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Paws for Thought: How HVAC Systems Affect Pets

Pets can teach us a lot of things. Whether it’s a lesson in loyalty and dedication to family, or the more difficult lesson of not leaving a freshly roasted chicken on the countertop unattended, our pets show us how to look at the world through a new lens. Even though pets may not be able to program a smart thermostat or check the attic for proper insulation, HVAC systems affect pets. Our furry friends can still teach us a few things about how to approach air comfort in the home.


A Wet Nose is a Happy Nose

Anyone that’s had a puppy knows that there’s nothing cuter than a wagging tail and a wet nose ready to sniff literally everything on your morning walk. Fans of beagles and other scent hound breeds eagerly share stories of when their beloved pooch put their nose to the ground and ignored the world in favor of following a tantalizing scent trail. When it comes to noses, we know that a moist nose is a good sign for dogs, and it reminds us that proper humidity is an important part of air comfort. 

Keeping a home’s humidity in check not only makes shifts in weather more tolerable, but it can help protect your home from damage. Too much humidity can lead to environments that can encourage the growth of mold and mildew, while too little humidity can make wood floors flex and shrink. The relative humidity of a home changes throughout the year and an in-duct humidifier can make sure that both you and any furry friends feel good all twelve months out of the year.


Dust Free is the Way to Be

Cats are fastidious groomers, and for good reasons. A cat works hard to keep clean as a way to remove any scents that might give them away to prey (even if that prey is a plush mousie) and it helps to keep their coats glossy and clean. We can take note of our cats’ cleanliness and make sure that we maintain our own tidying routine when it comes to keeping dust and debris out of our HVAC systems.

Making and keeping a schedule to replace old air filters in your home (one at each air return) and having your air conditioning unit or heat pump cleaned and serviced twice a year can help keep your home clean. Air filters are necessary to help keep things like dust, hair, pet dander, and other debris out of your HVAC system where they can cause damage and foul smells. You can refer to your user manual to see what the best type of filter might be for your HVAC system and set a reminder on your calendar to help make sure you remember this important task. By keeping up with a good maintenance routine, you’ll find your HVAC system’s functional operating time might just have nine lives. 

SEE ALSO: Why Do I Need to Change My Home Air Filter?


Loud Noises are Scary

Nothing sends animals running around the house faster than a strange noise. Your dog might head towards the sound while your cats might flee, but they know that if they hear something unexpected, it’s worth a big reaction. Paying attention to your air conditioning unit or heat pump can save you the headache of a broken HVAC system and spare your wallet from repair costs.

It is important to take the time to go and physically inspect things like AC units, water heaters, and any gas powered heaters in your home. Look for damage in the form of big dents, rust, or excessive mold/dirt on the exterior of the unit. Take a moment and listen closely as the unit turns on and operates for a bit and make a note of any sounds like grinding or whistling. These can be a sign of refrigerant leaking, a motor struggling, or other types of damage so you should call your HVAC service provider if you detect any strange sounds as your system goes through its cycles. 


Enjoy the Little Things

Life, even for a cat or dog, can be stressful. There’s trips to the vet, being scolded for stealing a roast chicken left on the countertop, that one squirrel that keeps taunting them, and let’s not even talk about the mailman. It’s important to be able to remind yourself of what matters during times of stress and to be able to appreciate the good things in life. When you find yourself anxious or fretting over things you can’t control, take a note from your pets and re-center yourself.

Remember that you control the thermostat in your home, and if it is a smart thermostat, you can set the temperature of your home while you’re out and about. Take the time to stand near an air vent and enjoy the gentle breeze of conditioned air as it is brought into your home. Curl up on the couch and know that with a good warranty, and issues that occur with your air conditioner or heat pump will be resolved by your HVAC service provider. You may not have the luxury of sleeping the day away in a sunny spot when things get rough, but let your furry friends be your guides when it comes to taking the time to be grateful for what you have.

SEE ALSO: No Matter What the Groundhog Says It Is the Perfect Time To Look At Smart Thermostats


HVAC Systems Affect Pets AND You

Our pets, whether they have four legs, two wings, a few fins, or even scales, love us and we love them. We are prepared to make sure they live in comfort and good health, and that’s the kind of attitude that’s important to keep when it comes to considering your home’s HVAC needs. Who knew HVAC systems could affect pets as much as humans? An HVAC system serves the sole purpose of making sure your home has the best air comfort available, and with proper maintenance and attention, will do so for many years.

Just as we tend to our pets, a little bit of preventative action can keep an HVAC system going strong for years to come. Cats, dogs, and all our other animal friends can offer us important reminders to be thankful for the lives we have, to take things in stride, and to never leave freshly roasted chicken unattended.

SEE ALSO: HVAC Tips for Pet Owners
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