According to the American Pet Products Association, 70% of U.S. households have a pet. And while most of those are cats and dogs, even small pets like hamsters and rabbits shed fur and dander that can wreak havoc on your HVAC system. It can make air quality uncomfortable for people with allergies, too. But we love them just the same!
Here are five simple ways to manage all that fuzz to keep everyone more comfortable, ensure your HVAC performs at peak efficiency and prevent inconvenient issues or breakdowns.
1. Groom Your Pets Often
Brushing your furry pet regularly is the best way to keep fur and hair out of your HVAC system. When you brush your pet, the fur gets caught in the brush or falls to the floor, where it’s easy to sweep up and put in the trash. Conversely, when your dog shakes its fur, it goes flying into the air—and into your ducts.
Grooming in an area with a hard floor makes it even easier to clean up hair and dander—and if you can do it outside, even better.
2. Clean Your Filters Regularly
With a furry pet in your home, you may need to replace or clean your HVAC system filters more often than they are rated for. For example, if your filters are rated to last three months, you may need to replace them every two months.
Match the frequency to your pet’s shedding habits. So, when your dog is shedding winter fur in the spring, you should replace or clean filters more often. If allergies are a concern, upgrading to a higher-quality filter will reduce allergens. Look for a higher MERV rating—most residential air filters have a MERV 5-8. A MERV 10-12 filter will trap smaller particles, including pet dander and prevent them from clogging your HVAC unit or coming back into your home through the vents.
3. Add a Fence or Barrier Around Outdoor Units
If your pets spend time outdoors, you may have a fence around the edge of your property to protect them from traffic and keep them from straying. But be sure to build a fence around the outdoor unit for your AC system, too. If your pets mark their territory by peeing, the urine will damage your equipment. And if they rub up against it, their fur will get directly into the unit, and into your HVAC system.
4. Vacuum Frequently
More frequent vacuuming will help your filters last longer. The indoor air intake in your system is designed to suction hair and dander in to trap it in the filter, but the more hair and dander it takes in, the more often you need to replace or clean the filters. Be sure to use your vacuum cleaners’ tools to get in corners and behind and under furniture. Using the upholstery tool to get fur off couches and chairs and even draperies will help, too.
5. Don’t Skip Regular Maintenance!
Regular maintenance is important even for homes without pets. For homes with fur babies, it’s imperative. All that fur puts extra stress on your system, even when you’re conscientious about changing filters and thorough with vacuuming. Every time your pet rolls on the carpet, they’ll shed hair and dander, and every time you walk around or sit on the couch, you send that fur and dander into your HVAC system. That’s why homes with furry pets should be sure to have a system tune-up twice a year—and you should be sure to let the technician know you have pets so he can check all the places where hair and fur can hide in your system.
Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your HVAC system running at peak efficiency and prevent breakdowns.
Don’t let things get hairy. Contact us today to get on a regular maintenance schedule. Plus, ask us about our available HVAC service protection plans! We offer plans for central air and heating systems that include seasonal maintenance and can take the bite out of unexpected repairs if you do have a breakdown.
Located in Newburgh, NY, Depew Energy has been the Hudson Valley’s go-to heat comfort specialist since 1998. We are a family-owned and operated business that prides ourselves on putting the customer first, using increased technology, providing easy-to-access options, and presenting an ever-growing selection of products and home comfort services.