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Air Filter for Cat Allergy

nycpa Member Posts: 108
Hi, I wanted to know what air filter I can buy to control allergy related to cats. We keep it mostly in the first floor of the house but is there a particular filter that I can buy that is programmable in the sense it will turn on for a few hours and off on its own? The HEPA ones I see are either on or off. I don't want to run it 24 hours. Thanks for the help.


  • Lance
    Lance Member Posts: 271
    My favorite air filter for allergies related to cats is a screen door. Keep them out of the home and the home is safe to roam allergy symptom free. But alas I have a daughter who left her cat behind because her friends at her new domicile are allergic. Fortunately as long as I wash my hands, keep the cat off the furniture, vacuum a lot with a central vac, maintain 4 air filters, one with a merv rating of 15, I can manage. Oh and when it gets bad I take Claritin.
    But the best remedy for allergic people is use our brains and recognize owning an animal that we are allergic to is a bad idea. Otherwise just being in the place they are or were, will affect us.
    Realistic answer to your question: anything can be made to work anyway you want, just as long as you have the money to pay for it. The reality of off / on filtering is like a light. It only works when its on. Is the cat only off and on? Does his dander etc, only work off and on? If not, leaving the filter on is the way to go. But I can't wait to see my daughters cat in her home and not mine.
    PS I am also allergic to hay and certain tree pollens. I moved away from certain pine trees and feel better. I cool and heat and filter the air to keep the house closed to these outside demons.
    And I take allergy meds when all else fails. I have clients who moved from air blown heat cool systems and into hydronic heated homes and they reported great relief. Sometimes you just got to get away from the source.
    Best of luck, Lance
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    How does a Trane CleanEffects or American Standard Accuclean sound? Doesn't get much better than that. Throw an UV light in for good measure...:)
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,445
    It's not immediately clear from your question whether you have forced air heat or hydronic or steam. The two filters Bob mentioned are both superb, but are meant for use on forced air systems. There are also excellent HEPA rated air filters which are stand alone, which will work well with any heating system.

    However, no air filter is going to work when it isn't turned on. As Lance noted, cats (or dogs or other allergy sources) usually don't turn off, so the question would be why you would want to turn it off?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • nycpa
    nycpa Member Posts: 108
    I have steam heating. Just wanted to know what is a good filter to use. Was interested in turning it off to save electricity. Are there filters that be turned on 24/7 without using a lot of electricity?
  • BillW
    BillW Member Posts: 198
    Cat and other pet allergies are not caused by the hair that our little friends leave all over the place. Besides, pet hairs are usually too heavy to get picked up in the air stream, anyway. The dander, which is skin flakes and the dried saliva that the pets leave on their coats when they groom themselves is what triggers your allergies. Pet dander can be minimized by filtering it out using media type air filters or electronic air cleaners. You also can help minimize it by using HEPA filters on your vacuum cleaner, so that you don't blow it back into the air when you vacuum your floors. Higher MERV rated air filters are more effective than the basic "home center" throwaways, but regardless, change filters regularly and wash air cleaner elements and pre-filters as the manufacturer recommends. However, these filters only are available for systems with fans and ductwork. If you do not have central air or forced air heating, you are limited to single-room models that are self contained fans inside a filter. Run them on low speed 24/7 and keep the door closed and pets out of the room. You can only minimize dander, not eliminate it, except by giving up your pet. Even then it will take time for the residue to be eliminated.
  • nycpa
    nycpa Member Posts: 108
    Thanks for the response