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An allergy to pet dander from cats, dogs or other domestic pets can cause all sorts of symptoms, from the odd sneeze right up to asthma attacks.
If parting with your pet is not an option, you may be looking for ways to relieve your pet allergy symptoms at home. As animal allergens are lightweight and tend to remain airborne, an air purifier is a great choice. Pet dander from pet hair and shed skin can be removed with these units. As pet allergens are small (around 2.5 microns), the best air purifiers for pet allergy tend to be those with HEPA filtration or similar.
Many pet air purifiers also tackle odour. A carbon filter is particularly good for removing unpleasant smells, such as those from litter trays and animal bedding. Below are our most popular air purifiers for pet allergy and pet dander.
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t really the pet’s hair that is the cause of your symptoms. The cause is actually a protein allergen (Fel d 1 in cats and Can f 1 in dogs) which can be found in the animal’s bodily fluids. When your cat or dog grooms itself, it distributes these allergens on its fur and skin. Tiny flakes of dead skin, fur or feathers are called pet dander. When your animal sheds this dander, and you inhale or come into contact with the protein allergen, your allergy symptoms make an unwelcome appearance!
How can an air purifier help with pet allergy symptoms?
To relieve your symptoms and breathe more comfortably, you need to ensure you’re purchasing an air purifier with efficient filtration. It has been reported that pet allergens are around 2.5 microns in size but they can be much smaller due to their light weight. Therefore, you need to look for an air cleaner that will filter or incinerate particles down to that size.
True HEPA filters trap 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.3 microns in size, so you can rest assured that these will tackle a great deal of problematic allergens and irritants. Due to their efficiency, True HEPA filters can be expensive. If your budget will not stretch to one of these, a HEPA-type filter can often perform adequately (removing 99% down to 2 microns in size).
If smelly litter trays, hamster cages or dog beds are causing you embarrasment, an air purifier can help to significantly reduce odours too. Units containing activated carbon filters, along with air sterilisers, are ideal for removing smells.
It's vital that you consider the recommended room size when choosing an air purifier, in order for it to sufficiently clean the air. We base our recommended room size on 3 air changes per hour.
How do I maintain my air purifier?
Check the product information to find out whether the filters will need to be replaced. Where necessary, it's very important to replace the filters to maintain efficient performance. Some models have washable or cleanable filters. Others, such as the Airfree, require no replacement filters at all. These are a great choice for hassle-free maintenance (or simply if you're a bit forgetful!)
Using an air purifier is not, however, a complete solution to pet allergen removal at home. You'll need to complement your air purification with a thorough cleaning regime. This could include the use of specialised pet allergen cleaning products, which will enhance the beneficial effects of air purification. These will denature the allergens on the pet, in the air, on furnishings and in the washing.
The result? A clean, fresh home and a reduction in pet allergy symptoms.
If you'd like some help in choosing an air purifier for your cat, dog or small animal allergy, then simply call our friendly team on 0845 450 5950 or 01453 752216. We've been helping owners live in harmony with their pets for over 20 years!
If you’d like to learn more about the symptoms, treatment and management of pet allergy, visit our Pet Allergy Information Page.
We've recommended these air purifiers based on their capabilities of reducing pet allergens in the air. As pet allergy triggers are varied and unique, we can't guarantee that these units will be suitable for everyone with this condition.