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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air

Are Air Purifiers Safe for Pets?

Are Air Purifiers Safe for Pets?

David Chao/flickr

Air purifiers seem like a great solution to the odors and dander produced by your pets. However, some purifiers can be potentially hazardous to your pet’s well-being.

Having pets are awesome. They entertain you, they provide companionship, and some of them even protect you. If they’re allowed inside, they also make for great cuddle buddies. But with all that cuteness, there’s the occasional price to pay. One of these downsides is smell. You know -- that musty cat-litter smell? That’s the last thing you want to encounter when you come home from a long day of work.

The other, of course, is allergies. Even if you’re not actually allergic to pet hair or feathers, they can still aggravate your sinuses. When birds rub their feathers together, a fine dust is emitted that can give you a serious allergic reaction.

Luckily there’s a solution for your cuddly, but stinky problem – an air purifier.

Bless you!


Gerson Leite/ flickr

Before you storm out and buy the first air purifier you see, you need to know about a few things that should influence your decision. One big no-no is purchasing a purifier that emits ozone. This can be deadly to your pet parakeet, parrot, or flying squirrel (we don’t judge what kind of pet you have).

An ozonator (also called an ionizer) is a type of air purifier that oxidizes and destroys bacteria, fungus, mold, viruses and mildew, and leaves pure oxygen in their place. Too much of this oxygen can be harmful to your bird, and according to BirdChannel.com, the FDA has set a limit of 50 parts per billion of ozone from electronic air cleaners.

So if you have a feathery friend, it’s probably best to steer clear of anything with “ozone” or “ionize” in its name, or at least to consult your veterinarian before you fork over your hard-earned cash.

Pet hair can also lead to a sneeze or two, but it’s not the hair itself that’s giving you trouble. Just like humans, animals shed dead skin cells, and these little buggers are what really wreak havoc on your sinuses.

That’s where a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter can help you out. According to WebMD, a HEPA filter works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles, such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke.

Aromatherapy

While avoiding the accidental death of your pets with an ionizer is an admirable step in the right direction, that’s only half the problem solved. Improving the air quality might address the allergy problem to an extent, but that odor is still lingering around the house, right?

A carbon-based filter in your air purifier can absorb odors effectively, but if you have a severe urine-odor problem that could use a little more oomph, opting for an air purifier that has an additional carbon filter is the way to go. One air purifier that has just that is the Rabbit Air MinusA2, which can be fitted with an extra Customized filter made specifically to deal with pet odors and allergens.

Also, make sure that your air filter has the capacity to run 24 hours a day -- otherwise, you won’t be able to fully reap the filter’s benefits.

Verdict

So are air purifiers safe for pets? Definitely. By doing your research, checking specifications thoroughly, and maybe having a chat with your vet, you can find the ideal air purifier to improve the air quality that you and your furry, feathery friends breathe in.

Maggie Marx is a writer from South Africa with a penchant for Labradors and hedgehogs.

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5 Reasons Why Buying an Air Purifier is Worth Your Investment

Chances are you have heard at least one person you know who has talked about, or recommended, using an air purifier. Because they are becoming more and more popular, it may be tempting to wonder if they are simply a fad that will eventually disappear. In reality, these carefully designed filters have been created to greatly improve air quality by effectively eliminating the most harmful and bothersome particles. These pollutants include dust, pet dander, smoke, allergens, and environmental pollution that always seem to find a way into your home or office. As you consider whether or not purchasing an air purifier is worth your investment you may wish to consider some of the most compelling reasons why this product is well worth every penny you will spend.

 

 You Are an Animal Lover with Allergies

Many people who adore animals and live with pets experience allergies related directly to the pet dander, hair, and fur that are a consequence of living with these lovable creatures. An air purifier works effectively to filter this dander from your air to leave the environment cleaner and healthier. In some cases, small children are more sensitive to pet dander than adults, so for families with both small children and pets, an air purifier is an excellent investment.


 Your House Smells Dirty

Sensitivity to smells is something a lot of people find bothersome and at times sickening. If your home seems to absorb odors from sports playing teenagers, a smoking roommate, dirty diapers, or your furry friends, an air purifier could be just what you need to eliminate unwanted smells and leave the air fresh and enjoyable to breathe.

 

Residents of apartments or employees in an office building, may also experience drafts coming from another part of the building that carry odors with them. Oftentimes, unpleasant smells may waft through into your work or living space. Positioning an air purifier at the entrance of these odors can help to eliminate them before you ever smell them.

 

 You Have Loved Ones With Respiratory Problems

Respiratory diseases such as asthma are unpredictable in the sense that certain allergens can immediately set off an attack that can reduce lung function and in severe cases, result in an inability to breathe. For families with children or parents with such diseases, doctors often recommend keeping air quality as high as possible to allow easy breathing and to eliminate the possibility of health problems from occurring.

 

Air purifiers are designed to filter air of harmful allergens that often trigger these attacks. Whether smoke, dander, or dust seem to make breathing harder for suffering family members, the right air purifier can increase air quality and provide everyone with peace of mind.

 

 You Live With or Near a Smoker

Studies have shown that secondhand smoke is incredibly harmful to the human body and can have serious side effects. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are specifically designed to eliminate smoke and tobacco pollutants and odors. If you live with or near a smoker, your decision to invest in a purifier could make a significant difference in the way you feel.

 

 You Have a Brand New Home

Moving into a brand new home can be incredibly exciting and rewarding. However that “new house” smell can be filled with pollutants such as formaldehyde which is a dangerous toxin that has been shown to cause health problems. An air purifier can help filter this toxic air and give everyone in the home a bit more confidence that they are breathing healthier air. This is an especially smart decision if you have small children or babies.

 

With these compelling reasons why investing in an air purifier is beneficial and rewarding, it isn’t any surprise that many people are making the decision to purchase one today. Increase the quality of the air in your home or office with this revolutionary product.

 

Let us help you choose the correct air purifier for your needs. Our knowledgeable, friendly and honest customer service representatives are available to you 24 hours a day. Just contact us or call 888.866.8862.

 

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5 Types of Smells You Can Get Rid of With an Air Purifier

Scented candles, heated oils, and other scented products are becoming increasingly popular as busy homeowners try desperately to cover up the smell of last night’s salmon dinner or get rid of pet odors before the in-laws come over. A home that smells bad is generally considered to be unclean and dirty, even if that is not really the case. While air fresheners and scented candles can quickly cover up undesirable smells, they cannot fix the root cause of the bad smell, nor can they make the air cleaner and safer to breathe.

If you want to simultaneously clean and freshen the air from bad odors, you should invest in a quality air purifier. Although an air purifier is more expensive up-front than candles or scented oils, it can be used for a much longer period of time, and it can actually clean the air instead of just covering up bad odors. These benefits alone make an air purifier well worth the initial investment. Here are five types of smells you can get rid of with an air purifier:

  1. Smoke

No one likes the smell of smoke in their home, whether it comes from cigarettes or a weekend camp-out. Unlike some other scents, the smell of smoke can be incredibly difficult to get rid of, especially if it has a chance to permeate your furniture, drapes, and carpet. If you want to drastically reduce or even eliminate the smoke scent in your home once and for all, adding an air purifier to your room is a fantastic first step.

There are a few different types of purifiers you can choose from, including:

  • Electronic air purifiers
  • Ionizers
  • Mechanical high efficiency particulate air filters

They all work in different ways, but their intended purpose is the same: to remove pollutants and odors from the air by trapping them in some sort of filter, or by forcing them to the ground so that they can be removed with a vacuum.

  1. Pet Odor

No matter how often you give your pet a bath, pets inevitably stink. By nature, cats, dogs, and all of our other furry friends are smelly creatures that constantly shed and fill the home with pet dander and unpleasant odors. Not only can pet dander be a nightmare for those with allergies, but pet odor throughout a home can be very embarrassing.

If you want to have neighbors, friends, and family members over without feeling ashamed of the way your house smells, or if you want to stop sneezing constantly due to an allergic reaction to pet dander, then an air purifier could be just what you need. The most efficient air purifiers will have filters that can remove not only the dander and hair that your pet sheds, but it will be able to absorb odors from pet beds and litter-boxes. Not only will your home smell cleaner after you place an air purifier in each main room, but you will also rid the air of many air-born pollutants that can make life miserable for those who have allergies or asthma.

  1. Food Smells

Health professionals advise that you eat at least one serving of fish a week, but cooking fish can make your home unbearably stinky for days afterward. If you avoid cooking healthy meals full of omega-3 fatty acids because you cannot stand the thought of dealing with post-dinner fish scent, then an air purifier can definitely help.

An air purifier will not only help to reduce or eliminate the scent from your leftover fish dinner, but it will also help reduce other food odors in your kitchen as well, including the strong scent that lingers after cooking with delicious but strong smelling spices like curry, or the smell of the occasionally-burned chicken breast. If you come home after a long day at work and you notice that your house has “bad breath”, get out your trusty air purifier and run it on a high speed to quickly freshen up the air.

  1. Garbage

Have you ever forgotten to take the garbage out after dumping raw chicken fat or old vegetables into your garbage bag? If you have ever been unfortunate enough to experience the smell of a day-old garbage can full of rotten meat or old vegetables, then you know how challenging it can be to rid your house of the smell, even after you have removed the garbage bag and washed out the trash can.

Rather than trying to mask the smell with an air freshening spray, use an air filter to trap the lingering, smelly particles that have escaped into the air from your garbage can. As the particles become trapped in the air filter, the smell of your home will improve drastically.

  1. Dirty Diapers

Whether you own some type of special diaper disposer or you throw dirty diapers away the old-fashioned way, there is nothing that can make your home smell like an outhouse quicker than a day-old used diaper. If you invest in a quality air purifier, you will be surprised how much the smell in your baby’s room and your home improves.

No matter what type of unpleasant smell you currently have in your home, a good air purifier will not only help to reduce or eliminate it, but will make the air you breathe healthier and fresher as well.

We can help you choose the correct air purifier for your home or office. Our friendly, knowledgeable, and honest customer service representatives are available to you 24 hours a day. Just contact us or call 888.866.8862.

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5 Things You May Not Know About the Air Quality in Your Home

The majority of our lives are spent indoors, whether sleeping, in school or working. Unfortunately, the lack of ventilation found in many homes and buildings can result in higher quantities of contaminants, creating poor indoor air quality. This, in turn, can result in a number of health ailments. The type of air you breathe in your own house has quite the effect on your life in general. Here are five things you may not know about the air quality in your home.

A Little Mold Can Have Big Effects
Mold finds its ideal home when the tiny spores locate an area containing moisture. It doesn’t have to be a large area of wetness or even an obvious one, so if you have had a flood, a broken pipe or a slow leak, you want to be proactive in drying the area and getting humidity under control. Once mold finds its way in, it quickly becomes invasive, growing and damaging your property at a rather fast pace. However, it can affect more than just the structure of a building. Mold is transferred in small spores that are lightweight and easily airborne, making it easy to breathe in the contaminants without realizing it. For someone with an allergy to mold, this can result in sneezing, rashes, itching and other symptoms of hay-fever. It can also exacerbate asthmatic symptoms. Even if allergies aren’t present, mold can irritate one's eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Extended exposure can result in even more serious conditions and ailments. While the first step is to remove the conditions that helped create the mold in the home, such as fixing leaks and ensuring all areas are dry, the air needs to be purified as well to ensure the airborne spores have been removed.  

Better Air Quality = Higher productivity
If you have a home office, you might want to take measures to increase your air quality if you want to get more out of your workday. A study published by the International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy, an organization from the Technical University of Denmark, shows that the better the indoor air quality is, the higher the output of productivity you can achieve. In fact, there can be upwards of a 9 percent difference based solely on the air around you. While it may cost a little extra to make the initial changes, it is projected that those particular expenses can be recouped by the boost of productivity that will come afterwards.

Radon May Be Present
Radon may sound like something out of a science-fiction film, but unfortunately it’s more than just a fictional plot twist in many homes. When naturally occurring uranium breaks down in the soil, radon is released. Openings in your home that are near this part of the earth can become a portal for the odorless, colorless – and very dangerous -- gas to enter your home. It can be a slow but deadly process. Once it is breathed in, it breaks down further in your lungs, resulting in increasing damage to your respiratory tissue. Over 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year are now being attributed to radon poisoning.

Pets Affect Air Quality
Most people associate pet allergies with an animal’s fur. However, this isn’t actually the case. The allergen is found in the dander (dead skin cells that have been discarded) and secreted fluids from the animal’s saliva or urine. These allergens can easily attach themselves to the hair, which is why the presence of the fur is commonly associated with allergic reactions. However, even when that fur is cleaned from an area, that doesn’t mean the dander is gone. Micro in size, dander is lightweight and can become airborne for some time before finding another surface on which to attach itself, whether fabric, flooring, carpets or clothing. Vacuuming and dusting can remove some,  but these activities also stir up the air, causing some dust and dander to become airborne again. Even if a person with an allergy keeps their distance from a pet, they are still exposed to the dander simply by breathing in the air, which can trigger an allergic reaction. Air purification is necessary to filter out these pollutants that are too small to be visible, thus difficult to remove by manual cleaning methods.

What Gets Inside Stays Inside
Today’s homes are built with amazing precision and with much tighter construction, which is usually viewed as a positive characteristic. After all, that means warm air stays in during winter months, less conditioned air seeps out in the summer, and nature is kept outdoors. Unfortunately, this all means there is less natural ventilation in today’s homes. When doors and windows are opened, outdoor pollutants that make their way in can’t easily make their way back out again. This also goes for indoor contaminants such as chemicals associated with cleaning products, byproducts of heat sources, allergens, smoke and pet dander, which become trapped.

The risks associated with poor air quality are seldom visible to the naked eye, making them difficult to pinpoint and rectify. It is important to remain vigilant in removing pollutants from the air you breathe in your own home with purification and continued testing to ensure it remains the highest of quality.

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Using an Air Purifier for Pets and Pet Dander

 If you’re like many Americans, your pets are as much a part of your family as the kids. They love you unconditionally, they think you can do no wrong, and they seldom roll their eyes at you. While their furry little selves can be a comfort to their humans, they can also have quite the impact on the air quality inside your home. Over 60 percent of households today include pets, with many of the animals spending all or at least part of their time indoors. Since our furry friends clearly aren’t going anywhere, the next best bet for an animal lover is the use of an air purifier throughout the home.

Breathing Easy

When people have allergies to animals, it is not the actual hair they are allergic to but the dander from discarded skin cells or fluids secreted by the animal that attaches to the hair. These are the actual allergens causing the reaction, however it is so small that we often assume that the larger particle that we can see, the pet’s hair, is the cause. The dander can adhere to just about any object throughout the house, including furniture, walls, carpets and other flooring. The animal doesn’t need to be in close contact to the area where the allergens land as the small particles can be airborne for quite some time. The fluids are often produced through urine and saliva and can remain on surfaces and in areas where there has been contact. Both the fluids and dander easily attach themselves to a pet’s coat.

Dander and the allergens in fluid are both micro in size and can be difficult to eliminate. A person cannot locate them with the naked eye and so often doesn’t even realize the severity of the issue in their home. It can take reoccurring respiratory ailments or allergy attacks before many realize the source of the issue is in their own living space. Asthma sufferers can be affected greatly by this. About a quarter of those with asthma have allergies to animals or have severe sensitivities, which can result in tightening of the chest and wheezing when they come into contact. Since dander can remain in the air for a while, cleaning surfaces have no effect on removal of many of the allergens. Air purifiers work specifically to remove these small particles from the air, decreasing the occurrence of both respiratory and dermal ailments.

Due to its lightweight size, dander is easily transferred. Even if you do not have pets, there is likely dander in your home, as well as in public spaces that you frequent such as schools, stores, offices and hospitals. Petting, holding or being licked by an animal is a surefire way to become a vehicle for it but even visiting an area where dander has been present can result in the same. The airborne particles can attach to ­hair and clothing, moving into your personal space with you none the wiser.

Removing Odors

Pet odors don’t just come from having dogs and cats. Birds, gerbils, ferrets, guinea pigs, and even fish at times can create strong and unwelcome odors in your home. A quick fix is to use a deodorizer or air freshener that is sprayed throughout the room containing the offensive smell. Unfortunately, that technique simply masks the problem without eliminating the cause. In addition, you are often spraying chemicals and newer – albeit prettier smelling – pollutants into your living space. Using an air purifier can get to the root of the problem, removing the actual odor causing particles. ­­

Traditional Cleaning

While traditional cleaning methods do make an impact on the air quality of your home in relation to pet dander and the allergens that come with it, it may not be the impact you are thinking. When you vacuum or dust, large surface pollutants may be removed but many times allergens that are too small to be visible are sent flying. Disrupting areas in your carpet where dander has settled can actually increase the amount of allergens that become present in the air you and your family then breathe. Coupling traditional cleaning methods with a filtering system assists in removing these disrupted particles from the air quickly before they find their way into your lungs.

How Purifiers Can Affect Your Pets

Having an air purifier in the home can be as advantageous to your pets as to the human residents. It is not uncommon for animals to have allergies themselves and removing allergens from the air can help to reduce their symptoms, such as scratching, biting, or licking their paws and legs. Animals, especially those of the smaller variety, can also be sensitive to chemicals released from cleaning products and synthetic fragrances. Mold particles can also cause detriment to your furry friend. When pollutants are removed from the air, their respiratory system benefits much in the same way yours does.

Having pets in your home should be a positive part of your life without causing worry as to how their dander is affecting your indoor air quality. Making a simple change such as placing an air purifier in your home can help you and your pets breathe easy and maintain a clean and healthy lifestyle.

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Tame Pet Hair and Pet Dander with Your Air Purifier

Most people love their pets and consider them to be part of their family.  However, pet hair and pet dander can often be quite troublesome, especially if a family member or friend has pet allergies. Suddenly Fido or Fluffy has become more of a challenge than a beloved pet as you’re constantly trying to remove pet hair, and trying to keep your pet away from anyone who is allergic.

Pet Allergy A helpful solution can be to add an air purifier for pet dander and pet hair. An air purifier can help to remove pet hair and pet dander from the air. Depending on the severity of the person’s allergies, an air purifier can sometimes be enough to let them be in the same room with the family pet. It may even be enough for them to be able to stay in the house for a weekend. While there are other things you can do to help someone with pet allergies, adding an air purifier is a great place to start and can definitely help to improve the situation.

Not every air purifier will remove pet dander and pet hair, so you’ll want to double check to make sure that your air purifier can do the job. If the air purifier does remove pet dander and pet hair, like our MinusA2 with the Pet Allergy Customized filter, the best solution is to put the air purifier in the room where the person with allergies will be spending the most time. This could be the guest bedroom, the family room or another room that you choose. Because the MinusA2 is portable, you can move it around as the person’s needs change during the day and evening; such as putting the air purifier in the guest bedroom at night and the family room during the day. Remember that air purifiers clean the air in a room several times an hour, so if you move the air purifier into the guest bedroom half an hour before they retire for bed, it will have cleaned the air a few times so that they can get a good night’s rest.

There are additional things you can do to help the person with pet hair and pet dander allergies, while also helping your air purifier. One of the best things you can do for pet allergies is to be an enthusiastic vacuumer. Thoroughly vacuum your home, even the cushions of the couch. Try to remember to vacuum areas that Fido or Fluffy has been in with extra care, as these will have more pet hair and pet dander. Vacuum once or twice a week for best results if you find that pet hair and pet dander bother someone you know.



Another helpful thing you can do for pet hair and pet dander is to stay on top of pet grooming. Your dog should be groomed regularly, which includes getting a bath. Simply bathing your dog will help to remove allergens. Please do NOT bathe your cat…you’ll probably regret it as much as the cat will! But if you have a long haired cat you can help remove pet dander while enjoying some quality snuggle time by brushing it regularly and gently. The cat will enjoy it, and you will breathe easier!

If your pets go outside, they may also bring allergens into the home. They may come in with wet fur from the rain, or with leaves and grass in their fur, all of which have the potential to aggravate someone with allergies. As your pet comes in take a moment to run a paper towel along their back. Remove anything that comes off – leaves, grass, etc – and toss it into the wastebasket. This will also help to keep allergens at bay and your friends and family breathing better.

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