Pets can be found in millions of homes. In fact, pets are usually considered part of the family, and we want to keep them well-cared for.
Annoyingly, pet hair can adversely affect your air conditioning system. But with routine maintenance, you'll help preserve steady airflow and protect the cooling equipment from harm.
How Do AC Air Filters Work, and Why Are They Important?
Your air filter is a key component of the HVAC system. The filter is the primary solution to capture airborne particles, such as dust, pollen and pet hair, keeping them from reaching other rooms or areas of the property. Various designs can be used effectively, including fiberglass, pleated and electrostatic. The overall effectiveness of an air filter can be measured with its minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which is rated on a scale from 1 to 20, with higher ratings indicating better filtration.
An air filter’s key purpose is the protection of the evaporator coil, blower motor and other important parts from dirt and debris capable of damaging them. At sufficient efficiency, the air filter also improves indoor air quality by minimizing particulate matter, which can cause allergies, asthma attacks and similar conditions.
How Can Pet Hair Impact an HVAC System's Air Filter?
When pets shed, their hair becomes airborne and is drawn into the HVAC system through the return air ducts. If there isn't a filter in place, pet hair collects inside the evaporator coil, blower motor, fan blades and other components, reducing their efficiency and life span. Hair can also mix with condensation formed during air conditioning, creating a breeding ground for microorganisms which can produce foul odors and lower indoor air quality.
Even when the filter is already in place, pet hair can still lead to problems. When return airflow reaches the main HVAC system, the filter captures the hair as it passes, keeping it from landing on vulnerable cooling components. However, this clogs the filter more quickly than usual, decreasing airflow and increasing strain on the HVAC system. Without intervention, high energy bills and frequent breakdowns may be right behind.
What About Animal Dander?
Pet dander, which consists of tiny skin flakes and saliva particles, is a common allergen that causes respiratory problems for those suffering from allergies or asthma. Filters with higher MERV ratings are more likely to effectively capture and remove dander, which is much smaller than pet hair.
How to Care for Your AC System and Filter with Pets
Maintaining an efficient, properly functioning air conditioner is certainly possible, even with pets living in your home. Here’s how:
- Stick to a regular schedule when cleaning or replacing the filter: Depending on the type of filter and how many pets you have, you may need a new filter every 30 to 90 days. Keep an eye on it every month and replace it when a clog appears.
- Keep ventilation clear: Pet hair can accumulate on air registers and grilles, reducing airflow. Trying cleaning these using the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner as often as needed. Then, hire a professional to remove built-up pet hair, dander and dust inside your ductwork every few years.
- Groom your pets: Regular brushing and bathing is a great strategy for reducing pet hair. Keep the brushing outdoors and sweep the area after you've finished to keep any hair from getting back inside.
- Consistently vacuum and dust: Pet hair can be found in pretty much every room of a house. A lot of it settles on surfaces or in corners. Keep up a regular cleaning routine that includes vacuuming, sweeping, dusting and washing any pet beds.
- Keep the area around the outdoor unit clear: Central air conditioners feature an outdoor unit fixed to a concrete slab outside your home. Keep the area around this unit free of debris, such as pet hair, grass clippings, dead leaves and other objects. This encourages normal heat transfer for more efficient operation.
- Keep up with routine AC maintenance: For best results, have a trusted HVAC technician inspect and maintain the air conditioner annually, preferably in the spring. They can identify and fix small issues, clean key components and share advice on keeping your air conditioner running efficiently with pets.
Contact [companyname] for Indoor Air Quality Services
When you're tired of excess pet hair affecting your HVAC system and indoor air quality, consider [companyname] for personalized recommendations on the best solution. We sell and service many quality indoor air quality products designed to minimize pet hair and dander, including high-end air filtration, whole-house ventilation and air duct cleaning. We'll do whatever it takes to keep getting the most from your air conditioning. Enjoy the peace of mind that everything we do is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To request indoor air quality services in North America, please contact [companyname] today.