If you’re a pet owner, you’re likely well aware that it comes with its fair share of chores and challenges. While pets can fill your home with joy, they can also fill your home with fur, dander and other contaminants. Left unaddressed, these excess impurities can wreak real havoc on your home HVAC system. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to prevent your furry friends from negatively impacting your home’s indoor air quality.
Recently shed pet hair can carry a number of potentially harmful particles with it when it leaves your pet, but it also becomes a magnet for other problematic particulates as soon as it hits the floor, picking up microscopic bits of dirt and debris on every surface it comes in contact with.
All of that hair – along with all of the dirt, dander and impurities contained within it – can and will make its way deep into your system, overflowing your air filters, causing problematic buildup in increasingly hard to reach areas before making its way back into your home by mixing with the clean, conditioned air your system works so hard to pump out. So… what can you do to prevent this?
Grab your vacuum and duster for this one! Air vents and registers are the most common point of entry for pet hair to infiltrate your home’s HVAC system. Depending on the placement and overall number of vents, you could be dealing with anywhere from a few to a few dozen of these entry points throughout your home.
It’s not at all uncommon for pets to set up shop next to, near, or on top of air vents, so if your pet is one of many who has a habit of doing so, this step is especially crucial. Floor vents are particularly prone to this type of build up, but wall and ceiling vents are also vulnerable and should be cleaned as often as possible.
By keeping your vents clean at all times with regular dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, etc., you can drastically reduce the amount of pet hair that ultimately makes its way into your home HVAC system and back into the air you breathe.
Unless specific areas of your home are totally off limits for your pets, chances are their fur can be found in every corner and every crevice of every room inside your home. As any experienced fur parent will tell you, pet hair has a tendency to get everywhere and stay there unless diligently addressed. That’s where you come in!
Keeping your home clean, especially when it comes to floors and other surfaces, gives you a huge leg up when it comes to offsetting your pet’s impact on your HVAC. In addition to stopping hair and pet dander at the source, this also eliminates dust, dirt and debris from other sources, leaving the hair less to mix with as your pet inevitably continues to shed.
We know there are only so many hours in a day, and you want to spend as many as possible cuddling your pets instead of cleaning up after them, but trust us when we say a little cleaning goes a long way. One small investment that could assist you in this step is a portable handheld vacuum, which helps to avoid the hassle of more cumbersome vacuums and turns cleaning into a quick cinch.
If you’re lucky, the majority of pet hair that enters your HVAC system will end up trapped in your filter/s, as opposed to finding its way back into your home’s air. If filters are left in too long, however, the amount of pre-existing buildup they contain will start to prevent them from properly filtering incoming air, resulting in reduced air flow, lower indoor air quality and an increase in allergens and other airborne impurities.
On average, folks with fur babies will go through air filters at about twice the rate of a fur-less fortress, chiefly due to the excessive amounts of hair that ends up getting caught in them. This means you should check and (if needed) change your filter every 2-3 weeks as opposed to once a month.
Depending on the specific size, breed and shedding tendencies of your pet or pets, you may need to change your filters even more frequently or be able to get away with doing so less often. Either way, if you have fur babies of any sort, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on that filter, especially if your HVAC system is having problems.
One of the best ways to reduce the amount of hair your pet leaves in their wake is to regulate their shedding with regular grooming. This can include trips to professional groomers for thorough cleanings and hair cuts, but it can also include brushing them out and giving them baths at home as often as possible – all of which can help curtail shedding and reduce the number of allergens and impurities the hair carries with it.
In addition to keeping their shedding to a minimum, grooming pets on a regular basis is scientifically proven to be good for their physical and mental health, so this step can be just as beneficial for your furry friend as it is for you and your home.
WARNING: Recommended grooming practices vary greatly from pet to pet depending on species, breed, hair length and several other factors, all of which you should be aware of prior to grooming your pets from home. In other words, before you start shaving your dog or attempting any other sort of home grooming, give it a Google and make sure what you’re doing is okay.
This step is a more substantial undertaking than the previous steps, but scheduling a professional duct cleaning becomes necessary for any and all homeowners with traditional ducted HVAC systems at one point or another. Luckily, you won’t need your ducts cleaned monthly or even annually necessarily. Someone with an exceptionally clean, pet-free home for example may be able to get away with going multiple years between professional duct cleanings.
However, similar to swapping out air filters, homeowners with pets may need to schedule duct cleanings more often than homeowners without pets due to excess build-up – especially if you’ve been unwittingly allowing your pets to plague your HVAC system for some time and want a fresh start.
Taking all of the previous steps described in this article can help you reduce the frequency with which you’ll need your ducts cleaned, but it’s still something to keep in mind when living with pets.
This is another step that anyone with an HVAC system should take, but it is especially important for people with pets who are inherently more likely to experience issues. Scheduling check-ups and cleanings from HVAC professionals twice a year will help keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape from year to year.
In addition to rejuvenating your system and boosting efficiency, these bi-annual maintenance visits can help you identify and eliminate any issues with your home’s HVAC system before they cause bigger problems, saving you from more extensive repairs down the line.
If you’re unsure to what extent your pets have effected your home’s HVAC system, scheduling a check-up with a trusted pro will enable you to find out and find a fix.
If you’re looking for an HVAC pro you can trust in the Delaware tristate area, look no further! The HVAC experts here at Maichle’s have you covered from repairs to replacements and everything in between. Visit www.maichleshvac.com to learn more and schedule an appointment with us today, or give us a call any time at (302) 328-HVAC for expert assistance and 24/7 emergency HVAC service you can count on!