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There is no question that we love our pets. Along with their sweet faces and unwavering companionship, however, furry family members can come with some not-so-welcome elements that affect indoor air quality and your HVAC equipment. Here are some tips for protecting your home and your HVAC when you have pets.
Pets leave behind the dust and dirt they track in from outside, as well as hair and dander. The air filter collects that debris. Typically filters should be changed every one to three months to prevent restricted air flow, but the presence of pets may require changing them more often.
Pet dander, the tiny particles of skin shed by pets with fur or feathers, is especially problematic for people with allergies. Dander can cause coughing, sneezing, wheezing or a runny or stuffy nose. Ongoing exposure can lead to bronchitis and other respiratory issues. If it is in your home, it will find its way into the air ducts and get recirculated every time the HVAC system turns on. Air ducts should be professionally cleaned every 3-5 years.
Carpets can be magnets for pet hair, dander and other contaminants. Regularly and thoroughly cleaning your carpets and floors, preferably with a vacuum that uses HEPA-filtration, will keep the allergens left behind by pets from entering the HVAC and constantly recirculating.
Clean and well-groomed pets are healthier and happier. Regular brushing, every couple of days, and bathing several times a year, reduces the amount of shedding and keeps pet allergens in your home to a minimum.
Pets that roam freely in the backyard can get too close to the outdoor condenser unit. This is dangerous for the pet and can be damaging to the unit. Curious pets can claw at or chew on the equipment. “Marking” the unit will cause corrosion over time. In order to keep both your pet and the unit safe, install a small fence that doesn’t block airflow around the unit, but keeps it protected from animals and the elements.
An air purifier can greatly improve your HVAC system’s ability to remove pet and other allergens from the air and provide relief to allergy sufferers in your home. There are many options available to fit your budget, needs and space limitations.
Pet hair and other debris can make your HVAC equipment work harder. Annual maintenance will help ensure that your system is running efficiently and will extend its life. Regular maintenance will help prevent emergency repairs and will keep your home and family safe.