A family pet is part of millions of families. You probably consider your dog or cat a beloved family member and want to have them around for many years.
Regrettably, pet hair can be a constant struggle as it affects your air conditioning system. But with routine maintenance, you can avoid impacting airflow and protect your air conditioner from harm.
How Do AC Air Filters Work, and Why Are They Important?
A filter is an important part of any forced-air HVAC system. Your air filter captures airborne contaminants, such as dust, pollen and pet hair, keeping them from reaching other rooms or areas of the property. AC filters come in many different versions, including fiberglass, pleated and electrostatic. A filter’s effectiveness depends os its minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which ranges from 1 to 20, with higher ratings illustrating maximum efficiency.
The primary purpose of an AC filter is to protect the evaporator coil, blower motor and other important parts from dirt and debris that could lead to problems. An efficient enough filter also improves indoor air quality by keeping particles out of your indoor air, which often contribute to allergies, asthma attacks and other respiratory issues in sensitive individuals.
How Does Pet Hair Affect Your HVAC System and Filter?
As pets shed, their hair becomes airborne and can eventually get into the HVAC system through the return air ducts. When the filter is missing, pet hair accumulates within the evaporator coil, blower motor, fan blades and other components, reducing their efficiency and life span. Hair can also encourage clogs if it interacts with the moisture inside your cooling, creating a breeding ground for mold and bacteria that can generate foul odors and lower indoor air quality.
Even with a filter in place, pet hair can still lead to problems. When return airflow arrives at the HVAC system, the filter captures the hair as it passes, keeping it from landing on vulnerable cooling components. At the same time, this quickly clogs the filter up, putting extra strain on the HVAC system. Without maintenance, high energy bills and frequent breakdowns may be right behind.
What About Animal Dander?
Pet dander, made up of tiny skin flakes and saliva particles, is a common cause of respiratory problems in people with allergies or asthma. You need a filter with a high MERV rating to effectively capture and remove dander, which is much smaller than pet hair.
How to Care for Your AC System and Filter with Pets
Fortunately, it isn't hard to protect the efficiency of your AC, even with pets living in your home. Here’s how:
- Stick to a regular schedule when cleaning or replacing the filter: Depending on the total number of pets as well as the filter's efficiency, you might need to replace it every 30 to 90 days. Check it every month and replace it if you notice weaker airflow or can see evidence of a clog.
- Keep ventilation clear: Pet hair can accumulate on air registers and grilles, preventing proper ventilation. You can clean them with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner as often as needed. Then, hire a professional to remove built-up pet hair, dander and dust in the air ducts every few years.
- Bathe or brush away excess pet hair: Regular brushing and bathing reduces the hair and dander your pets generate. Keep the brushing outdoors and sweep the area when you're done to stop hair from just drifting back inside.
- Consistently vacuum and dust: Pet hair can be found in pretty much every room of a house. A lot of it settles on surfaces around the house. Proper cleaning should include vacuuming, sweeping, dusting and washing any pet beds.
- Clear the area around the outdoor unit: Central air conditioners feature an outdoor unit fixed to a concrete slab outside your home. Clear away any accumulated debris, such as pet hair, grass clippings, dead leaves and other objects. This encourages normal heat transfer for more efficient operation.
- Keep up with routine AC maintenance: For best results, have a trusted HVAC technician inspect and maintain the air conditioner annually, preferably in the spring. They can identify and fix small issues, clean key components and share advice on keeping your air conditioner running efficiently with pets.
Contact [companyname] for Indoor Air Quality Services
If you want to minimize the impact your pets have on your HVAC system and indoor air quality, choose [companyname] for expert advice and solutions. We can direct you to the right indoor air quality products designed to minimize pet hair and dander, including high-end air filtration, whole-house ventilation and air duct cleaning. We'll do whatever it takes to keep getting the most from your air conditioning. You can rest easy with the knowledge that everything we do is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To request indoor air quality services in North America, please contact [companyname] today.