HVAC Maintenance Tips for Pet Owners

HVAC Maintenance: What Pet Owners Need to Know

One of the unique features of homes in the U.S. is the presence of indoor pets in a large majority of homes. In more than 80% of homes—86.9 million houses and apartments—you will find families petting and cuddling with a wide variety of (mostly) domestic animals.

The most common pets are dogs (44 million) and cats (29 million); some homes have both cats and dogs or multiples of each. Fifty-eight percent of single-family homeowners and 36% of apartment dwellers invite pets inside.

Homeowners who welcome pets into their homes receive emotional companionship and satisfaction, they also accept some airborne hazards that come with the pets. Most dogs and cats shed hair and all shed skin cells, just like their human companions.

An interesting fact—skin cells from humans are a major part of indoor dust, while pet skin cells are called dander. These airborne particles contribute to allergy and asthma attacks and can lead to other breathing difficulties. Dust, dander, and hair also negatively affect the function of a central AC system making HVAC Maintenance a necessity to maintain indoor air quality.

Individual dust and dander particles are barely perceptible and seem to pose no problem. However, a high concentration or accumulation of these particles does have a very negative effect on the system and family members.

  • The particles irritate the eyes and sinuses of family members, triggering allergies and asthma.
  • Gravity causes the particles to fall and coat many household surfaces. Pet hair and dander contribute heavily to dust.
  • These particles coat ductwork surfaces and can be difficult to reach for cleaning.
  • Particles eventually clog the air filter, and it must be changed regularly; multiple pets will require more frequent changes.

If your home includes one or more indoor pets, here are several steps to balance companionship and quality indoor air.

  • Clean often, making sure to dust, mop, and vacuum every surface possible. How often you need to clean will depend on the breed and number of your pets.
  • Your choice of pet might also affect your choice of vacuum cleaner and mop.
  • If you use area rugs, purchase indoor/outdoor whenever possible. They are easier to clean.
  • Make sure to paint and install surfaces that are easy to clean; washable paints and stains are a good start.
  • Consider using common shaving cream to remove stains without damaging fabrics.
  • Mix a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar, then add a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid to clean hard surfaces.
  • Use a baby wipe and a wooden skewer to clean cracks/seams on hard surfaces.
  • Buy cheap throws to cover furniture, protecting them from hair, stains, and scratches.
  • Be sure to groom your pet regularly as recommended by the breeders and your veterinarian.

Pay attention to your HVAC air filter. The filter collects the majority of airborne particles and keeps the indoor air quality significantly cleaner and healthy. However, the collected dust, dander, and pet hair can completely clog the filter, restricting airflow.

This puts tremendous stress on the HVAC system and reduces its efficiency. If the filter is clogged at three months, check it at two months and change it as needed.

Pets in a home increase the necessity of regularly scheduled preventative maintenance visits. These visits include cleaning interior components and inspecting vital controls and switches. The common guideline is to clean ducts every three to five years, but the type and number of pets in your home might require additional cleaning.

Don’t forget to keep your pet comfortable in your absence. If you change the thermostat setting while the family is away as a cost-saving measure, make sure that the setting does not make your pet(s) uncomfortable.

If you are a pet owner looking for HVAC maintenance, give us a call!

Schedule your HVAC maintenance consultation by calling All Cool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email and let our NATE-certified HVAC maintenance and HVAC repair technicians put their experience to work for you.