Pets are our unconditional family members. Many of the most beautiful moments in life feature our furry best friends.
But there are certain aspects of pet ownership that need extra attention. When you have pets in your household, there’s usually no way around dealing with dander, fur, and hair.
While pets create more work around the home, there’s an additional aspect you should focus on. And that’s the impact of pets on your HVAC system.
In this article, we’ll go over all the practical bits of advice that help you minimize the issues caused by pets on your HVAC system. Apply these suggestions on a regular basis and you’ll have a healthier, safer home, advises Paramount Management & Realty.
Tip #1: Clean the Air Ducts
No matter how often you groom your pets, a significant amount of hair still ends up in the air ducts. As the air ducts get clogged, the area becomes a breeding ground for pathogens.
It’s for the best if your air duct cleaning is conducted by a professional. Should you decide to clean the ducts yourself, turn off the AC system before doing anything else. In this way, you’ll prevent accidents and minimize the amount of polluted air exposure during the cleaning.
Tip #2: Change the Filters
Its recommended that pet owners change their air filters every one or two months. Even if you prefer to change the filters every two months, check the situation every 30 days. You should change any dirty filters immediately.
Keep in mind that having more pets calls for frequent filter changes. And it’s a good idea to change the filters every 15 days if there’s anyone suffering from allergies living in the same household with you.
Tip #3: Clean the Air Vents
Dander and hair make their way inside the air vents. This results in clogs that lower the quality of air inside your home. Pay extra attention to your floor vents. Many pets love to lay on floor vents, creating blockages due to hair shedding.
Here are the steps for cleaning your floor vents:
- Turn off your HVAC system.
- Remove the vent covers.
- Clean by using brush or duster. You could also vacuum the vents.
- Wash with soap and water, if extra dirty.
- Let the floor vents completely dry before turning on the HVAC system again.
Tip #4: Use High-quality Filters
The air filters remove dust, dirt, and other fine particles. But the various filters available on the market aren’t equal in terms of effectiveness. Grading of these filters is done by relying on the MERV rating. The numbers range between 1 and 13.
The cheapest spun fiberglass filters come around 1-4 MERV. When you use disposable pleated paper, the MERV rating surges to 5-7. The same goes for polyester filters. The high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filters have an extra high rating of 13+.
Another option is getting a high-quality product called a pleated residential filter. This type of filter has a MERV rating of about 11 to 13. These filters work great for residential buildings.
Tip #5: Get an Outdoor Unit Protection
Don’t forget that your pets could damage the outdoor condenser unit. Clawing at the unit or “marking” it may seriously damage this part of your HVAC system. Plus, your pet may receive injuries when coming into contact with the condenser unit.
The enclosure for the outdoor unit protection needs to keep your pets away while not blocking the airflow. You can discuss this topic with a professional to find the most suitable option for your home.
Tip #6: Get a Professional Maintenance Routine Service
Get a professional maintenance appointment on a regular basis. A qualified technician will inspect your HVAC system and clean it thoroughly. During this procedure, your whole unit is cleared of pet dander, hair, mildew, and other pollutants.
You should get professional maintenance done on your HVAC system twice a year. Your AC needs attention when spring arrives, and your furnace demands a check-up in the fall.
During the maintenance, your technician will tell you about any troublesome signs. Sometimes there are clear signs that a part of the HVAC system needs quick repairs. Otherwise, the issues may turn more serious and expensive in the long run.
In a nutshell: HVAC Tips for Pet Owners
Are you worried about pet hair and dander affecting your HVAC system?
It’s true that the HVAC systems need more attention when you have pets home. There is a higher risk of pollutants affecting your indoor air quality. Fortunately, taking practical steps diminishes the risk of breathing in allergens and pathogens.
- Change the filters
- Clean the air ducts and vents
- Follow a professional maintenance routine
- Protect your outdoor unit
- Opt for high-quality air filters