If you have a feline and are allergic to it, you may have wondered, “Does an air purifier help with cat allergies?”
In this world, there are two types of cat allergy people. The first category is those who are allergic, but they love their cat and cannot imagine their lives without them. The second category is those who are allergic, and cannot stand cats at all. Regardless of the type you might fall into, many people have the question of whether there is actually an air purifier that deals with annoying cat allergies.
So, the question is, does an air purifier help with cat allergies, really? And the answer is that the purifier you already have is likely to help you to deal with cat allergies to some extent. You might be searching for a way to improve the quality of your life, and reduce the chances of allergic reactions if you own a pet. Air purifiers can help with that.
But an air purifier is also not a miracle worker. Any company that claims theirs is perfect solution is probably unethical.
What Causes Cat Allergies?
To get to the solution, we need to know the cause. So what causes these cat allergies? To get to the answer, you need to know what causes allergies in the first place.
There are antibodies in your immune system, and they help to guard your body from allergens (which the body views as intruders). When the body senses there is a breach, it sends antibodies to deal with it. But this eventually triggers an allergic reaction as the body is fighting off the intrusion. Different people will have different degrees and types of reactions as well as triggers. So what might trigger one person might not be the same for someone else.
When it comes to cat allergies, there can be a myriad of causes. Sometimes the proteins in saliva or urine are causes, while others can be allergic to the compounds within the cat dander (also known as dead skin). The cat hair is not the allergen, though. It is simply a method that the allergens use to move from the cat to you, the allergy sufferer.
The problem with many purifier recommendations is that there are actually a few things you will need to help in dealing with allergens. The most important factors are the build quality of the purifier, the placement of the purifiers, and avoiding marketing gimmicks.
The initial problem is not knowing the process of mechanical filtration, and how it deals with larger particles like dander and dust. Even though many reviews will recommend good purifiers to you, they are likely using marketing gimmicks to convince you why the filter is great – even when it will not help you to solve the problem.
Another issue with many reviews is that they will usually not explain why certain filter systems are better than others when dealing with specific issues. The truth is, not all filters will be effective enough for this issue. So you need to keep that in mind when buying an air purifying system.
Factors You Should Consider
Advanced filtration ability
If you see that all filters seem to look really promising, it might confuse you when you do not know what else to look for. In this case, it’s important to check the filtration system to spot the best one. This will be the important key that will determine how efficiently it can deal with airborne particles, including allergens.
In order for the system to be effective, it needs to have a true HEPA filter (HEPA being High Efficiency Particulate Air filter). These are strong enough to capture at least 99.97% of particulate matter, even as small as 0.3 microns. This makes them excellent options for arresting any airborne materials.
In fact, they are so effective at their job, they were even used in the Manhattan project in the 1940s to prevent the spreading of airborne, radioactive contaminants.
However, take note to avoid filters with the labels ‘HEPA-Type’, ‘HEPA-like filter’ and ‘HEPA style filter’. This is because they do not satisfy the requirements to be labelled as true HEPA filters. They will not meet performance standards.
In order to know the rating system, note the MERV rating that it has (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value), which ranges from 1 to 16. The rating goes as follows:
- MERV 1 to 4 – these are the most common filters. They have a standard structure, and will give you basic protection and air filtration, at a low cost on your end.
- MERV 6 to 8 – the level of filtration is good, and you will likely find them in a residential area. They have a better surface area for capturing contaminants, due to the filter being comprised of paper or pleated cloth.
- MERV 9 to 12 – relatively high quality filters, and are considered as mid-range. They can also trap very small contaminants of at least 1 micron in diameter.
- MERV 13 to 16 – these are the best standard filters you can get, and are very high in efficiency ratings. They are also capable of trapping very small particulate matter, at least 0.3 microns in diameter.
These are higher in porosity compared to the main particle filter, which helps them to capture larger particles and stop them from entering the HEPA filter, which increases its lifespan.
This will rid the problem of odors, as it captures chemical vapors in the air. This will also help if litter box smells bother you.
Minimal ozone production
Because you have a pet in the house, it is important to avoid purifiers that produce ozone, namely ozone purifiers and ionizing types. Ozone is very harmful to your pet. It can even be life-threatening if the pet is exposed for a long time.
You need a filter that works fast and effectively to combat this issue – some of the best ones can clean up at least six times every hour.
Does An Air Purifier Help With Cat Allergies: Conclusion
Having a feline friend is really nice – but if you have cat allergies, it is important to minimize the chances of problems occurring. Air filters can help, but you also need to consider certain factors to choose the best one.