For many homeowners, pets are a source of happiness, comfort and companionship. Unfortunately, they are also a source of pet hair and dander, which can wreak havoc on your air conditioning unit.
Just like dust and pollen, pet hair and dander can float in the air and get pulled into your AC system. When left unchecked, these allergens will harm the air quality in your home and damage your ducts and system.
If you’re one of the 85 million U.S. households with a pet, try these six AC tips for pet owners.
1. Change your filters often.
The purpose of AC air filters is to remove airborne contaminants from the air, preventing debris from entering your air ducts and damaging your system. If you have an indoor pet, you can add pet hair and dander to the list of debris clogging your air filters. Pet owners should change filters more frequently to keep ducts clean and reduce stress on their AC system. Do you have a pet who sheds seasonally? Be sure to change an additional filter during that time.
2. Install an air purifier.
Air purifiers can reduce the strain on air filters by removing pet dander from the air before it even reaches the AC filters. Consider adding standalone air purifiers to the rooms your pet frequents, or a whole house purifier if your pet roams the household. An air purifier will also help control pet odors in your home.
3. Groom your pet regularly.
Bathing and brushing your pet regularly can help reduce the amount of hair and dander getting into the air filters. If possible, try to brush your pet outside to keep the hair and dander away from indoor filters and ductwork. Grooming your pet is especially important during spring and fall when pets carry allergens like pollen and grass into your home.
4. Vacuum the house.
Vacuuming up the fur in your house will also help prevent pet hair from entering your air filters and AC unit. In addition to brushing your pet regularly, vacuum every few days to pick up pet hair and dander that settles on the floor and into furniture. Don’t forget to use the hose attachment to hit the corners of the room and under furniture, where fluff likes to hide. How often you need to vacuum will depend on your pets and how much they shed.
5. Check outdoor units.
The outdoor component of your AC unit is regularly exposed to the elements. But it is also exposed to animals. Cats are notorious for napping in inconvenient locations like outdoor condensers. Digging dogs can disrupt the concrete pad under your unit, while males repeatedly “marking their territory” will eventually damage the system.
We recommend installing a small fence around your outdoor unit to keep pets away. If a fence is not possible, deter animals with a natural barrier of shrubs or an odor spray.
6. Schedule preventive maintenance.
The best way to take care of your AC unit, whether you have a pet or not, is with regular preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance provided by a trained AC technician will ensure all parts of your unit are clean and functioning correctly, and will extend the life of your unit. Semiannual maintenance can catch issues caused by your pets before they become costly emergencies.
At DDI Southeast, pets are part of our family.
Many of our DDI team members have pets at home, and we love making new furry friends at our customers’ homes.
Owning a pet doesn’t have to pose a threat to your air conditioning system. With these AC tips for pet owners to control pet hair and dander, as well as regular system maintenance, you and your pets can enjoy comfortable indoor air year-round.