The Impact of Pet Ownership on Your HVAC System

According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, approximately 65 percent of households throughout the United States own at least one pet. If you are the proud owner of any fur bearing pet, whether it's a cat, a dog or both, you know how even a small pet can create a huge mess. If your pets shed a lot, all that hair can have a profoundly negative impact on your HVAC system, and consequently, your family's health.

Here are a few tips for any proud pet owner that wants to protect their HVAC system and family's well-being:

Impact of Pet Hair on Your HVAC System and Family's Health

Despite your best efforts, pet hair can be extremely difficult to get rid of completely. When your HVAC unit kicks on, all that stray pet hair and dander becomes airborne, which can greatly impact your system's efficiency and your family's health.

The pet hair that is floating around your home will often make its way into the HVAC system. After several months or years, the hair will begin to clog the ductwork and the air filter. When your air filter becomes clogged, the unit must work even harder to pull in air from the environment, which puts an unnecessary strain on the unit.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately one in ten Americans is allergic to either a cat or dog, or both. When all that pet hair and dander makes its way into the HVAC system, a large portion of it is blown out again when the unit kicks on.

If any of your family is allergic to your pets, the increase in airborne allergens can have a dramatically negative impact on their health.

Choosing the Right Filter

One of the most inexpensive and effective ways to protect both your HVAC system and your family's health is to monitor your unit's air filter. If you have a single pet, you will need to change the filter more often.

In addition to changing the air filter more often, investing in a higher quality filter will also help cut down on the amount of pet dander and hair that invades your HVAC unit. If your unit can accommodate one, an HEPA, or high efficiency particulate air, filter is the best option. It will remove more pet dander, hair and other allergens from your home's air than many of the options available at your local hardware store.

If your unit cannot accommodate a HEPA filter, a reusable or disposable electrostatic filter is another good choice. Both of these are more expensive than other traditional types of filters, including a fiberglass or cotton filter. However, they are more effective and if you choose a reusable model, you can simply rinse off the filter and use it for several years.

Additional Tips to Help Keep Your HVAC System Running Smoothly

In addition to choosing the right furnace filter for your needs and budget, there are other simple ways to cut down on the amount of pet hair and dander that is forced into your home through the HVAC unit. For example, one of the simplest things is to regularly bathe and groom your pet, especially if it is shedding.

Covering your vents with cheesecloth or another dense material is another great way to cut down on the pet dander and hair in your home's air. However, be aware that the dense material will trap the dander and hair that would otherwise be blown out of the vents. If you choose the route, you will need to change the cloth and clean your ducts more often.

Having pets is a beautiful experience that can unfortunately negative impact your HVAC unit's efficiency and your family's health. If you have any additional questions about how to keep your HVAC system clean, don't hesitate to contact services like A-1 American Services.