There are few things more fulfilling than the love and loyalty of a pet. There are many health benefits to pet ownership, including lower blood pressure, less anxiety, and longer life expectancy. However, owning a pet can be a big responsibility.
While there are many advantages to owning a pet, keeping one in your home can also be a lot of work. Keeping our furry friends safe can take some effort. Also, keeping the hair and pet dander from taking over your home can seem like a full-time job.
Your HVAC system plays an important role in keeping your family, including your pets, comfortable and happy. When it comes to maintaining your HVAC system, there are some special steps pet owners need to make to keep their pets safe and their system running smoothly.
Replace HVAC Filters Regularly
If you have a pet, you may need to replace your HVAC filters more frequently. Pets shed hair and pesky dander all over your floors and furniture. That hair and dander also makes its way into your filter. As hair and dander build up on your filter, it can restrict air flow, causing your HVAC unit to run less efficiently. The result is more energy consumption and a higher utility bill.
Be sure to check your filter frequently and replace when necessary. If you find you need to replace your filter often, consider switching to a reusable filter. Reusable filters can be easily cleaned with a simple garden hose and then reinstalled until they need to be cleaned again.
If you or other members of your family suffer from pet allergies, you should consider upgrading your filter to one with a high MERV rating. A filter with a MERV rating of 8 or higher is often recommended for homes with pets. These filters are more effective at filtering airborne allergens.
If you have questions about which filter to use, a qualified HVAC professional can advise you on the best filter for your system and situation.
Keep Your Home Clean
One way to prevent your filters from getting clogged with pet hair, is to keep regularly clean your house. Simply vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting will help keep pet hair from settling in your vents or collecting in your filter.
Bathe and Groom Your Pet
One important way to control pet dander is to brush and bathe your pet regularly. This will help prevent your pet from scattering hair, dirt, and dander throughout your home. If you don’t want to make a weekly trip to the groomer, consider investing in a good pet brush. Brushes specifically designed for pets will help keep shedding under control.
Schedule Regular HVAC Maintenance
No matter how diligent you are about cleaning and pet hair, some will inevitable find its way into your system. It is important to have a technician perform regular cleaning and maintenance to keep your system running efficiently.
Also, have your technician regularly inspect your system duct work. If there has been significant accumulation of hair and dirt in your ducts, a thorough duct cleaning may be warranted.
Get Rid of Exposed Wires
While your technician performs regular maintenance on your HVAC system, have him take care of any exposed wires. Make sure he secures any dangling or exposed wires to protect them from curious pets.
Fence In Your Condenser Unit
If your pets are often left unattended in your yard, it is particularly important to fence off your outside unit. Make sure any barrier you install allows sufficient airflow around the condenser unit, but protects your system from potential pet damage. Claws and urine could potentially cause damage to the fins or other sensitive parts of your system.
Adjust Your Thermostat
It may be tempting to keep your thermostat set at a comfortable 72 degrees to keep Rover or Kitty comfortable when you are away. However, pets are safe and happy with a much wider temperature range than their human companions. You can save money and energy by adjusting your thermostat when only your pet is at home.
Following these important tips will help keeps your pets safe, extend the life of your HVAC system, and save you money. If you are considering regular system maintenance, special duct cleaning, or need help choosing a filter or programmable thermostat, be sure to contact your local HVAC professionals.