What Is Bird Dander and Dust?
Bird dander AKA bird dust, feather dust, parrot dandruff or wing dust is a by-product, white powder produced by the feathers closest to the skin. The sheath of a new feather is covered with fine keratin that will dry off as the feather grows. The keratin will then break into powdery form. The function of the powder is to keep the bird’s feathers soft, silky and waterproof. Bird dander is more frequently released during molting periods and when birds preen. A simple flapping of the wings can spread the dust particles all over the room.
Who is this for?Air purifiers listed here are suitable for all kinds of pets and their owners. If you have asthma or are hyper-allergic to pets, you're in for a treat. For people with compromised respiratory systems like COPD, a HEPA air purifier is a must. Newborn and baby with developing immune system would greatly benefit from it as well.
2020 Best Air Purifier for Birds
|Air Purifier||Online Price (Amazon)||Filtration||Coverage||Score|
|GermGuardian AC5250PT Air Purifier|
|5-stage||180 sq. ft. (17 m2)||5.7|
|Austin Air Pet Machine Air Purifier|
|4-stage||1500 sq. ft. (139 m2)||8.1|
|Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-780A Air Purifier|
|6-stage||815 sq. ft. (76 m2)||9.1|
|Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet 04384 Air Purifier|
|3-stage||140 sq. ft. (13 m2)||5.5|
|Winix HR900 Air Purifier|
|5-stage||300 sq. ft. (28 m2)||8.4|
|Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier|
|4-stage||360 sq. ft. (33 m2)||8.5|
Many people don’t realize is that the tiny bird’s dander can cause many allergic reactions. To tackle that, GermGuardian AC5250PT is perhaps the best tower air purifier for bird. With a 5-stage filtration in its slim body, the permanent mesh filter plus charcoal pre-filter will trap the initial feather dust. Continue that is the True HEPA Fresh filter that will remove dander and other allergens. Pet Pure treatment will halt microorganism growth in the filters while the UV-C Light will destroy airborne germs.
GermGuardian AC5250PT is a well-made tower air purifier that barely takes up any space. It even comes with a highly adjustable programmable timer for you to play around with. However, its purifying coverage is not the widest nor is the airflow delivery rate. Still, the all-in-one HEPA filtration is capable of trapping any airborne transmitted diseases.
- Affordable 5-stage HEPA filtration with UV-light.
- True HEPA filter with Pet Pure antimicrobial that inhibits the growth of microorganisms.
- Proven UV-C light that would eliminate deadly bacteria and viruses.
- Carbon filter that will protect the birds from indoor chemical fumes.
- Small purifying coverage.
- Slow airflow delivery rate.
- The slightly over-bright indicator light can be annoying.
- Lacks AQ indicator and Auto mode.
When your Cockatiels are not cheeping, chirping as they used to, their respiratory systems might be compromised. You will need a powerful air purifier that works on all types of house pets. Austin Air Pet Machine is a dated air cleaner that is been around for ages. Don't let the age fool you though, its 5-stage filtration is nothing to scoff at. It comes with an outer mesh, inner pre-filter, medium filter, HEPA filter, and 15 lbs carbon filter. No dust, hair, bird dander, or germs would be too difficult to capture.
Austin Air Pet Machine is not the best air purifier to start with as it is very expensive. The filtration and airflow performance depth will make up for the price tag. Not to mention the super low maintenance cost thanks to the long-life 5 years filter lifespan. If you don't need all the autonomous purifying and fancy tech, this air purifier will suit you well.
- Low annual filter maintainence cost.
- Extensive purifying coverage that will take care of everyone in the room.
- High quality coated steel housing.
- Pre-filter that can trap bird dust and other large particulate matters.
- Medium filter + 60 sq. ft. HEPA filter to capture bird dander and allergens.
- 15 lbs. carbon filter with zeolite and special additive ammonia.
- Expensive price tag.
- Bulky and heavy body.
- Lacks timer or any other modern features.
- Fan noise is louder than most even at low speed.
- Full depth 6-stage filtration catered for large room size.
- Cheap filter replacement cost despite having many filters.
- Beautiful, mountable square design with mood light color bar.
- Outstanding filtration with Pre-filter, Medium and HEPA filter.
- 4 Customizable filter options to choose from.
- Dedicated AC carbon filter plus Negative Ion Generator.
- Auto, Pollen, and light sensitive Sleep mode.
- Expensive even without accounting for the filter upgrade.
- CADR is on the lower end side (below 200 cfm) despite the cost.
Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet is a good tabletop air cleaner that you can place next to your birdcage. It is inexpensive, compact yet fitted with the exact 3-stage filtration needed in this scenario. The pre-filter, HEPA-type and carbon filter sheet may not be the best in class, it will still protect your pet from harmful pollutants. In return, you and your family members are also spare from bird allergens.
Let's be realistic here. Hamilton Beach TrueAir Compact Pet is a budget model so the filtration quality has to be compromised. Airflow performance and coverage are also limited due to the many limitations. There is also no addon features to support the purifying. So consider this is you only want to cover a small purifying radius.
- Less than 60 dollars after discount.
- Replacement carbon sheet is at only 10 dollars annually.
- Permanent pre-filter that will trap feathered dust.
- Permanent HEPA-grade filter that is still good enough to trap bird dander.
- Poor airflow delivery rate.
- Limited purifying range.
- Before average smoke and HEPA filtration.
- Lack of any functionality.
Need a dedicated bird air purifier? Winix HR900 Ultimate Pet Air Purifier is your answer. Its wide 300 square feet coverage is perfect for people that send a lot of time with their avian friend. There is also a significantly bumped on airflow delivery rate compared with the previous models. If you own WAC9500 and are looking for an upgrade, this is definitely worth the change.
Let's explore into Winix HR900 filtration. The first stage pre-filter plus pet filter will trap hair, bird dandruff, and debris. The second stage True HEPA filter will then remove associated bird allergens that can be harmful to humans. Third, the CD Carbon Filter will remove common indoor chemicals that will be damaging to a bird's respiratory system. Last, PlasmaWave Technology will neutralize any incoming airborne germs.
- Reasonably priced for a 5-stage filtration with PlasmaWave.
- Dual pre-filter and pet filter ensure no wing dust will be able to get away from the filter.
- True HEPA filter that will capture airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns.
- Activated carbon filter that can target cigarette smoke, VOCs, and CO that is harmful to the bird.
- Wide purifying coverage supported by Auto and Sleep mode.
- High annual filter replacement cost (around 100+)
Winix 5500-2 PlasmaWave is everyone go-to air purifier. It has good airflow performance, comprehensive coverage, awesome filtration within an affordable price. The 4-stage filtration comes with a permanent pre-filter, True HEPA filter, carbon filter, and PlasmaWave. Any particulate matters that are dangerous to you or your pet bird will be dealt with by the air purifier.
Whether it is Cockatiels, African Grey Parrots, Budgerigars, or Cockatoos, an air purifier is here to help. Winix 5500-2 is very easy to live with thanks to the autonomous purifying, timer, and air quality indicators. If you want to ensure your pet has the best indoor living environment, Winix 5500-2 will be able to do that.
- Very well-price for a 4-stage filtration with PlasmaWave technology.
- Strong airflow delivery rate with good CADR.
- True HEPA filter and activated carbon filter that works well against mold.
- 360 square feet coverage. Better than HR900.
- Auto/ sleep mode, timer, remote control, and AQ indicator.
- Slightly expensive annual filter replacement.
What Bird Species Produce Less Dust and Dander?
Pet dander is limited to your typical furry animals. Bird dander and wing dust can pose respiratory issues for everyone in the household. If you are hypersensitive to allergens, have children or asthma, go with hypoallergenic birds and stay clear of powder down birds.
Below is the list of species that produce the highest and lowest bird dander.
High Dander Birds
Low Dander Birds (hypoallergenic)
Common Bird Dander Allergy Symptoms
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), there are 6 million pet birds in the United States. Most birds will produce dander that typically will not cause any allergic reactions due to the low concentration level. However, in an enclosed area, the bird dust will only disperse in the room that will lead to a huge build-up. Over time, the dander concentration level will be significantly higher and will likely trigger allergies to family members. If you are an allergy-prone bird lover, do look out for the following bird dander allergy allergic reactions.
- Watery/ red eyes
- Sore throat/ dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Postnasal drip
Can Birds Cause Respiratory Problems in Humans?
People who are frequently in contact with birds are at increased risk of respiratory conditions. Diseases include Psittacosis, a disease caused by bacteria (Chylamydia psittaci) that can be found on droppings and respiratory secretions of infected birds. Another common disease includes Bird fancier's lung (BFL) AKA bird keepers lung disease. A type of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) that is triggered by exposure to avian proteins found in dust powder of feathers and birds waste. When inhaled, tiny dander particles will accumulate in your lungs over a long period of time. As a result, Bird fancier's lung can cause permanent lung scarring that is irreversible. Fortunately, if the diseases are an early stage, is it curable and preventable. The chances of getting the diseases from a healthy bird are also very rare especially if you bathe and clean the birdcage regularly.
Are Air Purifiers Good for Birds?
Bird’s respiratory systems are very delicate to indoor pollutants. HEPA air purifiers are safe to use around birds and will help your avian to breathe better and live healthier. The device will remove contaminants like mold, dust powdered, and chemicals e.g. VOCs, cigarette smoke that is not good for all parties. If the bird inhales to any of these harmful substances, it can cause fluid to accumulate in their lungs and ultimately death.
How to Get Rid Of Bird Dander and Dust?
Most indoor birds will generate a modest amount of dust. Inhaling to the dust can lead to respiratory complications to the bird and the owner. While an air purifier is no doubt the best way of removing airborne bird dander, there are other much cheaper, equivalent ways of you can consider. Some of the steps below are preventive measures that will work better in conjunction with an air purifier.
- Clean your room regularly with a HEPA vacuum cleaner and a wet rag. That way there will be less dust in a room that could trigger allergies. Wear a mask if needed.
- Birdcage requires constant cleaning as it is filled with bird dander, droppings, and germs. Wipes all cage surfaces thoroughly and replace birdcage liners when necessary.
- Try not to place a birdcage in a room with carpets because it is harder to clean and will stain the floor. Instead, choose a room that has tiles or floorboards.
- Choose a hypoallergenic species like Budgerigar, Eclectus or Canaries that produces low bird dander. Also, avoid having more than 1 pet in a room.
- There are many non-toxic, natural dander remover spray that is good at neutralizing airborne allergens.
- Go with leather goods and rather than upholstery furniture. Perforated items like sofa, mat can cause the microscopic bird dust to build up and is almost impossible to clean.
- Provide bird baths in your cage so your bird can wash by itself. Bathing is important to keep their feathers and skin healthy, it is not vital to all types of birds.