Removing cat or dog odors in the home can be difficult, as these odors come from various sources and are composed of different elements that cause the odor. Most often, the odors come from urine or fecal matter, litter boxes, and scent glands secretions as our pets (especially cats) mark their territory. Getting rid of all the small skin flakes or dander and hair is important, as well, as these all have skin oils on them that can contribute to lingering odors once they get mixed with house dust and become circulated by the air conditioner.
Along with regular cleaning, if you buy a room air purifier with the right type of filters, you can remove over 99% of these pollutants and the odors that go with them. If the unit has a quality HEPA filter, that should remove the particles pretty well. Where it gets tricky, however, is the carbon filters. Obviously the air cleaner needs to have an activated carbon filter, but the type of carbon does matter. First, the air cleaner you buy for pet odors needs to have several pounds of quality granular carbon, not crushed carbon and not a thin foam sheet. Carbon becomes saturated and stops working at that point, so if there isn’t much carbon in the filter, it’s going to get used up quickly and stop removing odors.
Next, check with the retailer or manufacturer to see if the carbon blend they are using is good for removing ammonia and VOC’s. These are the two most common elements found in urine, litter boxes, etc that cause the majority of pet odors and if the carbon isn’t good at removing these, it won’t do the job very well. Negative ions are also helpful in removing pet odors since they help disintegrate these chemical pollutants in the air, making the carbon (and HEPA filters) work more efficiently. Air purifier brands like Aller Air, Austin Air and Blueair are some of the best air cleaners for removing and controlling pet odors.
Also keep in mind that you’ll need to make sure the air cleaner can cover the space adequately-buying an air purifier that only covers 150 square feet at full speed, for example, is going to be loud, and when you leave that room you’re likely to smell odors again. Buying a unit that covers 700 to 1500 square feet or more, however, allows you to run the unit on a lower speed (quieter) and it will have enough power to cover several rooms with one air cleaner-and that is usually more cost effective than buying a small unit for several rooms.
Lastly, if you have multiple pets, you will probably need to replace your filters more often or sooner. Multiple pets can create several times the dander, secretions, hair, and other odor sources and that means the carbon will likely become saturated sooner. So when you start noticing that the air cleaner isn’t removing the odors that well any more, it’s probably time to at least change the carbon filter. Note: Aller Air air purifiers allow you to replace just the activated carbon in the filter, which is cheaper than buying a whole new filter.:)