6 Best Air Purifiers For New Pet Parents With Allergies
Whether you’re concerned about dander, wildfire air pollutants, or those icky pet odors, these purifiers have you covered.
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As most of us are all too aware by now, it’s wildfire season. In the Eastern United States, smoke from Canada has lowered air quality on-and-off for weeks (though at least the sky is no longer a terrifying orange). The West Coast has been dealing with worsening wildfire conditions for years now, with almost two million acres burning in 2018. And according to the USDA, there’s no sign of the problem letting up: The idea of a “fire season” is shifting to a “fire year,” and some areas should buckle in for long stretches of lowered air quality.
One of the best ways to keep your lungs safe when the Air Quality Index turns that scary shade of red? A high-quality air purifier. Air purifiers are particularly important for people with pets, who already deal with all the excess dust, dander, and stink that comes with living with furry creatures. Dr. Jamie Freyer, a veterinarian and manager of data and veterinary genetics at Wisdom Health, says air purifiers “can help to remove hair, dander, and other particulate matter from the air within the home.” This can be a huge help to people with pet allergies.
The benefits aren’t just for you, either; your pet also benefits from having an air purifier. “For pets, the benefits include better air quality (particularly important for older pets or pets with respiratory or cardiovascular conditions) and fewer allergens in the air,” Dr. Freyer says. This is especially true of brachycephalic breeds, like French Bulldogs, Pug pups, or Persian cats. “Similarly to older or sick pets, brachycephalic pets have more trouble breathing by virtue of their conformation (appearance) than dogs with longer muzzles, making air purifiers an even better idea for homes with this type of pet,” Dr. Freyer says.
But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to know which purifier to pick. The most effective air purifiers against wildfire smoke are those with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emphasizes that “the portable air cleaner should have a high-efficiency HEPA filter and be the right size device for the room.” But Dr. Freyer points out that HEPA filters “will not provide much in the way of odor control” — activated carbon filters are best for keeping a space smelling fresh. Dr. Freyer also recommends avoiding ionic filtration, “as this type produces ozone as a byproduct, which can be damaging to the health of both pets and pet parents alike.”
Still stuck? We hear you. Below are some of our top picks for the best air purifiers for pets and pet parents.
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Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.