Pet dander and odors cause so many allergy, asthma, and respiratory issues. And most pet owners eventually do seek out a good air cleaner to remove these pollutants from the air. The issue, however, is that often these so-called ‘pet air purifiers’ simply don’t work as well at removing the dander, hair, and odors as they expected. Even running the air cleaner continuously, they still see the dust and hair, and smell the odors. As a result, a lot of pet owners begin to ask: Are pet air purifiers even worth buying?
The answer is yes, pet air cleaners are definitely worth buying, but for an air purifier to effectively remove dander, hair, dust, and odors produced by cats, dogs, birds or other animals, it must have 3 main features: 1) a true HEPA filter, 2) an activated carbon filter with at least 4-5 pounds of the best quality granular carbon (more is better), and a strong output of at least 200 CFM (again, more is better so look for 300 CFM and higher). A true HEPA Filter removes over 99% of dust, dander, and particles down to 0.3 microns, sometimes down to 0.1 microns, which is even better-anything less is going to allow particles to get through.
The carbon filter really has to have a good amount of high quality activated carbon or charcoal to effectively remove pet odors, which are essentially VOC’s, so look for carbon that can remove VOC’s-and the more carbon, the longer the filter will last, so a thin sheet of black foam isn’t going to cut it. And finally the output is very important-if the unit can’t move at least 200 cubic feet per minute of air, you’re going to breathe the pollutants before the air cleaner can remove them, plain and simple.
Higher CFM units such as Aller Air or Austin Air can move 400 CFM, which means they cycle all of the air in an average room in about 2 minutes, which is fast enough to prevent you from breathing the odors, dust, dander, and hair. And you’re right, most cheap air purifiers don’t have all three of these necessary features and that is why most cheap or inexpensive air cleaners don’t work very well, and are usually a waste of time and money.
So if you buy an air cleaner with a quality HEPA filter, a substantial activated carbon filter and strong output, the unit will do the job-just remember to replace the filters on time for best results. Also, keep in mind that if you have a large room, you may need a couple of these air purifiers to keep all of the air being cycled or cleaned every 2-3 minutes, which is about what you need to keep the air clean enough, fast enough, for you to notice it, keep allergies under control, etc.
For example, if you’re using the air purifier between a couple of connected rooms totaling about 200 square feet with 8 foot ceilings, that’s 1600 cubic feet of air space. And if the unit only moves 400 CFM, it’s going to take 4 minutes to clean all of the air so you might get a dose of the pollutants before the air cleaner gets to them. This is where two units would keep all of the air cleaned every 2 minutes, because of the two units creating a combined output of 800 CFM.