Your HVAC System and Pets

Luna the dog lives in an air conditioned house but loves the sun3 Steps to protect your pets and your HVAC system

You’ve heard of the ‘hair of the dog?’ Well, in the case of your indoor air quality and the smooth running of your HVAC system, that phase takes on new meaning. According to census numbers from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation at least half of the households in the Sarasota/Manatee area a dog, a cat or a combination. That’s a lot of pet hair and dander that can interfere with the smooth running of air conditioning systems in our neighborhoods.

Even when you bathe your pets frequently, the hair and the dander (tiny flakes of skin produced all animals, which is what most humans are allergic to) build up in your system. Some of the negative effects that pet hair and dander can have include clogged filters, dirty coils, an increase in airborne allergens and more. Here are steps to remove pet dander and irritating allergens and improve the quality of air in your home.

  1. Monitor and Change Air Filters More Frequently If you have a dog or cat, it is important to change your HVAC system’s air filters more frequently than usual. Plus, if yours is a multiple-pet household, then you will need to change the filter even more often. This is why: when filters are clogged, the equipment must work harder and longer to supply the home with conditioned air. This uses more energy, causing utility bills to rise. It also puts the system under more stress, which can lead to premature breakdowns and system failures.
  2. Consider High-Efficiency Filters and Air Cleaners High-efficiency filters (HEPA) can prevent smaller particles of hair and dander from reaching your HVAC systems. Another solution may be add-on air cleaners that work with your HVAC solution to remove hair and dander from the home.
  3. Schedule regular System Maintenance and consider having ductwork cleaned Many people suffer from respiratory illnesses such as allergies or asthma. Plus, it is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of this number overall is allergic to dog or cat dander. Pet dander accumulates inside of your HVAC system, forcing the allergens to be released throughout your household. This in turn causes the air quality in your home to deteriorate. The more dander that is ‘hiding’ in your HVAC system and filters, the more family members and guests who are allergic – or those with other respiratory problems – may suffer.