According to research, the quality of air we breathe indoors can be much worse than outdoor air quality. This is aggravated further if you have one or more pets in the home and/or if you have pet allergies. With the advent of air purifiers, gone are the days when you would have to rehome your pets because of allergies. You can comfortably coexist with your beloved pet with the right choice of air purifiers. Read on to find out more.
1. Get the right air purifier
Normal air purifiers have different levels of strength, which determine their ability to capture pollutants in your environment, including pet-originated allergens. These purifiers can be effective against most air-borne particles, but you need specialized filters to hold allergens. Most pet air purifiers use HEPA filtration technology, since it is one of the most effective against small particles such as allergens.
True HEPA filters can trap up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns (for reference, visible dust particles such as those you see floating around when you look against the light are around 10 microns). If you can't afford true HEPA filters, you can try HEPA-type filters which can capture particles as small as 2 microns (allergen particles are about 2.5 microns in size).
Another problem with having pets is dealing with the pet odours, from the waste in litter trays to natural pet body odours. To trap these odour-releasing molecules, ensure your air purifier also has activated carbon filters to remove bad smells.
2. Use a combination of techniques
Getting the right air purifier is only part of the solution; the other part is doing your best to ensure that your indoor air is as clean as you can make it. The following are tips to do this:
- Keep your pets within certain rooms in the house – preferably the rooms that have round-the-clock air purifiers. If you want to allow your pet free rein, consider getting a purifier that connects to your central heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
- If you have pets, vacuum your carpets every day, and have professional carpet cleaners come in for thorough cleaning at least twice a year: 6-8 times is preferable if you have multiple pets, bad allergies or a very productive pet. Consider matching your HEPA purifier with HEPA vacuums which are effective at removing surface allergens.
- Ensure your pets are properly house-trained. Further, you can train your pets not to get on furniture, carpets and other fluffy surfaces, since these are more likely to hold on to pet dander (dead skin fragments) and allergens.
- Keep your pet bedding clean by washing and airing it regularly. Also, groom and brush the pet outdoors frequently (wear a protective mask so that you don't inhale the fibres/dander). You can use allergy-decreasing sprays.