Our pets are part of our families. We want to do everything we can to keep them healthy. Similarly, we want to keep our homes healthy as well.
Due to fur, dander, and the tracking in of outdoor contaminants, pets can have a pretty serious impact on your indoor air quality and HVAC efficiency. But not if you follow these 5 HVAC tips for pet owners.
If your pet is causing issues with your HVAC system, there’s a way to solve that! Cats, dogs, or any other furry friend — apply these tips to your regular home cleaning routine and keep your pet, home, and family healthy for years to come.
5 HVAC TIPS FOR PET OWNERS
1. KEEP THE FILTER CLEAN
When you should change out the filter depends on the type of filter, the extent to which you are using your air conditioner, and whether or not you have pets. If you have pets, you should be changing your air filter every 30-60 days.
No matter what, take the time to check on the cleanliness of your air filter every 30 days and change it out regularly when needed. One impactful way to fight off the effect of pet hair and dander on your unit is to choose a better filter. While HEPA filters are the most effective, you may require professional modification to accommodate the larger size.
2. KEEP THE DUCTS CLEAN
Dander is the tiny particles of skin that animals with fur or feathers shed. Pet dander can be a real problem if you are allergic. When you inhale these small particles of skin, your body could respond by coughing, sneezing, wheezing, or developing a stuffy or runny nose. Prolonged exposure to pet dander can lead to bronchitis and other respiratory problems.
Air ducts and pet dander go hand in hand. Pet dander will find a way to get into the air ducts. When airborne contaminants get stuck in the air ducts, they get stirred up and recirculated through the home every time the HVAC system is turned on.
Inspect your air ducts for pet hair, dust, and debris. You’ll know a dirty duct when you see one. We recommend professional duct cleaningevery 3-5 years.
3. KEEP YOUR CARPETS CLEAN
Spring cleaning isn’t just about sprucing up the place, it’s also an important activity to assess and improve your home’s air quality. Airborne contaminants, especially in peak allergy season, cause a worsening of allergens, asthma and respiratory illness.
If your home has poor IAQ, it will have a negative health impact on your family. Symptoms of highly-polluted indoor air include:
- dryness of eyes
- nose and throat
- flu-like symptoms
These effects are minimized by maintaining a clean home and HVAC system. To the best of your ability, keep pets off of beds and furniture. If you’re in the market for a new vacuum, we suggest buying one with HEPA filtration.
4. KEEP YOUR PET WELL-GROOMED
When your pet is clean and its fur is trimmed, your home and indoor air stays cleaner. Less shedding, less fur in the filter and ducts.
Brush your dog every couple of days to reduce dog hair and promote a clean and healthy coat. Unless your dog has gotten into something smelly or dirty, you only need to bathe her every 2-4 months.
5. KEEP THE OUTDOOR UNIT PROTECTED
When pets roam the backyard, you can’t always keep your eye out if it wanders too close to or gets curious about the outdoor condenser unit. A dog for example may claw at the unit and either cause damage to itself or the unit.
If your pet “marks” the unit, it can lead to damaging corrosion over time. Speak with your local HVAC professional about the proper enclosure to keep pets and other animals away. While it’s not good to block airflow, you don’t want animal urine destroying the fins and coils. Choose a small fence that doesn’t block airflow. Keep it protected from the elements and from the curiosity of your pets.
Your heating and cooling system will always work better and for longer with professional maintenance twice a year. Once in the fall and once in the spring, have a professional HVAC technician perform a comprehensive cleaning and tune-up. Sign up for The Club so you never have to worry about these important home maintenance tasks again.
The summer months are notorious for high energy bills. When your unit is well-maintained it will perform with better efficiency, thus costing you less money on your utility bills.