We love our pets; they’re our family. When it comes to your HVAC unit, your pets are the most loveable hairballs on the planet. Most pets shed and that soft fluffy fur will get sucked down into the cold air vent returns. The fur travels into the pipes and ductwork in the floors and walls of your home, where it clumps together and accumulates.
Some of the hair will even make it down to your HVAC air filter, where it can clog the unit and cause it to malfunction. This article looks at some ways you can maintain your household HVAC system to counteract the accumulation of pet debris.
Got Pets? Do These Three Things for HVAC Maintenance
Over time, pet debris and dander can cause your HVAC system to reduce airflow because the air filter or vents are clogged. Pet hair can even cause damage to the unit compressor, which is the engine that drives the heating and cooling of our homes. This dander can also recirculate throughout your home, as it blows into the cold air return and then is blown back out the air vent. This can exacerbate allergies in humans – and even in pets!
The absolute number one thing you can do to help your HVAC unit function more efficiently is to regularly clean the air filter. Look for quality pleated air filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of eight or above. Change your air filter at least once a month when you’re running the AC or heat.
Another way to cut down on dander and pet particulates is to frequently brush your pet. Do this outside, so the hair will come off and blow around out there – not in your home. (For fun, notice that the desert birds will swoop in and grab pieces of the fur to line their nests.) Your pet should enjoy this quality time with you, and you’ll leave that unwanted hair outside instead of in your air conditioner. You can also have them groomed or bathed periodically to help cut down on shedding.
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The third way to help lessen the amount of hair in your home is to consider adding an air purifier to your home. You can add a whole home purifier unit or portable room size machines that help filter the air you’re breathing. This will help with allergies, but also lessen the volume of floating hair that goes into your ductwork.
Having your HVAC unit inspected and tuned up periodically will also keep it in tip-top shape, able to effectively handle the occasional piece of doggy or kitty dander that makes its way into the system.
We highly recommend getting your ductwork cleaned periodically by a professional service. You will be amazed at what comes out of your ductwork. Having this service completed once every three years or so will help keep your home cleaner and help you maintain the life of your HVAC unit so you receive the maximum benefit of your investment.