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Best Air Purifier for Pets and Dander
To many of us, pets are just another member of the family. In fact, it’s proven that pets make us happier. However, as a pet parent, maintaining a healthy home for you, your family and your pets can seem like an impossible task. We love them, but they can cause severe allergic reactions in some individuals. Pet dander can be a major trigger of reactions such as sneezing, red, itchy eyes, and hives. Dander is made up of tiny skin flakes that animals shed and every animal does it.
Most people believe that they are allergic to pet hair, when in reality it is the dander that is causing the reaction and the hair is just exacerbating the symptoms. Bathing pets regularly and cleaning our homes can help reduce the amount of dander in the air but it can often not be enough. One solution many consider to reduce the effect of pet dander is to add an air purifier to the home. But do these air purifiers really work for pet dander? Finding just the right air purifier can be difficult especially with so many different options.
What causes pet allergies?
An allergic reaction is triggered when the immune system overreacts to something that is usually not harmful. These are called allergens. Our pets produce many allergens that cause allergic reactions in humans. Our immune systems react to the proteins in an animal's skin cells, saliva, or urine. Pet allergies are relatively common and can run in families. Sneezing and a runny nose are common symptoms but those who also have asthma may experience wheezing and difficulty breathing. Living in a pet-free home may be the best option for those with severe pet allergies but it is still possible to enjoy a pet with reduced allergic reactions with plenty of extra cleaning and a quality air purifier. So, what are the main causes of these pesky allergic reactions?
Dander is made up of tiny skin flakes that an animal sheds along with their hair. Pets carry this dander on their fur and coats and it can become suspended in the air and rest on household surfaces. If you have a dander allergy, it means that you are allergic to the proteins secreted by oil glands under your pet’s skin. Not all dander is visible to the human eye. Some dander particles are so small they can become trapped in carpets, bedding and furniture. Once disturbed, these allergy causing particles become suspended in the air for long periods of time.
We typically think of hair and fur as the main cause of pet allergies, when in fact small proteins found in pet dander, saliva, and urine are the most common cause of pet allergies. These proteins then attach to the hair and are spread when your pet sheds. While pet hair itself is not usually a cause of allergic reactions, it can assist in trapping pet dander as it collects on the floor, on the furniture, or even in the air. Some people decide to get a certain breed of pet due to their hypoallergenic nature.
Usually these animals have less fur or they don’t shed. According to the American Lung Association, “short-haired or hairless animals contribute dander and allergens to indoor air pollution just as effectively as long-haired animals do. There is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog or cat.”
Those pesky little dust bunnies that accumulate in the corners of our homes or under the couch are full of our pet’s dander. These dust bunnies can create a haven for hair, saliva, pollen and mold spores. Dust mites feed on pet dander, therefore producing more allergens over time.
Saliva and Urine
Pet saliva is another common pet allergen. When your pets licks themselves, the proteins in their saliva can stick to their fur causing an allergic reaction when you touch them. Pet urine can also be a source of allergens in the home even if they do not have accidents indoors. If pets aren't bathed regularly, urine proteins can accumulate on the fur.
Cat Allergies vs. Dog Allergies
Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. This is thought to be the case because they groom themselves more often than dogs, leaving more saliva on their fur. Both animals produce different proteins in their dander, saliva and urine. The important thing to know about pet allergens is that they are carried on very small particles that we cannot usually see. They can stay in the air for days and are easily inhaled into our bodies. Even though these particles are too small for us to see, there are certain air purifiers that are able to remove and destroy these allergic reaction causing particles.
Can an air purifier work on pet dander?
Even though you may not always have your pets in the home, their dander can remain in the air for days afterwards and can still cause allergic reactions. An air purifier can filter out those pet allergens and may be able to help reduce the amount of allergic reactions.
HEPA filters are a certain type of fibrous filter that is specifically designed to remove 99.97% of larger particles in the air. The filter is basically a giant maze of fibers that trap the particles and prevent them from coming back out into the air. The HEPA filter will need to be changed frequently on air purifiers especially in a home with multiple pets. HEPA filters can reduce dust, pet dander, dust mites, and even some pet hair.
However, HEPA filters cannot trap the smaller particles that come from saliva and dander. These smaller particles have a very high chance of escaping the maze of the HEPA filter and getting released back into the air. Fortunately, Clean-tech has developed a secondary chamber that exposes the particles to a medical grade UVC bulb, destroying the remaining allergens.
UV-C (also called germicidal UV) is part of the ultraviolet spectrum that can inactivate pathogens like bacteria and viruses. UV-C utilizes specific wavelengths of the ultraviolet spectrum, typically between 200 to 280 nanometers. Most UV-C products can inactivate up to 99.9% of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, mold spores, and fungus. Whatever pet allergens are able to pass through the HEPA filter are then inactivated or destroyed by the UVC light as fresh cleansed air is pushed back into the room.
What type of air purifier is best for reducing pet dander?
Whether you are a cat owner, dog owner, bird owner, or hamster owner, pet dander is inevitable in your home. Even if you are not affected by this dander, others in your household might be, including guests. No matter what kind of animal lives in your home, most air purifiers on the market can help to reduce the amount of dander in the air. The most efficient option that is also the most effective is the use of a HEPA filter with the added technology of a UVC bulb.
The ideal air purifier is a double threat that can trap larger particles in a filter and destroy the remaining allergy causing proteins that couldn’t be filtered. The Clean-tech air purifier, which has been awarded a 99.98% rate of removal, employs the technology of HEPA and UV-C light will do the best job of eliminating pet related allergies in your home.
Ways to reduce pet allergens in addition to an air purifier
Even though there are some pets that are considered ‘hypoallergenic’, it just means they shed less. This might lead to fewer allergic reactions but doesn’t mean that the pet allergens are not present. You may even find that you are still affected by pet allergens even if your pet is considered ‘hypoallergenic’. Dander releases from your pet when they are active. Shaking, playing, running, or even when being groomed allows the dander to shed quickly and linger in the air for hours to days. There are certain steps you can take to reduce these reactions in addition to an air purifier for the pet dander.
Usually this only goes for dogs and not cats but it has been shown that giving a dog a bath at least once a week can reduce the amount of dander they give off. You can even purchase specialty shampoos that are meant to reduce dander and keep their skin healthy. Healthy skin and fur is less likely to get dried out and flaky, causing dander.
Restrict Activity Indoors
Dander is often trapped in carpets, bedding, sofas, and clothes. Some people let their pets have the run of the house giving them entrance into any room, allowed on all furniture and counters, and no restrictions whatsoever. But this can be a harsh reality for those that have frequent allergic reactions to dander. Restricting access to the sufferers personal areas and frequently washing sheets can help to reduce the amount of allergic reactions. Keeping pets off furniture and counters can help to ensure that guests are also safe from pet related allergic reactions when entering the home.
It is also very important to frequently clean the home when you own pets. Dusting, vacuuming, and wiping surfaces are very important tasks that can help to cut down on pet dander in the home. Carpets are some of the biggest harbors of pet dander and should be cleaned regularly. If it is at all possible to have bare hardwood or tile floors, this would be ideal and make it difficult for pet dander to linger in the home. By adding a home air purifier, the amount of pet dander, hair and odor can be reduced significantly, making it easier to keep your home safe from pet allergens.
Pet dander can be a major trigger of reactions such as sneezing, red, itchy eyes, and hives. Dander is made up of tiny skin flakes that animals shed and every animal does it. Bathing pets regularly and cleaning our homes can help reduce the amount of dander in the air but it can often not be enough. One solution many consider to reduce the effect of pet dander is to add an air purifier to the home. The Clean-tech air purifier, which has been awarded a 99.98% rate of removal, employs the technology of HEPA and UV-C light will do the best job of eliminating pet related allergies in your home.