Humans are not the only creatures who benefit from professional HVAC maintenance. Pets are also the recipients of home comfort and often take advantage of cool air during the summer and warm air in the winter. Together, homeowners and pets live in harmony, protected from the outside elements all year long. However, pets like cats and dogs can hurt your HVAC system. It doesn’t mean you need to kick the dog out of the house. It does mean that you need to be proactive in maintaining both your pet and your HVAC system so that you can enjoy both through the years. Below we look at eight practical HVAC maintenance tips for pet owners.

1. Routine Professional HVAC Maintenance

Nothing protects your HVAC system like maintenance and other HVAC repair services. Preventative maintenance keeps hair and dander from building up in your system. A technician can identify and fix common HVAC problems in your system, such as  
  • Dirty filters
  • Ignition problems
  • Thermostat malfunction
  • Mechanical wear and tear
  • Unusual furnace or AC noises
  • Tripped breakers or blown fuses
  • Dirty evaporator coils or AC condenser
  If possible, try to schedule maintenance at least once a year and repairs as soon as possible. You may also want to know if your HVAC company in Alexandria, Virginia, offers an HVAC maintenance plan.

2. Groom Your Pet Regularly

Dogs and cats officially shed once or twice a year. However, it’s common to find pet hair everywhere you go in the house. While it’s impossible to rid the house of pet hair or dander, one way to reduce the flow of hair is to groom and brush your pet regularly.   A good brush traps the hair as you brush the animal, allowing you to dispose of it properly instead of finding its way into the air filter, air ducts, or condenser coil of your system. As a bonus, brushing your pet daily releases the oils that give them a healthy coat.

3. Change HVAC Air Filter as Directed

It’s easy to forget the air filter because it’s out of sight. You may go for several months without realizing that you need to change the filter. However, changing the filter is important for you and your pet when you have pets in the house. Here are some quick tips for changing the filter.  
  • Read the owner manual before you buy or change out the filter.
  • Use the best air filter designed for your HVAC system.
  • Change out the filter according to manufacturer specifications.
  • Try to use a filter that does the best job of trapping pet hairs.
  Using the right filter and changing it regularly will reduce the circulation of pet hair.

4. Protect Your Outside AC Unit from Your Pet

Giving your dog or cat access to the AC unit is dangerous to the air conditioner. The AC condenser draws air in. It’s also powerful enough to draw in nearby items. If your dog or cat spends a lot of time close to the unit, it will pull in hair and dander directly to the unit. Over time, the fur will clog the unit and channel hair and dander back into your house.   Animals urinate on almost anything. An AC condenser or tubing is no exception. You can tell if your dog has been urinating on the condenser because it is corroded or burned away by the urine acid. So, take some time to build a fence or hedge around the AC to eliminate access to the unit.

5. Vacuum Your Floors Regularly

Regardless of how often you groom and brush your pet or even if you have an air filter system in your house, pet hair is still likely to collect on the floor – especially in the carpets. Pet dander can settle deep in the carpet causing health problems. However, not all the hair stays in the carpets.   Eventually, it will go airborne and get into the HVAC system. This can be a daily occurrence. The more the hair builds up, the more it affects your air conditioner. Eventually, you notice less air going through the ducts. Or you may experience damage to the system. It can be avoided by simply vacuuming the house once every one to two days.

6. Invest in a Whole-House Air Purifier

Although your HVAC system filters the air, it can’t account for all dog and cat hairs that float around the house. Pets can also bring other particles and contaminants into the house that never pass through the HVAC filter. So, how do you improve the air quality in your house?   The answer is a room or whole-house air purifier. Purifiers can include air filtration systems, UV treatment systems, humidifiers, or dehumidifiers. Modern systems can trap up to 99.7% of all contaminants that pass through the filters, cleaning the air and reducing pet hair significantly. It allows you to enjoy your cat or dog in the house.

7. Take Your Pet for a Walk

Dogs compensate for the hot weather by shedding more during the spring and summer months. Some dogs can shed up to five times more hair during summer than in the winter. Fortunately, it’s warm enough to take your dog for a walk.    Taking your pet for a walk one to three times a day reduces the amount of hair they shed indoors. Walking and running create enough activity to loosen hairs and allow them to fly away outside. The more the dog sheds outside, the less the hair collects in your HVAC system. It results in less HVAC maintenance.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance in Alexandria, Virginia

Your pets are an important part of your life. So, is your home comfort. If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your HVAC system, now is the time to schedule HVAC maintenance services. Cardinal offers HVAC maintenance, repair, and installation services in Alexandria, Virginia. To schedule service, fill out our contact form or give us a call.