Pet dander and odors are a problem for many cat, dog, & bird owners with allergies and other respiratory problems. To help deal with these pollutants, many people buy portable air cleaners to remove the pollutants from the air. In many cases, however, that doesn’t completely solve the problem, as there are still allergies and odors in various places in the home. What’s going on? If you’ve had a pet for a while, it’s likely that the air conditioner ducts have accumulated a good amount of odor and allergy causing dander & other particles and every time the central air conditioner turns on, it blows out some of these particles and odors into into your home. And unless you have a portable air cleaner with a lot of carbon running in every single room, there’s a good chance that you’ll breathe and smell these odors and other pollutants before the air purifier can remove them. Other than the odors, the larger issue at hand is the health hazards produced by breathing these dander particles on a regular basis. The normal ‘house dust’ you see is usually loaded with live bacteria, mold spores, fecal matter from the dander, dust mites, etc, and since they are ‘alive’, they can cause infections and other issues, on top of the annoying, lingering pet odors.
Like most significant problems, the solution requires a combination approach for lasting results. And this is why a room air purifier can make a lot of difference in indoor air quality, but to achieve super-clean, odor free air, it’s best to also use a quality UV or ultraviolet light air purifier system in the air conditioner ducts. Why? UV light not only immediately kills any bacteria, mold spores, viruses or other duct-dwelling organisms that might be floating by, but also produces a healthy, negative OH- ions that further destroy other bacteria & viruses, and naturally freshen the air. Negative ions are naturally produced in nature, around waterfalls, when it rains, etc. That’s why sometimes the air is so clean and fresh smelling out in the woods, etc. Negative ions also increase the efficiency of HEPA filters, so that they clean the air just a little bit better. Because of these benefits, a UV light air cleaner system mounted in the duct work is often the ‘missing link’ for pet owners still struggling with dander, odors, and allergies. It’s not always the air cleaner that isn’t working that well-you just need an UV system in the HVAC duct to work as a team, to get the cleanest, freshest air possible.
Do your homework, however, when deciding which ultraviolet light air cleaner to purchase. Make sure that the bulbs are laboratory grade 36 watt UV-C bulbs, and that the unit has two bulbs placed 30 inches apart. If you do this, the UV system will be able to provide you with a kill rate of over 99% of all germs, bacteria, mold, etc. Any UV light systems with only one bulb or lower wattage bulbs should be avoided because they simply will not provide enough light units to do the job. And, any two bulb UV light systems where the bulbs are too close together, not separate where you can place them 30 inches apart will not clean the air properly either. When the bulbs are too close together, the light rays sort of combine and have a reduced effect on the organisms. Two bulbs 30 inches apart, however, has been shown in research to kill over 99% of mold and bacteria on first exposure. Also, make sure that the bulbs are mounted correctly in the HVAC or central air conditioner ducts-mount them on the output side of the indoor air conditioner unit, after the coil. This is because many organisms live right on the cooling coil, and having the UV light air cleaner positioned after the coil ensures you’ll destroy any of those odor and allergy-producing dander, dust, and particles that are released from the coil, too. So if you are still dealing with tough pet odors, dander, allergies, etc., consider getting a two -bulb UV light air cleaner system as a ‘one-two punch’ that is often, the missing link for truly clean, fresh, indoor air.