Best Air Purifiers for Pet Urine Odors
The odors from your pet are usually caused by urine, either from the litter tray or because they’ve had an accident outside the litter tray somewhere.
This releases volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the air, and it’s these compounds that cause the odor. They can linger in your home for a long time, and simply opening a window may dilute the concentration of VOCs to reduce the smell but it won’t completely banish it.
Instead, you need an air purifier – but which one? There are lots of different types and only the best air purifiers for pet urine odors will be properly effective. Some air purifiers with a HEPA filter can reduce the causes of allergens, including pet dander, but urine needs a combination of other technologies including a carbon filter to properly tackle the issue.
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- Best Air Purifiers for Pet Urine Odors
- Things To Consider When Choosing an Air Purifier for Pet Odors
- Placement of a Purrified Air Filter
- Purrified Air Litter Box Air Filter Unboxing
- How to Install the Purrified Air Litter Box Air Filter
- How Long Does It Take an Air Purifier To Clean Pet Smells?
- Where Is the Best Place To Put an Air Purifier To Eliminate Pet Odors Quickly?
- How Often Do You Have To Replace the Air Filters?
- Purrified Air Cat Odor Filter Product Review
- Where to Buy the Purrified Air Filter
Things To Consider When Choosing an Air Purifier for Pet Odors
A HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter is a type of mechanical filter that helps to trap airborne particles, removing dust, pollen, and bacteria from the air. They’re really popular in air purifiers as well as premium vacuum cleaners and other tools designed to clean your home.
However, they only capture molecules with a minimum size of 0.3 microns, and the VOCs that are the cause of odors from your pet is smaller than this, so a HEPA filter won’t actually prevent most odors. It’s not something to completely disregard as it will still be highly effective against some other pollutants and allergens, but if the odor is your main issue you’ll need a purifier with another technology too.
For a product to qualify as a true HEPA filter, it must be able to capture 99.97% of 0.3-micron molecules. If it isn’t a true HEPA air purifier then that means the filter is designed to work like a HEPA filter but it isn’t tested to that efficiency level and is not worth buying even for other purposes like fighting allergies or causes of asthma.
An active carbon filter is one of the better options for tackling pet odors. Carbon filters use activated charcoal to capture the finer molecules in the air, including VOCs, removing them from the air you breathe so that you can’t smell them anymore.
The problem is a charcoal filter has a limited lifespan, so needs to be replaced regularly for it to keep working. It only has enough space to capture a finite number of particles. Used in combination with other technologies, a carbon filter can last a long time, but if you purely rely on carbon alone then it will need a new filter often.
Ozone generators release ozone into the air, with a view to breaking down the VOC molecules. However, ozone mainly masks the smell of pet odors instead and doesn’t effectively trap or get rid of them. It might seem effective but ultimately you’re not actually purifying the air, just adding another foreign agent.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends against using ozone generators and there are better ways you can actually purify the air and remove those VOCs that cause odors in your home.
The purpose of an air purifier is to trap and break down the molecules in the air that are causing odor. Some ‘air cleaners’ don’t actually trap the particles but instead just try to mask the smell with a more fresh-air aroma, which ultimately won’t work. Your cat’s litter tray isn’t going anywhere, so you will likely always have to deal with VOCs that cause odors. An ozone generator therefore won’t be effective over time because the VOC concentration will only get stronger.
The only way to properly tackle odors caused by pet urine is to actively break them down and remove them, which is what a more advanced and targeted air purifier can do, bringing the VOC levels in the air in your home down to a level that you (and more importantly, guests who aren’t used to your home) won’t notice.
Placement of a Purrified Air Filter
The placement of your air purifier is important because the VOCs in the air that causes odors will spread. So it’s good to place the air purifier as close to the source of the problem as possible – usually, the litter box, although if you’ve identified where your cat has had an accident outside their litter tray, you could move the purifier there for a little while too.
You want the air purifier as close to the litter box as your cat is comfortable with, and it should be near the vent where litter is collected. Some, like the Purrified Air Litter Box, are designed to be placed on top of many covered litter trays and can adapt to flat or domed surfaces. However, if you use a Litter Robot that collects used litter in the base, you should place it on the ground near the bottom vents, as that’s where the odor is more likely to escape.
Purrified Air Litter Box Air Filter Unboxing
By being placed as close to the problem as possible, the molecules are trapped immediately and don’t have the opportunity to transfer around your home.
The capacity of your chosen air purifier will be affected by the features it offers, how big an area it is designed to cover, and the type of filter it uses.
Air purifiers work by using a fan to drag air through the filter. Some air purifiers have a fan that has an adjustable speed. If you decide that you want the fan to work faster, it will drag more air through which will help to trap more molecules.
This will also then mean you burn through the filter faster. The actual capacity isn’t affected, but it does mean you may need to replace the filter sooner. It’s best to try the purifier on the lowest setting. If that works and you find the air quality has improved, then you don’t need to change the filter as often. And then if it doesn’t quite erase all the odor, you can change the fan speeds to suit.
Some purifiers have different modes too. Auto mode can switch on the purifier only when the air quality sensor detects germs, mold spores, or other pollutants in the air, keeping it in sleep mode at other times to save energy. These smart sensors tend to only be found in high-end, expensive devices.
How to Install the Purrified Air Litter Box Air Filter
Some air purifiers designed for pet urine odors don’t have a specific room capacity. They’re not designed to be placed in a large open space and get to work, but instead should be positioned near the source of the problem.
Other air purifiers are targeted more at room sizes and aim to clear all the air in the room. The bigger the purifier, the larger the volume of air it can tackle, and then because the purifier is larger it tends to have a larger capacity too, otherwise, you would need to change the filter too regularly and the experience becomes annoying.
Check the details of your purifier to see how large a room in square feet it is designed for, and the clean air delivery rate to see how long it’ll take to clear the air in that room, which is normally shown in sq ft per hour.
Type of filter
The type of filter used in an air purifier will also impact its capacity. Remember that a carbon filter on its own acts to trap molecules. It will normally fill up quite quickly – you could expect to have to change the filter every 1-2 months.
Other air purifiers, like the Purrified Air Litter Box purifier, use multi-stage filtration systems that combine activated carbon with other chemicals. These don’t just trap the molecules but they break them down too, making them smaller and increasing the capacity of the filter. Expect these to last between 4 and 7 months.
How Long Does It Take an Air Purifier To Clean Pet Smells?
The length of time needed to clean pet smells depends on the type of purifier you use and where you place it. If you’ve chosen a room purifier, the size and speed of the fan will determine how fast the air from the whole room is drawn in, but remember that VOCs will be replaced while it is working.
Choosing an air purifier designed to live on or near the litter tray will immediately start to capture VOCs before they’ve had the chance to spread. However, they won’t be as effective at removing the existing odors in the air.
The best thing to do is to air out your home as much as possible to remove any stagnant odor molecules, and then the litter box purifier will make an immediate difference. Don’t have the window open while you use the purifier though, otherwise, the fan won’t draw in the air effectively.
Where Is the Best Place To Put an Air Purifier To Eliminate Pet Odors Quickly?
If you want to remove pet odors quickly, you need to address them at the source. Place the purifier close to the litter tray and it almost acts as a pre-filter before the air then spreads through your home. That’s as long as it doesn’t cause your kitty to worry, making them stop using their litter tray. It’s important to find a quiet purifier for that reason.
If the odor still lingers after you’ve placed an air purifier near the litter box, you might have the wrong source. It may be that your cat has been urinating elsewhere. A black light is an effective way of identifying any urine stains on the carpet, which you can then clean (and place the purifier near) to remove the smell.
How Often Do You Have To Replace the Air Filters?
How frequently you replace the air filter in a purifier will depend on the design of the filter. Some basic filters will need changing every 1-2 months, but much better purifiers that use a mix of technologies for a multi-stage filtration system can last for a lot longer, up to half a year.
You’ll know when the filter needs changing, as the odor will start to return. If you quickly address the issue, then you’ll be able to get your home smelling fresh again.
Some air purifiers will have filter-replacement indicators, letting you know when you need replacement filters.
Purrified Air Cat Odor Filter Product Review
How do I get rid of the cat urine smell in my house?
First, you need to identify the source. If it’s general odors caused by the litter box, consider upgrading to an enclosed tray, and use an air purifier. If the aroma doesn’t seem to be coming from the litter tray, you must clean up any accidents.
You can find cat urine around your home using a black light. Once you’ve seen them, you can clean them using a deodorizer (either a bought product or make one yourself using vinegar and baking soda). This should get rid of the odor.
Do air purifiers get rid of musty smells?
Air purifiers can get rid of musty smells in your home. Musty smells are generally caused by dampness or mold in your home, with spores emitting the same VOCs as cat urine. A carbon filter can trap these odors and other foul smells like smoke.
If your home smells musty, you need to investigate the cause, as if it is a fungal issue such as mold, it may be damaging your property and, over time, will cause you health problems.
Will getting an air purifier help with pet urine smell?
An air purifier with a carbon filter will help trap the VOCs that cause urine smells. But, unfortunately, HEPA filters aren’t effective as they don’t trap the small molecules that cause the nasty odor.
The best air purifiers for pet urine use a combination of carbon and other chemicals to break down the odor-causing VOCs.
Are air purifiers a waste of money?
Air purifiers aren’t a waste of money, and they really can improve indoor air quality, help reduce odors and allergy symptoms, and prevent viruses. The biggest problem with air purifiers is when someone buys the wrong type of cleaner for their home, rendering it ineffective. Also, someone who suffers from allergies will benefit from a HEPA purifier, while pet owners need a carbon-filter purifier.
HEPA filters capture the larger particles that can trigger allergies, like pet hair, but the odors from pets are caused by molecules that are too small for a HEPA filter to capture. So if you’ve bought a purifier and can still smell urine, check it using a carbon filter.
If it does, consider replacing the filter and moving the purifier closer to the litter tray. If that doesn’t work, check your home for any signs of cat urine outside the litter tray.
What are the disadvantages of an air purifier?
There are a few potential disadvantages of an air purifier. First, you shouldn’t use them with the windows open; if you don’t replace the filter promptly, it may release some unwanted molecules into the air.
They also have a running cost – they’re designed to be always-on, in most cases, so check how much power your chosen purifier uses. However, they can be pretty cheap – the Purrified Air Litter Box purifier only costs around $3 a year in energy, depending on electricity prices.
Is a purifier good for pets?
An air purifier is excellent for pets and pet owners. They can trap nasties in the air, such as the VOCs from pet urine and any pet dander, which can stop owners suffering from pet allergies or detect unpleasant odors.
Pets benefit from the cleaner air, too – a purifier can make the air they breathe more pleasant, getting rid of particles that can cause cats and other animals to have breathing issues.