If you have pets in your home (of the furry, scaly, or feathery variety), they will alter your HVAC maintenance routine. When getting pets, most people don’t think of the impact of that decision on their home’s HVAC systems, but pets do affect a home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
All animals shed dander and this is the source of the peculiar HVAC problems that come with having pets at home. Dander is an allergy-causing substance that accumulates on and is shed from the skin or fur of domestic animals. Many people are sensitive to dander and it can worsen symptoms of asthma.
Dander that’s shed from the body of pets can land on all exposed surfaces in a home. It also gets swept into the air within the home and finds its way into the ducts of the HVAC systems. From there, it can contaminate other parts of a building or compound the need for HVAC maintenance in the home.
Living with pets in the home can create issues of poor indoor air quality. As Dawson Management warns, it can pose serious threats to people who are prone to allergies or suffer from respiratory illnesses. Additionally, having pets can mean that your air ducts can be clogged with more debris than normal.
To deal with these unique HVAC problems, Short Pump Heating & Air shares some things you can do to improve the air quality of your home and protect other people’s health.
Groom pets regularly
If you reduce the amount of shedding, you also reduce the chances of pet dander finding its way into your air ducts. Whether you groom them or not, pets will shed hair, scales, feathers, and dead skin. But regular and proper grooming allows you to intercept these materials before they get into your HVAC systems.
Grooming the animals will mean less work picking hair out of the home’s systems. You will either have to do the work of grooming the animals or the work of cleaning the HVAC. Grooming your pets is a preventative measure that can help prevent future issues.
Clean the home
Regular, thorough cleaning helps to rid the home of airborne contaminants that impair indoor air quality. When cleaning the home, particular attention should be paid to carpets, because they tend to trap animal dander. Also, do your best to keep your pets off beddings and furniture; they are more difficult to rid of dander.
If possible, get a new vacuum cleaner with high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) filtration. During peak allergy season (around the first week of May), clean the home more often to keep plant pollen from making the problem worse than it is already.
Replace AC filters regularly
The air filters in your AC already need to be inspected and changed or cleaned regularly. But when you have pets at home, the regularity with which you clean or change air filters increases. Normally, AC filters need cleaning or replacement every 1-3 months, depending on the location. But with pets in the home, filters should be checked at least monthly.
Animal hair can clog the filters and prevent airflow in the appliance. This will impede the function of the AC and push up the home’s energy bills.
Clean air vents & ducts
Animal hair and dander particles will also get into the air vents of the HVAC systems. These should be cleaned as often as HVAC air filters are replaced. To clean the vents, blast them with the vacuum cleaner set to hose mode. Floor vents should also be inspected and cleaned. If possible, floor vent covers should be removed, and the vents washed with soap and water.
If hair and dander build up in the duct system, you may need a more comprehensive duct cleaning. Ideally, the task of cleaning the air ducts should be left to an HVAC professional; they have the equipment to do a thorough job.
Get an air purifier
A HEPA air purifier will get rid of 99.97% of dander particles from the air inside your home. Purifiers work alongside the other steps on this list to make the work of maintaining your home’s HVAC systems easier.
In addition to the above maintenance tips, you should talk with a Short Pump Heating & Air HVAC specialist to create a regular maintenance schedule for your home’s HVAC systems. As a rule, you should service the systems at least once per year When you have pets in the home, you may need to service more often.
Regular tune-ups and maintenance let you spend less on repairs and more extensive cleanings, while also allowing you and your pets to get more out of your HVAC systems.