A family pet is part of millions of families. To be honest, our pets are usually considered a beloved member of the family and we want to have them around for many years.
Regrettably, pet hair usually has a negative impact on the efficiency of your air conditioning system. But with routine maintenance, you can avoid impacting airflow and protect your air conditioner from harm.
How Does an AC Filter Work, and Why is It So Important?
A filter is an important part of any forced-air HVAC system. The filter is the primary solution to capture airborne particles, such as dust, pollen and pet hair, stopping them from spreading through the ductwork. AC filters come in many different versions, including fiberglass, pleated and electrostatic. Your filter's effectiveness can be illustrated with its minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which ranges from 1 to 20, with higher ratings indicating better filtration.
The primary purpose of an AC filter is to protect the evaporator coil, blower motor and other important parts from dirt and debris that could cause damage. At sufficient efficiency, the air filter also improves indoor air quality by reducing particulates in the air, which can cause allergies, asthma attacks and other breathing problems.
How Does Pet Hair Affect Your HVAC System and Filter?
While animals are shedding, 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 can build up on the evaporator coil, blower motor, fan blades and other components, potentially stopping them from working efficiently. 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 traps the hair and prevents it from landing on sensitive cooling components. That being said, eventually the filter will clog, limiting airflow and placing additional strain on the HVAC system. Without maintenance, you may experience higher energy bills and more frequent breakdowns.
What About Animal Dander?
Pet dander, which consists of microscopic skin flakes and saliva particles, is a common allergen that causes respiratory problems for those suffering from allergies or asthma. You need a filter with a high MERV rating to effectively capture and remove dander, which is much smaller than pet hair.
How to Care for Your AC System and Filter with Pets
You can take steps to maintain the efficiency of your air conditioner, even with pets living in your home. Here’s how:
- Change the filter regularly: Depending on the number of pets and the filter's specific design, you may need a new filter every 30 to 90 days. Take a look at the filter each month and replace it when it starts to appear clogged.
- Keep ventilation clear: Pet hair gradually piles up against the air registers and grilles, reducing airflow. You can clean them with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner as often as needed. Then, call a professional for cleaning out the collected 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. Make sure to handle brushing outside and sweep the area afterward to prevent the hair from getting tracked 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 around the house. Keep up a regular cleaning routine that includes vacuuming, sweeping, dusting and laundering your pet’s bedding.
- Don't let debris collect near the outdoor unit: Central air conditioning systems come with an outdoor unit fixed to a concrete slab just outside the home. Keep the area around this unit free of debris, including pet hair, grass clippings, dead leaves and similar materials. This ensures effective heat transfer for more efficient operation.
- Schedule regular maintenance: For best results, have a trusted HVAC technician inspect and maintain your cooling system once a year, preferably in the spring. They can identify and fix small issues, clean internal components and offer tips to keep your air conditioning running efficiently with pets.
Contact [companyname] for Indoor Air Quality Services
If you’re concerned about how your pets are affecting your HVAC system and indoor air quality, turn to [companyname] for tailored solutions and top-notch customer service. We sell and service many quality indoor air quality products to help keep pet hair and dander at bay, such as advanced air filtration, whole-house ventilation and air duct cleaning. We can also maintain your HVAC system for maximum performance and efficiency. Rest assured 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.