While you may love your pets to bits, your HVAC system does not. Your furry babies’ shedding and dander can clog the air filters, resulting in reduced airflow, increased electric bill, furnace, and air conditioning unit not working, and possibly, more allergy symptoms.
Also, you run the risk of poor indoor air quality and expensive repairs to the blower belt or compressor if you let your clogged filters sit for too long.
How to Pet-Proof Your HVAC System
You can avoid expensive repairs and maintain a good air quality with the simple tips and tricks mentioned below.
1. Change air filters regularly.
A word of caution — ”regularly” depends on several factors and not just the manufacturer’s recommendation. While most advise replacing air filters every 30-60 days, there are some things to keep in mind.
- If you or someone in your household has allergies, you need to replace air filters more frequently than usual.
- A vacation house that is only used a couple of times a year may only need a yearly replacement.
- If you live alone in an area with good air quality, you may only need replacement every 6-12 months.
- If you have a cat or dog, a good rule of thumb is to replace your filters every 60 days.
- If you have two or more pets, you may need to do replacement every 20-30 days.
2. Maintain a clean home
A clean, clutter-free home can minimize the need for ductwork maintenance cleaning and even prolong the lifespan of your air filters. The general rule of thumb is to vacuum the floor and soft furnishing, dust surfaces, and furniture sweep and mop your house regularly to get rid of the dander and shedding.
3. Groom your pets frequently to reduce dander and hair shedding
Even if your pets are not considered as “heavy shedders,” make sure that you brush them at least 2-4 times a week, or even more if their coat is long and coarse.
4. Check your ducts regularly
While most HVAC experts recommend professional ducts cleaning every 3-5 years for residential homes, you should have them cleaned if you think that your HVAC system is not working efficiently (due to a sudden spike in the electric bill or reduced airflow).
Leading HVAC service provider Sharpline Mechanical also advises homeowners to have their ducts professionally cleaned if they move into a new house and they don’t know how the former owners treated their HVAC system.
Professional cleaning involves not just ducts and pipes but also internal heating and air components like coils. HVAC technicians will also look at any sign of dust, mold and mildew, debris, and pet hair buildup.
Note: While doing renovations, close off registers and vents to prevent sawdust and other particles from getting caught in the system, or cover your vent with a thick plastic cover secured by adhesive tape.
5. Secure your vents
Make sure that all your vents are secured properly with screws to prevent pets from crawling into your ductwork. You don’t want to call for emergency HVAC service in the middle of a winter night after your cat has sought shelter within the pipes.
6. Add a fence around your HVAC outdoor unit
Adding a fence around your outdoor unit prevents pets and wildlife from damaging your HVAC system. But make sure that you leave at least a 2 feet clearance around and about 5 feet above it so the air flows efficiently and the unit does not heat up.
If you need HVAC service, repair, and maintenance, contact Sharpline Mechanical at 530-248-2131. They service residential homes and commercial buildings in the Northern California area.