We all love our furry pals, but when you have guests at your home, pet dander and odors can cause an embarrassment. Fortunately, there are some effective ways to reduce these effects to make your home more welcoming to everyone.
The Issue of Pet Dander
Unless you have a turtle or other hairless pet, you’re likely to be aware of the problems of pet hair and dander. Pet hair not only collects on furniture and in drains, but it acts as a vehicle to carry dust, saliva, dust, and dander throughout your home. This can not only cause problems for allergy sufferers, but it can encourage pet odors inside your home.
Pet dander is microscopic traces of skin, hair and other material that can linger for a long time in your home. It can cling to walls, furniture, clothing, and many other household surfaces.
Regularly Change Your Air Filters
It is vital to change the air filters in your home every one to three months. Households with pets are more likely to be nearer to the one month replacement schedule, and you should also look for high quality filters that are designed to effectively trap any pet dander. This will not only keep pet dander out of your ducts and air, but it will also help protect against pollen, dust, and other allergens.
Clean Your Ducts
Even with the best filter, there is still a possibility that hair, dust and pet dander will end up inside your ducts. This will allow your HVAC system to carry these allergens throughout your home. Additionally, if your ducts become clogged with this debris, the airflow will be reduced, so your air quality will be further compromised. Fortunately, professional duct cleaning services can remove any debris from your system to make your home feel and smell fresher.
In addition to changing your filters, it is also important to vacuum all your vents. You should use a vacuum fitted with a HEPA filter that can remove pet hair from your flooring and trap any pet dander. It is a good idea to develop a routine of vacuuming each vent inside your home, once a week as part of your regular cleaning schedule.
Use Baking Soda
One of the reasons why baking soda is used in a fridge is that it is a great odor neutralizer. For this reason, it can also be used to remove pet odors. You can sprinkle baking soda on any areas of the home that have a pungent pet smell, and it should absorb most of the odor. This is particularly helpful when dealing with the smells associated with pet urine. After allowing the baking soda to sit for a few minutes, you can vacuum it up, and it should take the smell with it.
Clean Pet Accessories
Whether your cat or dog has a favorite toy, uses the same collar every day or has a pet bed, these items can get a little smelly and start to cause odors in certain areas of your home. Fortunately, many of these items are machine washable and should be cleaned in hot water regularly. Just as you should wash your own clothing and bedding each week, you need to make sure that all your pet accessories are clean and fresh. Pay particular attention to any areas where your animal likes to regularly stay to make sure they are free of pet dander and any associated smells.
Brush Your Pet
Brushing is not only a fantastic way to bond with your furry friend, but it can also keep their fur in check. Loose fur can fly around your home and compromise your indoor air, but brushing allows you to collect loose hair and dispose of it properly.
While some experts recommend daily brushing, it depends on the length of the animal’s fur. Generally, long haired animals need to be brushed more frequently to prevent matting and tangling, while medium haired pets can be brushed once a week. If you have a short haired pet, once a month is usually sufficient.
Embrace Bath Time
While most pet owners don’t enjoy the mess and hassle of bathing an animal, it can help to improve the air quality and smells inside your home. It is a good idea to establish a routine of bathing your dog or other pet regularly to ensure that excess dander is washed away. Just be sure to have a drain trap in place to avoid allowing excessive amounts of pet hair being washed down your drain and causing a clog.
Vacuum All Your Soft Furnishings
Even if you don’t allow your pet to sit on your couch, pet dander and therefore smells can still linger. So, it is a good idea to get into the habit of regularly vacuuming all your soft furnishings and soft surfaces regularly. This should be in addition to your normal carpet cleaning routine to ensure that drapes, sofas and other soft items are free of dander and odors.
Clean Your Carpets
Even if you are diligent about vacuuming your carpets regularly, it is still a good idea to have your carpets cleaned periodically. Steam cleaning carpets will remove any pet dander from the surface and deep down in the fabric to eliminate allergens and odors.
Install a New Air Purifier
An air purifier is a great way to clean the air in your home. This not only makes it more breathable for allergy sufferers, but it can also eliminate pet odors and stale smells. Although it is possible to install a portable unit for use in a single room, an investment in a whole home system will allow you to enjoy clean, fresh air in every room of your home. A whole house purifier will allow you better control over your indoor air quality to ensure everyone can breathe easier.
Taking some proactive action can help to eliminate pet dander and odors in your home, but if you need further advice, be sure to speak to your local HVAC technician for additional help and guidance.