep the air clean. At any rate, it’s a wonderful feature that you would want to consider as it gives you the peace of mind related to the safety of the air that you’re breathing.
- Power consumption
Here’s the thing about air purifiers for pets. They need to run continuously, 24/7 to make sure that the air you’re breathing doesn’t contain any contaminants that might bring harm to you and your family. That being said, you can expect it to have an impact on your monthly energy bill. As such, you might want to look at a device that has a much lower power consumption rating but without sacrificing its capacity to purify the air in your room.
- Noise level
The average human whisper typically rates at about 30 decibels while the sound of heavy rain comes in at about 50 dB. Conventional vacuum cleaners come at about 70 to 80 dB. Why is this important? Well, if you can sleep in almost any environment regardless of the noise level, then this consideration wouldn’t really matter. However, if you cannot fall asleep or even maintain your quality of sleep with too much noise, then choose an air purifier that has a quiet operation.
While knowing the square footage of your room helps, a much more important measure is the device’s Air Change Rate or ACR. This describes the number of times the gadget can purify or filter the volume of air within a given space every hour.
- Manufacturer’s reputation
The manufacturer’s reputation can also be a significant factor to consider. Well-established brands have a reputation to protect. As such, you will expect these companies to continuously design and produce devices and gadgets that satisfy the expectations of their customers, lest they see a decline in their following.
- After-sales customer service
You might not think of it, but a trustworthy company always makes improvements in its aftersales. This can be in the form of technical support or even in other areas of customer experience management. Your device, no matter how well-built it is, is still prone to wear and tear. You’d feel more confident knowing that you will have someone to call should problems arise.
There’s really no guaranteeing that your gadget will not break down in the long run. As such, rather than disposing of it after some time, you might want to check what’s covered in any guarantees or warranties that the company provides. For example, do they provide a lifetime free service guarantee? How about the replacement of parts? You might want to check these out even before you consider on buying a particular product.
Essential Features of an Effective Air Purifier for Pets
Choosing the right air purifier for pets does not end with knowing the things that you have to consider. You will also want to look at the features that are available to you. Most of these features are a must-have, although you would really be lucky if you can find a product that integrates all of it.
- Air quality sensors – You can look at this feature as the brain of your device. Sensors are important as these effectively monitor air quality consistently and continuously. If it ‘senses’ that the air quality has changed, it automatically adjusts the speed of its air cleaning properties to bring the ‘air quality’ back to desirable levels.
- HEPA filters – Almost all pet air purifiers today contain HEPA filters. Understand that, generally speaking, filters do not inactivate or kill any organism that may be found in the volume of air. What it does is that it only allows particles that are smaller than the device’s published minimum particle size. Most pet dander range in size between 5 and 10 microns for cats and 2 and 3 microns for dogs. This means a HEPA filter size of 1 micron should be enough. But, of course, there are other particulates that you have to be wary about.
That being said, it is therefore important to look for HEPA filters that have a much smaller filtration rating. If you can get a device that works on 0.01 microns, then that would really be great.
- Carbon filter – Carbon filters are important if you want to remove odors such as those coming from your pets, from smoking, from cooking in the kitchen, or any other source of nasty smell. The natural adsorbent properties of charcoal effectively reduce these odors. As such, if one of your concerns is the presence of an unusually strong foul smell, then choosing a device that has carbon filter should be a great choice.
- Anti-bacterial coating – Not all air purifiers come with an antibacterial coating in their filters. However, there are now filtration systems that incorporate an additional layer of protection coated with antibacterial film. This means that as the particles are filtered through, they eventually get in contact with this antibacterial layer, rendering them ineffective if not killing the microorganisms contained in the volume of particulates. Again, it might be wise to look at your device if it has this added layer of protection.
- Purifying capacity – Always check the Clean Air Delivery Rate of the product you’re buying as it gives you an idea of its purifying capacity. CADR is a function of how efficient the device is in removing contaminant particles in the air within a given volume of space and length of time. The higher the CADR the better it is in purifying your room. However, do take note of the size of the room upon which the CADR has been rated against.
- Child-lock – If you have very curious children at home, you might need a device that has child-lock or security features. This is to make sure that any programming already set into the device is not inadvertently altered because of a very curious child.
Types of Air Purifiers
Your choice of pet air purifiers is currently limited to four, although we have seen models that integrate all 4 types into a single model. We’ll examine each one briefly just to give you an idea.
These devices typically come with 2 fundamental types of filters: HEPA and carbon. One is designed to remove airborne particles larger than their rated microns. The other one is primarily intended for the removal of odor molecules. Do these kill bacteria and viruses? No. Unless, of course, they have another layer of filter that is coated with an antimicrobial agent. However, for pet dander and pet odors, these types of air purifiers are formidable.
Gadgets that electrically charge the surrounding air so that all particles that are within the gadget’s effective range becomes negatively charged. These particles are then drawn into a positively charged collecting plate near the ionizer. In some cases, the electrically charged particles attach to walls and other surfaces. This type of purifier is known to inactivate viruses and even bacteria. However, it may not be that effective against pet dander and odors.
- UV purifiers
These gadgets utilize UV-C light to kill germs and allergens and inactivate other particles. However, experts believe that these particles need to be exposed to UV-C light for at least several minutes for these to be inactivated.
- Ozone purifiers
Ozone purifiers work on the principle of oxidation. These damage the cell membranes of bacteria and other susceptible organisms, killing them or inactivating them. Unfortunately, they are also largely ineffective against pet dander and odor.
Other Ways to Eliminate Allergens related to Pets
Since one of the fundamental reasons why you would need a pet air purifier is to help prevent the spread of allergens – pet dander, in this case – then it should be worth learning other ways to eliminate allergens stemming from pets, too. Here are a few proven ways.
- Bathing once a week.
Studies show that bathing your pet can help reduce the amount of dander that it sheds. There are also specially formulated shampoos to help minimize shedding. It is equally important to provide your pet with the correct nutrients to keep the skin healthier and minimize the shedding of dander.
- Limit your pet’s area of activity.
It is often wise to limit your pet’s area of activity in your home. For example, you can make the bedroom especially off-limits to your dog or cat. At least, its dander will not be shed onto your beddings, pillows, mattress, blankets, and other items. The bedroom is especially vulnerable to dander since it contains many soft materials that dander can easily attached to.
- Frequent cleaning.
Never ever sweep your floor as this will only agitate the dust and make pet dander airborne. A better solution is to mop your floor or wipe surfaces of furniture and other items with moist cleaning cloth. The dampness of the rug will help dander cling onto it rather than going airborne. You can also use vacuum cleaners that come with HEPA filters. You might also want to get rid of carpets altogether as these are magnets for pet dander.
Although pets provide happiness, affection, and companionship to us, we still need clean, fresh air to breathe. But if we are exposed to pet dander and other contaminants with every breath that we take, then getting the right pet air purifier is a must. Our healthy pets may not need the air purifiers as much as we do but these gadgets are important in keeping the air we breathe safe and clean.