Our pets are part of our families. You can usually identify a pet owner by the pet hair on their clothing. No matter how much you clean your home or groom your pet, the hair gets everywhere; including inside your HVAC system. 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.
Apply these tips to your regular home cleaning routine and keep your pet, home, and family healthy for years to come.
1. Keep Your Pets Well Groomed
Pet hair can quickly clog your air filters. 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.
Having your pet groomed professionally will help a lot. Regular brushing at home (especially for pets with a thick undercoat) will also really help. Brush your dog every couple of days to reduce dog hair and promote a clean and healthy coat.
2. Change Filters Often
It is common for air filters within your HVAC system to become overwhelmed with pet hair and dander. When a filter gets clogged, air won’t flow as easily and allergens can build up quickly. Depending on your family size and activity level, you need to replace your filters every 1-3 months. When you introduce furry pets into the family, however, you should be changing your air filter every 30-60 days.
The cheaper the filter, the more often you will need to change the filter. High quality air filters will remove more debris from the air, and this is helpful for pet hair and dander, but also for family members who suffer from allergies. If you use HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, you air quality will improve even more.
3. Clean the Ductwork
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.
If you own pets and have not cleaned the ductwork before, it likely has a large accumulation of dirt, debris and pet hair. There is some duct cleaning you can do yourself. Just be sure to turn your HVAC system off and wear a protective mask to avoid breathing dirty air. However, a professional duct cleaning will likely be your best bet for the cleanest ducts. They have special equipment to reach all the areas you likely would not be able to reach in your duct work.
4. Clear the Air Return
The air return sucks in air and then circulates it back into your home. If the air return is dirty and clogged with pet hair, any air that it does collect will be contaminated. Keep your home’s air clean by regularly vacuuming the air return.
5. Use an Air Purifier
Many families are now installing an air purification system in their homes. Whether you suffer with common allergies, have household pets, or just want cleaner air within your home, an air purification system could be for you!
Having an air purifier will ease some of the burden placed on your air filters. Having a HEPA purifier ensures that up to 99.97% of pet dander is removed from the air in your home before it ever reaches your air filters.
6. Keep Your Carpets Clean
Carpet traps debris like pet dander, which will recirculate throughout your home when the debris is stirred up by your family walking on the carpet. Vacuum weekly or more as necessary to help remove as much debris as possible. We recommend a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
7. Pay Attention to the Pet Door
While having a pet door can be extremely convenient for the more independent pet – it could be a direct cause of high energy consumption. More often than not, your doggie door may not be properly installed with your AC unit in mind. It is vital to ensure that the pet door is properly caulked to prevent heat and cold from escaping your home – causing strain on your HVAC system.
8. Fence Off Your AC Unit
When unsupervised, your household pal can be a threat to your air conditioner – and, inevitably, the overall comfort of your home! 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.
Building a small, breathable, enclosure 2 feet out around your outdoor HVAC unit will keep both your AC unit and your furry friends safe. And while it is generally safe for pets to be around these units, restricting access will make sure cats do not claw at the fins of your unit and that your dogs don’t chew on the cables.
Check for exposed dangers. Pets like to chew on things like wires and cords. Protect your pet by enclosing any exposed HVAC wires both inside and outside the home. Keep your HVAC system and, most importantly, your family pets safe by enclosing any wires or dangerous elements your pet might find. Simple steps such as these will keep your pet and your HVAC system safe, happy and healthy for many years to come.
9. Adjust Your Thermostats While You Are Away
You may feel guilty or like a bad pet parent for turning up your thermostat while you are gone all day (or turning it down in the winter) but the truth is that your pet is capable of staying comfortable, and safe, in a wider range of temperatures than you may realize. During summer months, if you will be out of your home for 6 hours or more, set your thermostat a few degrees higher than you usually keep it, but no higher than 80 degrees. In winter months, you can lower the thermostat as low as 65 degrees.
Give Us a Call
The truth is that there’s only so much you can do yourself, to keep your vents and filters in good condition. By having regular maintenance on your AC system, you can ensure that (a) everything will be cleaned thoroughly, (b) it will help prevent additional damage by identifying potential risks, and (c) it will keep your air conditioning unit working efficiently which will help to prolong the life of your unit.
Whether you want a replacement, repair work, or an inspection, call the offices at Aire-Tech Air Conditioning & Heating today. We give you countless resources to help you explore and learn about HVAC and energy efficient options for your home.
If your system needs repair or inspection, call Aire-Tech on 951-926-1002. You can also visit our Contact page and complete the contact form.