5 HVAC Maintenance Tips for Pet Owners to Ensure a Fur-Free Furnace

‘My Heater Smells Like Burning Plastic!’ Classic Heater Smells Decoded and What to Do About ItYour “fur babies” are the heart of your home. Whether you have cats, dogs, or chinchillas, you love the cuddly, fuzzy warmth and joy they provide every day. What you may not love as much is the havoc their fur and dander can wreak on your HVAC system. As we head deeper into fall, we’ve compiled five HVAC maintenance tips for pet owners to keep your furnace running smoothly and your creatures (and you) as comfortable as ever.

  1. Frequently Groom Your Pets – Just as you groom yourself daily, keep your pets groomed regularly (several times per week). Even just dragging a brush through your lab’s short but shed-happy coat for a few minutes, three or four times a week, can greatly reduce floating hair. And cutting down on shedding means slashing time spent cleaning. As a bonus, the reduced shedding will also prolong the life of your air filters and prevent hair from clogging your air ducts.

  2. Mind Your Air Filters – You know that air filters are supposed to filter out particulate from contaminating your air. Even the best air filters with the highest MERV ratings ultimately can’t keep up with months (or years!) of pet dander. Unless you regularly change your filters, these filters will become caked with dust, hair, and airborne dead skin cells, which blocks airflow and prevents your HVAC system from operating correctly. This inefficiency leads to increased power bills.

To prevent this issue, check out the recommended replacement interval on your filter’s packaging. If you have more than one pet, you may replace them more often or get higher quality HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters.

  1. Keep Air Vents Clean – Air vents are also optimal traps for hair and dander. Whenever you vacuum, make sure you add cleaning air vents to the chore list. Just put on the hose attachment and quickly suck up the hair and dust on and around the vents.

  2. Don’t Forget the Ducts — Often overlooked, the air ducts also will trap some of that floating pet hair. Once hair clogs the ducts, you run the risk of growing viruses and bacteria in the respiratory system of your HVAC unit. We recommend hiring a professional to clean your ducts to ensure safety and thoroughness. If you do decide to try and clean them yourself, make sure you turn off the system first to prevent electrical hazards and excessive indoor air pollution.

  3. Install an Air Purifier – You can offset additional stress placed on your filters by installing an air purifier. With a HEPA purifier, you can effectively remove up to 99.97% of pet dander before it reaches your air filters, drastically cutting down wear and tear on your system and the filters, which saves you money every month.

If you notice hair cyclones dancing through your home or believe indoor air quality is compromised, you are likely experiencing a build-up of pet dander. Along with following these HVAC maintenance tips for pet owners, don’t hesitate to reach out to Gorman Mechanical today and have an air quality expert assess your situation.

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