Most people who suffer from animal allergies aren’t allergic to an animals’ hair, but rather its dander. Pet dander specifically consists of tiny flakes of skin on animals with fur or feathers. It can have serious negative effects on you and your home’s air quality, if not properly controlled. If trapped inside your home’s HVAC system, the accumulation of pet dander can create mold and other harmful bacteria, which is then circulated throughout your home and significantly worsens the air quality inside your home.
Prevention is key to reducing the spread of pet dander throughout your home. Regardless of what types of pets you have, the following tips and tricks will ensure that you will keep your pets safe while maintaining your HVAC system and increasing the indoor air quality of your home.
Maintain Your Air Filter
We strongly recommend changing your filter with the changing of the seasons (if not more) for better air quality. However, if you have pets, you should change your air filter twice as often. Also consider upgrading to a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which are designed to capture dust and dirt particles. These filters are known to remove up to 99 percent of all particles from the air inside your home.
Clean and Seal Your Ducts
Dander and other particles can get stuck in your ductwork and build up over time, increasing the chance of mold and bacteria growth. Air travels through your ductwork and into your home, so any mold or bacteria will be circulated throughout your home each time your HVAC system kicks on. You should also check your ducts for cracks or leaks, which would allow pet dander to easily enter into your ductwork. If you find any cracks or leaks, you will need to seal your ducts to prevent further dirt from accumulating in your ductwork and spreading throughout your home.
Regular Pet Grooming
Not only is regular pet grooming essential to the health of your pets, it also lessens the amount of dander they produce. Bathing your cat or dog regularly, using moisturizing soap, and brushing your pet often will cut down on the amount of dander your pet produces and make them more comfortable, too.
Protect Your Outdoor Unit
If you have pets that also spend time outside, it’s important to protect your outdoor A/C unit. Pet urine especially can cause serious corrosion to your unit, and pets are also known to claw on A/C units or damage them in other ways. This is not only dangerous to your system, but also to your pet. Prevent this from happening by putting up a small fence or another barrier around your A/C unit that still allows for proper air flow.
In order to keep pet hair and dander at a minimum, regular vacuuming is essential. Instead of the hair and dander being sucked into your vents, and then into your HVAC system, vacuum it up and throw it away on a regular basis to ensure a cleaner home and better indoor air quality.
Schedule Regular HVAC Maintenance
Last but not least, a yearly HVAC maintenance check can help with combating issues that pet dander may cause to your HVAC system. A professional can check your ductwork for leaks and mold build up, change or upgrade your filter, and ensure that your pets haven’t done any additional damage to your HVAC system.
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