While our pets are beloved family members, they can negatively impact our indoor air quality. Being a pet owner does come with some unforeseen responsibilities, such as maintaining the home's HVAC system. With household pets, these systems have different needs to run optimally, and there will be other ways to stay healthy with the added pet fur and dander in the home. Our experienced HVAC technicians at Bloomington Heating & Air are here to help maintain your HVAC and keep your furry family comfortable!
Clean Your Carpets Often
If there is any carpeting in your home, it is likely a magnet for pet dander. This dander can be stirred up by family or others walking on the carpet. Depending on how much the pets shed, we recommend vacuuming about once a week or more. If you are in the market for a new vacuum clear, we recommend purchasing one with HEPA filtration. This will be the most efficient type of vacuum for removing pet dander.
Check For Exposed Dangers
Curious cats and dogs who like to chew will quickly find things in your home that you might not have thought they could access. Enclosing any loose wires or other dangerous elements will help keep your fur babies safe from harm and it will keep your HVAC system safe and working in optimal condition for years to come.
Groom Your Pets Regularly
Regular grooming visits for your pets mean that there is less shedding and less fur in the home's air filters and ducts. A dog or cat who is brushed every other day will have less hair to shed around the house. We recommend brushing your pets outside when weather permits, or if you brush them inside, make sure to vacuum that area of the house. A dog will only need to be bathed once every 2-4 months unless they have rolled in dirt or they are stinky.
Change Your AC Filter
As a homeowner and pet parent, one of the most important responsibilities is to change any air filters in the house to maintain high indoor air quality. Depending on the size of your family and your activity level, replacing your filter every 1-3 months is normal, but introducing a furry friend means they should be replaced frequently, around once a month. If you are unsure whether you should change your filter, check the 30-day mark and if it is dirty, consider changing it every 30 days rather than 60 days. You can also replace your filter with a HEPA filter which is more efficient and effective at removing pet hair and dander.
Protect Your Outdoor Unit
If your pet likes to roam around outside and has access to your outdoor HVAC unit, it is possible for your pet to "mark" it or damage it with its claws. Your pet marking their territory on your HVAC unit could lead to damaging corrosion over time. We recommend contacting an HVAC professional so they can recommend a proper enclosure to keep your pets out while not obstructing airflow.
Use An Air Purifier
An air purifier is a great way to keep your home's air healthy and get rid of most pet hair and dander before they can reach any air filters. This is also great for all other types of seasonal allergens and other air particulates. Smart air purifiers can constantly track indoor air quality, monitor air quality trends, and can efficiently remove any wandering pet hair from your home.
Adjust Your Thermostat
While 72 degrees might seem like the perfect year-round temperature, your pets will still be comfortable with wider temperature ranges, which can save money and energy. You can set your temperature to as high as 80 in the summer and as low as 65 in the winter, but only when your pets are home. A good rule of thumb is that if the temperature is comfortable to humans in the household, then it is likely comfortable for them because the body temperature of cats and dogs are around 3-4 degrees higher than humans'.
Clean The Air Ducts
Dander, or tiny particles that animals with fur or feathers shed, can be a significant problem if anyone in the household is allergic. Allergy symptoms typically include coughing, sneezing, wheezing, or a stuffy or runny nose. If dander is left untreated, it can lead to respiratory problems such as bronchitis. On the chance that this dander enters the home's air ducts, it will continue to be stirred up and recirculated every time the AC is turned on. If you aren't sure whether your air ducts should be cleaned, perform a visual inspection. We recommend a professional cleaning every 3-5 years.
Keep Up With Professional HVAC Maintenance
An HVAC system should be serviced about twice a year in preparation for both the cooling season and the heating season. Regular maintenance on your HVAC system is much more important for pet owners. This will keep the system running at an optimal level, and it can help identify concerns with the system from any additional load that your pets put on your system.