Do you ever cough or sneeze uncontrollably when you’re around your furry friend? Pet dander is often to blame for airborne particles that can cause allergies and breathing problems, so it’s not just you.
Don’t worry though, there’s a way out! Buying an air purifier can help you get rid of these annoying particles and make the air in your home better.
In this article, I’ll talk about pet dander and how an air purifier can make a big difference in your life.
So, get a tissue and let’s begin!
Understanding Airborne Particles
Airborne Particles: An Overview
Particles in the air are small enough to float in the air, and they can be solid or liquid.
Dust, dirt, soot, smoke, liquid droplets, ash, pollen, and aerosols are all types of particulate matter.
Particles in the air may be a complicated mix of both organic and inorganic materials.
They can be described by their physical properties, which affect how they move and land.
Health Effects of Airborne Particles
Fine particulates PM10 and PM2.5 with aerodynamic diameters of less than 10 microns and 2.5 microns, respectively, are the ones most likely to hurt your health.
Particles in the air can be bad for your health and make it hard to breathe.
Particles can settle in different parts of a person’s respiratory system depending on their size, shape, density, and how they breathe.
Sources of Airborne Particles
Changes in the concentration of airborne particles can be caused by both human actions and changes in the environment.
For example, burning fossil fuels and farming both increase the concentration of airborne particles in the atmosphere.
Rain can wash away or dissolve airborne particles, while volcanic eruptions, meteorites, and wildfires can send particles and gases into the air.
Primary and Secondary Sources of Particle Pollution
Particle pollution can come from either primary or secondary sources.
Particle pollution comes from primary sources, like wood stoves and forest fires.
Power plants and coal fires are examples of secondary sources that release gases that can form particles.
Particle pollution can also come from places like factories, cars and trucks, and construction sites.
These can be either primary or secondary sources.
Indoor Sources of Particulate Matter
Indoor sources of particulate matter include particles that come from outside and move inside, as well as particles that come from sources inside.
Indoor PM can be generated through cooking, combustion activities (including burning of candles, use of fireplaces, use of unvented space heaters or kerosene heaters, and cigarette smoking), and some hobbies.
Most biological particles get into the air from liquids or powders, so they are usually bigger than 0.5 Pm.
Air Filtration in Cleanrooms
Air filtration is used in cleanrooms to get rid of particles in the air.
Usually, they use individual fan filter units to stop particles from getting into the air.
Particles in the air, also called particulate matter (PM), are tiny bits of solids or liquids that are floating in the air.
There are hundreds of different chemicals that can be used to make these particles.
They can also be different sizes, shapes, and types.
It is important to know where airborne particles come from and what they do to people’s health so that steps can be taken to reduce exposure and protect people’s health.
Health Effects of Airborne Particles
The Dangers of Airborne Particles
Airborne particles are a major concern for human health, particularly for the lungs and heart.
These particles can be inhaled and penetrate deep into the lungs, and even enter the bloodstream.
Inhalable particles that are smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter are especially dangerous, as they can reach the deepest parts of the lungs and even enter the bloodstream.
Fine particles, which are called PM2.5, are especially dangerous.
Who is Most at Risk?
Particle pollution is most likely to hurt the health of people who have heart or lung diseases, older adults, babies, and young children.
Those with asthma may experience worsened symptoms when exposed to particle pollution.
Children are more sensitive to the effects of particles than healthy adults are, and long-term studies show that there is a link between fine particles and lung function, lung development, and the onset of respiratory symptoms.
The Health Effects of Long-Term Exposure
Studies have shown that long-term exposure to particulate matter in the air can cause serious health problems, such as death, lung and heart problems, and breathing problems.
It has been shown that when air quality gets better, the number of times children go to the hospital and get respiratory diseases goes down.
Fewer studies have been done on adults, but all of them show that breathing in particles can have effects on the lungs.
Depending on how much particle pollution you breathe in, it can make you sick, send you to the hospital, or even cause you to die too soon.
Studies have shown that particle pollution can make people more likely to get heart disease, lung cancer, and have babies with birth problems like low birth weight.
Protecting Yourself from Particle Pollution
To protect yourself from particle pollution, you can follow an asthma management plan on days when pollution levels are high, limit your exposure to particulate matter indoors, and take steps to improve the quality of the air outside.
Using an air purifier is a good way to improve the quality of the air inside.
Particle pollution can cause health problems, but air purifiers can get rid of the particles in the air.
Particles in the air are a serious health risk, especially for people with heart or lung diseases, older people, babies, and young children.
Long-term exposure to particle pollution can cause serious health problems, such as death, problems with the lungs and heart, and breathing problems.
Protecting oneself from particle pollution can involve following an asthma management plan on days when pollution levels are high, reducing exposure to indoor particulate matter, and taking steps to improve outdoor air quality.
Using an air purifier is a good way to improve the quality of the air inside and lower the risk of health problems caused by particles in the air.
HEPA Filters and Air Purifiers
HEPA Filters: What are They?
HEPA filters are a type of air filter that can get rid of at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any other airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns.
HEPA is an acronym for “high-efficiency particulate air” filter.
HEPA filters are made of either plastic or fiberglass.
They are made up of intertwined fibers with a diameter of less than 1 micron that are twisted and turned in different directions to make a “fibrous maze.”
How Do HEPA Filters Work?
Particles get caught in the filter’s fibers as air moves through it, which is how HEPA filters work.
There are two ways for them to clean the air.
The first is one or more outer filters that work like sieves to stop dirt, dust, and hair that is bigger than the holes.
The second part is a “contraption” made of what looks like folded paper.
The outer gauze “pre-filter” can make the inner HEPA filter last much longer.
What Can HEPA Filters Remove?
Because of the way they work, HEPA filters are very good at catching nanoparticles.
They are good for people with asthma and allergies because they can catch small particles like pollen and dust mite feces, which can cause asthma and allergy symptoms.
Ultrafine pollutants, such as viruses and bacteria, can also be caught by HEPA filters.
They are very good at getting rid of dust, pollen, mold, certain bacteria and viruses, dust mites, PM2.5, pet dander, and a number of other solid allergens found in indoor air.
HEPA Filters: Regulations and Maintenance
There are strict rules about how to make and use HEPA filters.
In Europe, HEPA filters have to get rid of 99.95% of particles, but in the US, they only have to get rid of 99.97% of particles.
All air cleaners need to have their filters cleaned and replaced every so often for them to work properly.
Follow the maintenance and replacement instructions that the maker gives you.
H13 HEPA Filters
H13 HEPA filters are an advanced type of HEPA filter that can get rid of even smaller particles that are only 0.1 microns in size.
Most hospitals use them, and sometimes they are called “medical-grade HEPA filters.”
HEPA filters are a good way to get rid of airborne particles inside.
They are highly effective at capturing nanoparticles and can remove a variety of allergens and pollutants.
To make sure HEPA filters work, they need to be taken care of and replaced regularly.
H13 HEPA filters are an advanced type of HEPA filter that can catch even smaller particles.
Pet Allergies: A Major Concern for Air Purifier Users
Pet allergies are a common problem for many people, and they can be especially troublesome for those who use air purifiers.
Airborne particles such as pet dander, hair, and saliva can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, leading to symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes.
Air purifiers can help to remove these particles from the air, reducing the risk of allergic reactions and improving overall air quality.
However, not all air purifiers are created equal when it comes to pet allergies.
Some models are specifically designed to target pet dander and other allergens, while others may not be as effective.
When choosing an air purifier for pet allergies, it’s important to consider factors such as the type of filter used, the size of the unit, and the recommended room size for optimal performance.
For more information:
Benefits of Using a HEPA Filter
HEPA Filters: Trapping Harmful Airborne Particles
By forcing air through a fine mesh, HEPA filters are made to catch small, dangerous particles like pollen, pet dander, smoke, and dust mites.
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air, and these filters can remove up to 99.7% of airborne particulate matter.
Using HEPA filters in air purifiers can help bring allergy relief by trapping pollutants that cause allergies.
Most viruses, allergens, and PM2.5, which are linked to many diseases and can make allergies worse, can be taken out of the air by a HEPA filter.
Smoke and Respiratory Problems
HEPA filters can also get rid of smoke particles and other pollutants in the air, which can help people who have trouble breathing.
Pet allergens and hair can stay on furniture and carpets, making the air inside dirty and making people with allergies sick.
These allergens can be caught by HEPA filters, which can improve the air quality inside.
Using HEPA filters in vacuum cleaners can also help reduce the amount of dust and tiny dust mites that get thrown back into the room when you vacuum.
Air purifiers often have HEPA filters.
These are small, portable units that can clean the air in a single room.
When choosing an air purifier, it is important to find out how much air the filter can clean and to buy one that is big enough for the room where it will be used.
You can buy HEPA filters at most home improvement stores and on the internet.
HEPA air cleaners use less energy, but you should change the filters every three months to get the most out of them.
HEPA Filter Maintenance
HEPA Filters: Capturing Airborne Particles
HEPA filters are designed to capture a wide range of airborne particles, including dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and ultrafine particles that are much smaller than 0.3 microns.
US Environmental Protection Agency says that HEPA filters should be able to get rid of at least 99.97% of these particles.
In fact, Alen True HEPA filters can catch 99.9% of particles as small as 0.1 microns, including germs like mold, bacteria, and viruses like COVID-19.
Mechanisms of HEPA Filters
Particles get caught in HEPA filters in three ways: by diffusion, by being caught, and by the force of the particle’s motion.
Diffusion happens when tiny particles move in a zigzag pattern and get stuck in the maze-like fibers of HEPA.
Interception happens when an airborne particle comes within the radius of one particle of a HEPA fiber and gets caught by the fiber.
The particle is then trapped in the filter.
Inertial impaction happens when larger particles are drawn through the filter and hit HEPA fibers.
This traps the larger particles.
Lifespan of HEPA Filters
How long a HEPA filter lasts depends on the type of filter, the air quality, and the environment.
As a general rule, HEPA filters that can be changed should be changed every 6 to 12 months.
Some HEPA filters are so strong, though, that they don’t need to be changed for up to a year.
Smart Air Filters says that the Sqair HEPA filter should be changed every 1400 hours, which is about 6 months if the Sqair runs for 8 hours a day on high.
Carbon Pre-Filters and Permanent Filters
Air purifiers may have HEPA filters and carbon pre-filters that need to be changed every 3 months.
Permanent filters don’t need to be changed, but they should be cleaned every so often to get rid of any dust that has built up.
Importance of Regularly Changing Air Purifier Filters
Air purifier filters need to be changed often because over time, the particles that get caught in the filter can build up and make the air purifier less effective.
HEPA filters are some of the best air filters on the market because they can catch 99.97% of the smallest particles.
Because of this, HEPA filters should be changed every 6 to 12 months, depending on the type of filter and how often it is used.
6#)Additional Air Purifier Features
Choosing an Air Purifier
A HEPA filter is not the only thing to think about when looking for an air purifier.
The size of the air purifier is important, and it should be the right size for the room where it will be used.
Another thing to think about is how loud the air purifier is, especially if it will be used in a bedroom or other quiet space.
- “Size and noise level are important factors to consider when choosing an air purifier.”
Some air purifiers have washable pre-filters that catch large particles before they get to the main filter.
This can save you money on filter replacements.
The clean air delivery rate (CADR) is another important thing to think about.
It shows how quickly the air purifier can filter air.
- “Washable pre-filters and CADR are additional features to consider when choosing an air purifier.”
Some air purifiers have extra filters, like activated carbon or charcoal filters, that can catch gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and odor compounds.
The AAFA recommends air purifiers with certified filters that are safe for people with asthma and allergies and that get rid of almost 98% of allergens in the air.
It’s also important to choose an air purifier that doesn’t make ozone.
Ozone can irritate the lungs, and ionizing air purifiers can make it.
- “Additional filters, certified asthmaand allergy-friendly filters, and ozone-free air purifiers are important considerations for those with allergies or respiratory issues.”
HEPA filters are the best way to clean the air because they can get rid of up to 99% of the particles in the air.
But some air purifiers use both HEPA filters and other technologies, like UV light, to clean the air even better.
- “HEPA filters are the most effective at removing airborne particles, but some air purifiers combine HEPA filters with other technologies for increased effectiveness.”
It’s also important to choose a reputable manufacturer with good customer service who can help with any problems or questions that may come up.
- “Choosing a reputable manufacturer with good customer support is important.”
Maintaining an Air Purifier
To make sure your air purifier and HEPA filter work well and keep the air in your home clean, you must keep them in good shape.
Here are some ways to keep your air purifier and HEPA filter in good condition:
1. Clean the prefilter. The prefilter catches larger particles like pet hair, and keeping it clean helps the HEPA filter work better on fine particles. Every month or so, you should vacuum it, wipe it down, or rinse it off.
2. Filters should be changed on a regular basis. HEPA and carbon filters have a limited life, and it’s easy to forget that you have to replace them every so often. Purifier manufacturers typically recommend annual replacement, so set a calendar reminder.
3. Keep on top of your filter changes: The first and most important component of air purifier maintenance is making sure that you’re changing the filters at proper intervals. Make sure to change your filters at the right times to keep the air quality high.
4. Wash your prefilter often. You can vacuum the prefilter or wipe it down, but you can also wash it often to keep it clean.
5. Don’t wash the HEPA filter. Washing HEPA filters with water makes them much less effective, so you shouldn’t do it. Instead, you should replace the HEPA filter when it gets clogged and stops working as well.
- “Regular maintenance is important for optimal performance and clean air. Tips for maintaining an air purifier include cleaning the prefilter, scheduling filter replacement, changing filters at proper intervals, washing the prefilter, and replacing the HEPA filter when it becomes clogged.”
In conclusion, airborne particles like pet dander can affect our health and well-being in a big way.
While owning an air purifier can help to mitigate the effects of these particles, it’s important to remember that they are just one piece of the puzzle.
To keep a healthy indoor environment, it is important to clean regularly, make sure there is enough air flow, and limit exposure to allergens.
But maybe the most important thing to remember is that our furry friends are worth the extra work.
Even though pet dander can be annoying, the love and company that our pets give us is worth a lot more.
So, whether you have a pet or are thinking about getting one, don’t forget how much joy they bring into your life.
After all, a little pet dander is a small price to pay for the love and loyalty that our furry friends give us without condition.
Links and references
- “Aerosol Technology” by William C. Hinds
- US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website on indoor air quality and coronavirus transmission
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory website on airborne particles in indoor air quality
My article on the topic: