Those of us that have furry friends living with us are willing to put up with a lot of extra headaches, both literally and figuratively. You know anyone with cat allergies and still owns cats? I know at least three people!
Pets that live in our homes offer such great benefits as companionship, playmates, exercise, fun, teach responsibility to our kids… but they also have their drawbacks, especially when it comes to our home’s HVAC systems.
Pets release hair and dander into the air of our houses, landing on all exposes surfaces and getting sucked into our cold air returns and heating and cooling systems. One way or another, your pet will affect your HVAC.
Following are our tips for dealing with our home HVAC systems when you have pets in the home.
Pets or not, you should be replacing your HVAC filters at least 4x per year, more often if you have a long hair breed like a German Shepherd Dog on Collie hanging around. You’ll typically find it matted with pet hair, as well as other particles (like “dander” or skin cells) released by the pet into the atmosphere.
If you find your home’s furnace filters clogging up frequently, you might consider switching to a reusable filter that can be rinsed with a garden hose. Consult one of our HVAC professionals for best advice if you’re having this issue.
You’ll find the filter will clog less frequently if you dust and vacuum often, preventing the air from reaching the filter. Try keeping a lightweight cordless vacuum (like a Dirt Devil) handy for easy, frequent vacuuming.
Keeping in mind the health of the pet first, you should bathe and brush your pet as frequently as recommended by your vet. There are several pet washes nearby where you can do it yourself to bathe your pet, or a number of groomers that accept appointments. There are also mobile groomers that will come to your home to minimize your pet getting terrorized by a visit to a noisy groomer.
Ask your vet or groomer about special brushes or other tools that make it easy to keep the pet hair under control. One device is this cool pet hair glove that allows you to just run your hands over the back of your cat or dog, then peel the hair off into the trash.
Believe me, if it’s in your carpet, on the surfaces of your home, it’s in the ductwork. Many times it will settle when the furnace or AC isn’t being used a lot (like in the early fall or late spring). We recommend a duct cleaning at least every two years, more often if you have long hair breeds.
To save energy and keep costs down, we recommend a smart thermostat. Keep in mind your pets can handle cooler or warmer temperatures than humans, so a couple of degrees cooler in the winter to save a few bucks on the heating bill is well worth it. The US Department of Energy claims you can save about 10 percent per year by lowering the setting on your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours each day. Just be sure rover has his own warm bed and blankets to keep comfortable, especially if he’s a short hair breed. Above all, heed the advice of your vet.
Use fencing or other natural barriers to keep your pets away from outdoor AC units and compressors. You can keep both the pet and the unit safe by having a “breathable barrier” around the unit. Keeping pets away will be sure cats won’t claw at the fins and dogs don’t chew on the cables or relieve themselves on the cover!
Keep your pets safe and comfortable, save energy and extend the life of your home’s heating and cooling system with these tips. When you’re ready to get those ducts cleaned, upgrade your HVAC filter or switch to a smart Wifi thermostat, contact us. Use our convenient online scheduling page or for immediate service call our HVAC Hotline at 614-837-4026.