A home’s heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system needs regular maintenance for efficiency and safety. But some may not be aware that certain factors in a home require extra attention to keep their HVAC running smoothly and effectively. Families with pets should keep in mind several ways to lessen the impact that their furry friends can have on an HVAC system.
Signs of Air Quality Problems with Pets
Pet dander and fur can quickly impact the air quality in a home, and many homeowners dismiss the signs. Knowing how compromised air quality may affect residents and even guests is important.
Some of the most common symptoms when an allergen may be present include sneezing, coughing, itchy or watery eyes, asthma, a runny nose, a scratchy throat, and more. Not everyone will have the same response to compromised air quality, but any of these symptoms should motivate a homeowner to take steps to improve the air flowing in a home.
Frequently Replace Filters
The first step in reducing the impact pet hair and dander can have in a home environment is to address the HVAC system and maximize how it can improve the air quality. Filters are the first line of defense in improving air quality, even when a household doesn’t have pets.
While the average home without pets should change its air filter every other month or so, a home with pets should consider changing them more frequently. Pet dander and hair can end up clogging a filter faster, making it less effective and increasing the energy used to maintain good airflow through a blocked filter.
The Junior Petersen of 32 Degrees Air Conditioning explains, “Most people have no idea the stress they are putting their air condition under with dirty filters. To many, it may seem like no big deal, but clogged filters put undue stress and cause a domino effect with your HVAC system.”
If you are in the Las Vegas market and have questions about HVAC we recommend you reach out to 32 Degrees at (702) 635-9505.
Upgrade Filter Quality
Another option to improve the air in a home would be to invest in a higher-quality air filter. Air filters should come with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, also known as MERV. The average MERV for a modern home is between 5 and 8. For homes looking to reduce allergens, they may want to invest in filters of 10 to 12 MERV.
Don’t Ignore Outdoor Contributors
If a pet spends any time around an outdoor air conditioning unit, take steps to protect the unit. Just as pet hair and dander can impair the efficacy of a filter inside a home, the same problem can occur with an outdoor air conditioning unit. Part of the outdoor unit operates by sucking in outside air to the inside of the home, and pets can contribute to clogging the unit or even allowing possible allergens to enter the home.
A fence around the outdoor air conditioning unit can help prevent clogging and contamination from pets. Another reason to consider a fence would be to avoid animal urination directly on the unit. Urine is acidic and can corrode parts of the outdoor unit.
Prevent Allergens at the Source
Standard pet care practices can help minimize pet hair and allergens from contaminating the air and keep all HVAC systems working as efficiently as possible. Brushing any furred animal regularly can limit the amount of hair in the air and on filters. If possible, brush pets outside, away from the unit, to prevent any flyaway from getting into the HVAC system.
Vacuuming a home regularly, especially after a pet grooming session, can also help your HVAC system run smoothly. Taking the time to vacuum at least twice per week and after pet brushings can positively impact indoor air quality and HVAC functionality.
Increase HVAC Maintenance
Increasing HVAC maintenance to twice a year can help manage any additional stress on the system from pets in the home. Be sure to mention to the HVAC technician that pets are in the home at the first inspection. Once the technician checks the system, suggestions for upkeep can be discussed.
Understanding how a pet can impact the effectiveness and efficiency of a home’s HVAC system can be the first step in working to keep everything running smoothly. Basic pet care and regularly scheduled HVAC maintenance can easily be the key to great air quality and reduce the impact pets can have on the system.