Can an air purifier really remove pet hair and pet dander? Today, we seek to answer this question in detail.
Millions of families across the globe own a pet. Unfortunately, this love is messy – pet hair, dander, and unpleasant odours. Pet dander is made up of tiny flecks of pet skin that cannot be seen with naked eyes. All kinds of pets, including cats, dogs, birds, and even rodents, shed dander.
Pet dander is the main cause of pet allergies. Even if you are not allergic to pet messes, constantly inhaling tiny bits of pet hair and dander can cause severe health complications in the long run.
Air purifiers can help reduce or even eliminate these adverse effects of pet ownership. Read on for a guide on how to choose the best air purifier to remove pet hair and dander from the air.
Table of Contents
- Types of air purifiers and how they remove pet hair and dander
- Factors to consider when choosing air purifiers for pets
- Other ways of reducing pet-related allergens
Types of air purifiers and how they remove pet hair and dander
Air purifiers filter and purify the air, but not all are suitable for homes with pets. They use different purification technologies, and it is important to understand each type and how they work before making the purchase decision.
Note that most air purifiers combine two or more of these technologies to enhance efficiency.
HEPA filter air purifiers
Air purifiers with HEPA filters remove 99.97% of particles that are as small as 0.3 microns in size from the air. Therefore, HEPA filters can remove pet hair and pet dander from the air.
Note that, because of the efficiency in trapping these particles, HEPA filters clog very easily if there’s a lot of pet hair and dander. Therefore, pet guardians replace these filters more often than pet-free households.
It is also important to point out that HEPA filters are more expensive than regular filters. However, since you need to eliminate other pollutants apart from hair and dander, you should look for a HEPA air purifier.
Air purifiers with activated carbon filters
Air purifiers with activated carbon filters remove gases and odours from the air. Therefore, these filters will help you get rid of pet odours and leave your house smelling fresh all through. However, these filters cannot eliminate particles like pet hair or dander.
Activated carbon air purifiers come with other filters. Carbon filters work as a pre-filter to eliminate pet odour and then a primary filter to get rid of the large particles. The best air purifiers combine activated carbon (or charcoal) with HEPA filters for maximum performance.
Ionizing air purifiers release negative ions in the air which are drawn to particles in the air to create a bond. They created bonds are too heavy to remain floating in the air. Therefore, they drop on the surfaces around the house.
These air purifiers remove pet dander and hair from the air but not from the room. For efficiency, you must keep on wiping your surfaces to remove the contaminants. Ionizers are however discouraged if you have pet birds.
Ozone generators emit ozone into the room. These purifiers use the same concept as negative ions to get rid of particles in the air. While some people love the smell of ozone, inhaling ozone is detrimental to the respiratory system.
Therefore, avoid the use of ozone-generating air purifiers. In fact, ionizers are discouraged in case you’re looking for the best air purifier for bird rooms.
Factors to consider when choosing air purifiers for pets
Filter-based air purifiers trap and remove particles from the air. Therefore, they make the best choice to remove pet hair and dander from the air and your room. With that said, narrow down to air purifiers with filters and avoid ionizers especially if you have birds.
Also, you should look for an air purifier that combines a filtration element that captures larger particles and a technology to deal with smaller pollutants like odours—for example, HEPA filters for pet hair and pet dander; and carbon filters for odours.
Size of the room
The size of your room determines the size of the air purifier you are going to buy. Air purifiers come labeled with the size of the room they are most effective for. Therefore, ensure to choose a unit suitable for the size of your room.
Considering that pets move from one room to another, choose an air purifier you can easily carry around the house. If you must get a heavier unit, consider one with wheels. Alternatively, purchase air purifiers for different rooms, or invest in a whole house purifier.
You can find some good options among these large room air purifiers.
Pet dander is released all the time. Therefore, it is best to employ other ways of elimination in addition to the air purifiers. Some of these ways include:
- Bathing your pet regularly (especially dogs)
- Grooming your pet from outside the house
- Wiping furniture regularly
- Limit the pets playing area to reduce the spread of pet hair and dander
- Vacuuming the floor, upholstery, and anywhere the pets like to hang around using the right pet vacuum cleaner
You cannot eliminate all pet dander and pet hair since the pets are constantly shedding. However, with the right air purifier, you will be able to reduce adverse side effects.
You can also follow the steps illustrated above such as grooming the pet regularly and from outside the house. Also, invest in a good vacuum to aid your efforts to pick up all hair and dander from floors and furniture.
Want to know how to manage pet allergies? Watch this YouTube video by UCHealth: