In the United States, almost 50% of households have a cat or a dog. Our furry friends may be great, but they can lead to some unwanted smells in the home. Air purifiers are a common staple in the home, but how far can they go? This can lead to the question: do air purifiers reduce pet odor? Read on to learn about how air purifiers work, the common sources of pet odor, and whether air purifiers can reduce or even eliminate pet odor.
Do Air Purifiers Reduce Pet Odor?
What Causes Pet Odor?
While cats and dogs will inevitably produce some kind of odor, there are several common reasons that can exacerbate the scent to be something unbearable. Some of these causes can be fixed or reduced by healthy lifestyle changes for your furry friends.
The leading cause of pet odor is poor grooming habits. Both cats and dogs need some frequency of brushing, depending on their breed. Dogs also need regular bathing, while cats need the occasional one only in extenuating circumstances. Cats groom themselves, which takes care of most of their needs. However, there are still instances that require a little extra help when food, fecal matter, or dirt gets caught in their fur.
Another common cause is dental issues. By the time a cat or dog is three years old, roughly 80-85% of them will have some kind of dental disease. This can cause bad breath that is transferred to their skin and coat when they groom themselves. The odor can then transfer from the skin or coat to the furniture. Other mouth infections or ulcers can also cause a bad smell.
Two other common causes of pet odor are skin and yeast infections. Skin infections can be caused by yeast, parasites, or bacteria. These infections can cause an odor or lead to wounds that cause an odor. Yeast infections can build in the ears and spread to the pads of the feet to further spread bad odor.
In order to keep pet odor to a minimum in the first place, it is important to take good care of your pets so that they are happy and healthy.
How Do Air Purifiers Work?
An air purifier removes microscopic particles that cause odor from indoor air circulation. Most air purifiers are designed to filter large particles in the air like pollen, dust, and dander. Some air purifiers are more effective at getting rid of bad smells.
Most air purifiers use a three-stage filter. As the name suggests, the first stage is a coarse filter that removes larger particles before the second stage, a carbon filter. The third stage is a HEPA filter that tackles microscopic particles. Despite their success, an air purifier cannot remove 100% of particles or odors from the air, but it can drastically reduce them.
Air Purifier Filters
An Activated Carbon Filter is made up of tiny pieces of carbon that are usually in granular or powdered block form. Activated carbon undergoes a treatment process to make it porous. Just one gram of activated carbon has a surface area of at least 500 square meters.
The activated carbon will react with organic compounds, like common causes of pet odor. The reaction created by this mixture will cause the odor-causing compounds to get stuck in the filter before being absorbed by the activated carbon.
One drawback to an activated carbon filter is that a quick change in temperature or humidity can cause the filter to rerelease the particles it captures. This occurs when the filter becomes oversaturated due to the sudden change. This drawback can potentially be remedied by purchasing a filter with a higher weight of carbon and replacing the filter as quickly as possible should saturation occur.
Filters with higher quantities of carbon are more effective at removing odors. A HEPA filter will catch pet dander but it will not reduce pet odor. However, you can buy an air purifier with both an Activated Carbon filter and a Hepa filter for dual action. The Activated Carbon filter will catch pet dander and dust first, reducing the amount that goes through the HEPA filter so that it will last longer. HEPA filters are good in households where family members have allergies.
The short answer is yes, air purifiers can reduce pet odor. There are specific filters, a HEPA and an Activated Carbon, that you should buy in order for your air purifier to be most effective. An air purifier should be an affordable staple in your home. Overall, if your pets are healthy and you have the right filters, your home should be odor-free!