One of the primary reasons people buy an ionic air purifier is to get rid of the dog or cat smell. Unfortunately, an ionic air purifier just hasn't been proven to do this very well at all. While these air purifiers do help somewhat in reducing the cause of odor by removing hair and dander from the air, they simply do not neutralize the actual odor causing particulates.
The claim is based partly on the fact that ionic air purifiers create ozone, which can kill odor-causing bacteria and mold. However, the problem with this claim is that an ionic air purifier does not produce enough ozone to accomplish that task. We know this because the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has limited the amount of ozone these filters are allowed to produce.
We also know that the EPA conducted its own study on the matter and found that ozone under the legal limit is not capable of killing any organic matter such as bacteria, mold, fungus or virus. So, this claim is outright busted.
Removing Hair and Dander
The second claim is that the ionic air purifier eliminates pet smells by removing hair and dander from the air. Ionic air purifiers really do work wonders in this area.
The problem is that allergens and odor are actually carried by fluid secretions such as sweat, saliva, urine and feces. An ionic air filter is not capable of picking up these fluids. Because the machines are incapable of killing the bacteria once it is in the air, we can conclude an ionic air purifier is not the best option for pet odor.
What really removes pet odor and air-born illness and allergens is a filter which combines HEPA and activated carbon technologies.