How do Pets Affect Your Air Conditioning System?

dogs and cat, Gagne AC General Maintenance Article

Many home owners can’t imagine life without their furry friends. They truly become part of the family and often live indoors with their owners. They bring joy, companionship and a sense of safety to many of us. However, they also bring a lot of unwanted pet hair and dander.

Dander has often been mistakenly thought of as pet hair; however, it’s actually tiny microscopic flakes of skin that shed off of your pet. Dander can bother one’s allergies even more than hair. Both dander and hair get trapped inside your air filter and can cause your system to function poorly or to work harder than it should in order to cool your home.

Even if you own a pet that you feel does not shed much, it is still very important to keep your air filters, air vents, and air conditioner cleaned on a regular basis. Often, you may not see the dander, but it is there nevertheless!

AC Tips for Pet Owners

Below are tips to make certain your system works up to par even if you are a pet owner.

  • Change air filters. This must be done on a regular basis. Often, people change filters monthly, especially if they are an owner of an indoor pet. When your air conditioning system blows conditioned air into a room, it also reconditions older air and uses it for later. If there’s a lot of hair and dander, this is going to be blown back out into your home.Some people have permanent air filters they clean regularly and others are disposable. Choosing a filter type is simply a matter of preference, but regardless of which type you settle on you should be certain your filters are clean because they play a big role in filtering out pet hair and dander. Filters also help prevent contaminants from entering your air distribution system and protect the equipment from dust buildup.
  • Don’t forget the ductwork. Ductwork is made of metal and attracts animal hair and dander. When you turn your air conditioner on, this is what gets blown back into the air you breathe. Ductwork is a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and fungus build up. You should have your ductwork professionally cleaned every five to seven years in order to improve your air quality. This will lessen the HVAC operation time and result in lower bills as well.
  • Sealing ducts. Often there are gaps between the vents and drywall, which allows for unconditioned air and other types of allergens to enter your home. By sealing these, you help prevent unwanted buildup from entering the ducts.
  • Regularly bathe your pet. This truly helps keep unwanted hair to a minimum.  Bathe and brush your pet on a regular basis in order to keep the shedding down.
  • Use an air filter. A filter can actually help purify the air in your home and keep pet hair to a minimum. This, in conjunction with bathing the pet regularly, can be a big help to your air conditioning system.

If you think your system could use a good cleaning and checkup, call our experts at Alpharetta’s Gagne Heating and Air.

To learn more about proper maintenance on your AC system, read our article: Managing Allergens for Better Indoor Air Quality.

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