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I've heard about the benefits of air purifiers for years but never thought to purchase one (or three) until now. Living with four dogs means that we have dog hair tumbleweeds floating around the room, the occasional doggy odor, and spring allergies. This year, Johan developed a cough that wouldn't go away. He shared that he'd be fine during the day (when he was away) but then his cough would return when he got home and we began to wonder if he developed an allergy to the dogs. As you can imagine, the dogs weren't going anywhere, so we came up with another plan. Clean. Clean every day. And, let me tell you, cleaning every day SUCKS. It's not a ton of work, but it's not like we're fighting over who gets to use the vacuum cleaner first either. But we did this for months – we swept daily and mopped every other day and still, he was coughing.
So, I had an idea. I ordered a small air purifier for my office. This is where me and the dogs spend most of our time during the week – I'm working, they're sleeping. Because it's not an open space, the dog smell ramps up quickly no matter how often I dust, vacuum, and wash the dog bedding. After the first day with the air purifier, the room smelled amazing. Like when you open the windows and let the house air out. I was sold. So I went out and purchased two more air purifiers and we've been living like this for a couple of weeks. Johan's coughing stopped almost immediately after we added the two larger air purifiers.
Benefits of an Air Purifier
An air purifier is a device that cleans the air, removing contaminants while improving air quality indoors. Air purifiers are great for people who have allergies or respiratory symptoms and they are said to help remove the smell of cigarette smoke and pet odors from the home. Air pollutants aren't an issue for most people because they clear away over time. However, if we're constantly exposed to smoke, pollen, pet dander, and pollutants, then it feels as if the air never clears away.
But do they work?
Yes. Yes. YES!!!
Are Air Purifiers Safe to Use Around Pets?
This is something that I should have looked up before I went shopping, but it never occurred to me that air purifiers would be harmful to my dogs and cat. It turns out that some air purifiers release ozone into the atmosphere which can be harmful to pets, especially those with respiratory illness. With long-term exposure (and if you're like us, you'll be running the air purifier daily) pets can develop respiratory symptoms. In some cases, long-term exposure can be fatal. Crazy, right?
What to Look for in Air Purifiers
Power – with the cooler temps, our dogs are spending more time inside the house and my goal with adding air purifiers to the rooms was to decrease allergens and any pet odor. What I found helpful when shopping was that the air purifiers noted what room sizes each could accommodate and I purchased accordingly.
Options – I didn't want anything overly complicated. I'm not one to read instruction manuals and I was looking for air purifiers that I could plug in, turn on, and go. I also didn't want to have to purchase filters and looked for purifiers that included the first filter.
Sound – in a house filled with noise, I didn't want to add three noisy machines so a quiet air purifier was a must. I want to be able to forget that the air purifiers are in the room.
Our Air Purifiers
I didn't do any research on air purifiers. Instead, I purchased a small one that was well-reviewed on Amazon and purchased two more at a local store. I'm thankful that it worked out.
RIGOGLIOSO Air Purifier for Home
The RIGOGLIOSO is a small air purifier that can sit in a corner of a room, on a table, or shelf. Despite being small, it's done a great job. Currently, this air purifier is in my home office, where the dogs and I spend most of our time during the week as I work from home. It's very silent, easy to use (one-touch turns it on), and comes with an air filter. This one works so well that I want to get another one for the room where the cat box lives. Despite keeping it clean and washing it regularly, we still have litter box odor from time to time.
The cost was $40. The replacement air filters are $13 each on Amazon.
Filtrete Air Purifier for Small/Medium Rooms
The Filtrete air purifier is sitting in the corner of our living room. I wanted a black one, but the size I needed for the room wasn't available in black at our store and while I could have just ordered it on Amazon, I'm also trying to support local businesses too. Amazon has truly spoiled me. The Filtrete air purifier is silent, easy to use, comes with a filter. It has three levels and I primarily use it on the lowest level, which is perfectly fine for the living/dining room area. The higher levels do increase the noise, but not so much that it's a distraction or scares the dogs. What I love most about this one is that you can set it to run for 2, 4, or 8 hours.
The cost was $100. The replacement air filters are $35 for a 2-pack.
Honeywell Tower Air Purifier for Medium/Large Rooms
We placed the Honeywell Tower air purifier in the family room, which is one big room shared with our kitchen. This one we got in black (white wasn't an option). Like the others, the Honeywell Tower is silent, easy to use, and comes with a filter. And like the Filtrete, we can set it to run for 2, 4, or 8 hours and then it will shut off automatically.
The cost was $180. The replacement air filters are $33 each on Amazon (or $40 for a 2-pack).
All of these air purifiers are less expensive on Amazon.
How Often Do Filters Need to be Replaced?
Most manufacturers recommend replacing the filter in their air purifiers every three to six months. I'm guessing that we'll be changing filters closer to the three-month mark since we're a home with four dogs and a cat. The filters are available at our local store or I can purchase them online.
Are Air Purifiers Worth It?
This remains to be seen, but I think it will be worth it. Both Johan and I feel better – no respiratory/allergy symptoms. The house smells fresh and clean. And we don't see dog hair floating around. Of course, we're still sweeping, mopping (we have hardwood floors), and vacuuming regularly – but the air purifiers are a great improvement.
I'm curious to see how the addition of the air purifiers impacts our electricity bill. It'll be interesting to see how much replacing the filters will add to our budget. And I'm excited to see how my hay fever responds next spring.
For now, we're happy. And we can breathe.