For many, our pets are like another member of the family. Unfortunately, our furry pals can cause problems for our HVAC systems and our air quality. This can not only cause problems for any allergy sufferers, but also compromise the performance of your HVAC equipment. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks to ensure you can still enjoy your pet and have your HVAC system operate efficiently.
Arrange Routine Maintenance:
Whether you own a pet or not, one of the best ways to keep your HVAC system operating at peak efficiency is to have your equipment serviced regularly. This type of routine maintenance ensures that your system is functioning at maximum capacity and efficiency. This is particularly important for pet owners as the technician can ensure that any pet dander is removed from inside the system.
Be Diligent in Changing Filters:
Most manufacturers recommend that HVAC filters are changed every 6-8 weeks during periods of heavy use. For pet owners, or homes with smokers, this timeframe can be reduced, and you may need to change or clean your filters every month. If your pet is very prone to shedding, you may need to reduce this even further. The filters in your HVAC system are designed to catch particles of debris and prevent them from circulating through the air and equipment. When the filters become clogged with pet dander, they can no longer contain dust, pollen and other particles of debris. This compromises your equipment performance, air quality and increases the chances that particles could reach sensitive components of your HVAC system. So, to avoid this, you need to be diligent about changing your filters to always ensure that the airflow is not compromised.
Clean Your Ducts:
Another important maintenance task that can be beneficial for homes with pets is to have the ductwork cleaned. Even if you regularly change your filters, the ductwork in your home can still accumulate dust and other debris. If you have never had your ducts cleaned, you may be appalled at the amount of pet dander and other debris that is lurking inside your ductwork. Dirty ductwork not only increases the number of allergens in the air, but also reduces airflow throughout the system. This means that your HVAC system is working harder to maintain your desired temperature, increasing strain and wear. Typically ductwork doesn’t need to be cleaned more than every few years, but if you have not had it done, it may be worth considering.
Air Return Cleaning:
The air return of your HVAC system is needed to suck untreated air that can be then circulated back throughout your home. When an air return vent is covered with pet hair and other debris, it will be contaminating the air that is collected, which means it may not be fully cleaned before it is recirculated. Air return cleaning is fairly easy, and you can simply use a vacuum cleaner.
Pet ownership can cause HVAC and air quality issues, but by regularly grooming your pet and following these tips and tricks, you should be able to keep your home feeling comfortable and clean.