Having pets in your home and yard can create a variety of housekeeping and landscaping challenges, like finding ways to clean muddy pawprints off the sofa or stopping Rover from digging up the flowerbeds in the first place. Pets can also create challenges when it comes to keeping your HVAC system running at its best. Here are a few tips to help you overcome the HVAC challenges caused by our furry friends.
1. Clean Air Starts with Clean Pets: Regularly brushing both dogs and cats can significantly cut down on the amount of hair and dander floating around your home. This is especially true with long-haired breeds. Bathing dogs once a month can also reduce dander and fur, but don’t do it too often or your pup may end up with dry, itchy skin.
2. Be Vigilant About Filters: While it’s important for everyone to change their intake air filter regularly, it is especially important for pet owners. Even with regular grooming, the dander and fur from pets can quickly clog up your air filter. Set a reminder on your phone or make a note on your calendar to change the filter every month.
3. Consider an Upgrade: You can upgrade your filter to one that’s designed to catch pet dander and other allergens, but make sure that you don’t get a filter that’s rated too high for your HVAC system. For the ultimate in cleaner air, consider having a whole-house air cleaner or air purifier added to your HVAC system.
4. Protect Your Outside Unit: If your outside unit is located where your dogs have access to it, keep a close eye on it for damage. Occasionally dogs will claw at the outer fins, which can bend or break the fins as well as possibly cutting their paws. Also, some male dogs will “mark” on HVAC units, which can lead to corrosion of the coils. You may want to consider putting a fence or hedge around the HVAC to keep dogs away. Just be sure that there’s at least two feet of open space all the way around the unit, as well as a way for your HVAC technician to access it for service.