Care of Your HVAC Systems and Pet Care

Baby Cheeto and Pudgy enjoying their comfy home


Care of Your HVAC Systems and Pet Care

HVAC maintenance is essential to keep both your system and your air quality in good condition while your furry best friend is shedding. Here are a few practical maintenance tips to take care of your HVAC, your pet, and your air quality all at once by:

  1. Making Sure That Your Pets Are Well Groomed
  2. Maintaining HVAC Air Filters.
  3. Outdoor Activities
  4. Building A Barrier Around Your Outdoor Condenser
  5. Seek Help From The HVAC Professionals.

1. Know your animal’s unique needs

Cats, puppies, and short-coated dogs are particularly vulnerable to cold temperatures. Some dogs, especially short-coated breeds, puppies, and elderly dogs, may benefit from a dog sweater or coat as an extra layer of warmth.

Brushing your pet regularly is definitely the most enjoyable HVAC maintenance activity. Brushing your dog, cat, rabbit, or other furry companion picks hair up into the brush and drops it on the ground, meaning less fur can float into the air and clog up the filter. Weather-permitting, it’s even better to brush them outside because loose fur can fly away in the wind instead of becoming part of your home air system.

Your indoor air intake is also a suction for hair and dander. You want it to be because it pulls all the dust and allergens into the filter so that home air quality is improved by the HVAC cycle. You can make each filter last longer by picking up as much pet hair as possible with the vacuum instead. In addition to brushing your pet regularly, be sure to vacuum twice or more a week to pick up all the shedding that has settled into the carpet and furniture.

2. Change Air Filters More Frequently

Pet hair and dander can clog your filter faster than in a standard fur-free home. Pet dander is one of the most well-known allergens in the world. While there are hundreds of pollen varieties, a pet in the house is a sure source of allergens for about 20% of the population who are allergic. This is a good reason to increase the quality of the filters you buy.

Air filters are measured in MERV ratings,

which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It measures the efficiency of a filter. Lower MERV ratings filter less, while higher MERV ratings enter the clean-room levels of filtration.  MERV 5-8 filters are standard for modern homes. If you’d like to reduce allergies, look for filters with a MERV of 10-12. These trap smaller particles – like pet dander 3– and prevent the allergens from filling your HVAC unit as dust or coming back into your home air through the vents.

 If your filters or HVAC are rated for one new filter every three months, try every two months or two and a half, and keep an eye on your filters for signs that they are topped up with pet hair, and it’s time for a change.

3. Outdoor activities

Some dogs want to be outside regardless of the weather. Even if your dog has a thick coat, keep an eye on them when they are outside playing to watch for early signs that they’re cold, such as holding up paws or shivering. Remember to knock on the hood of your car or sound the horn before starting the engine. Cats hiding under hoods can be injured or killed by the fan belt.

Keep an eye out for antifreeze, or other automotive leaks in your driveway. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that can be attractive to animals and can be fatal if ingested.

Use a damp towel to wipe your pet’s paws and underside if they’ve walked along salted sidewalks or roads. Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice on roads and sidewalks can irritate and burn your pet’s sensitive paws and can cause illness if ingested.

4. Build a Fence Around Your Outdoor Air Conditioner

If your pets spend time in the backyard, be sure to protect your outdoor air conditioner unit. The condenser is a giant suction unit. Its vents actually pull outdoor air in as part of cycling the air indoors. If your pet rubs on the condenser as dogs and cats sometimes do, they send their fur and dander directly into the unit. This can clog your outdoor unit and can send dander into your HVAC system from outdoors.

If you have an animal that pees on upright objects like trees, then the condenser is also at risk. Urine is acidic, and in yards where a dog has regularly peed on the condenser, you will find the fins completely etched away by the acid.

5.Twice Annual HVAC Maintenance

Finally, keep up with your HVAC maintenance. A house with pets is full of love, but it’s also full of fur, which puts extra stress on your HVAC system. An HVAC maintenance schedule includes an inspection and tune-up once to twice a year. On the first inspection, mention that you have a pet (or pets) and want to ensure pet fur isn’t choking the system.

Your technician will take a close look at the indoor and outdoor units, provide maintenance services and make suggestions on how to best take care of your unit and protect it from excessive pet hair issues.

If you have any questions or need a repair, give us a call. We look out for our 4-legged & 2-legged friends; contact AC Dave Heating and Air at 661-270-1961. Fall is here, let’s make sure your heater is ready!


By AC Dave

AC Dave has been in the HVAC field for the past 40 years. AC Dave is involved in every aspect of every job. A C Dave Heating & Air was established in June of 2006. AC Dave wanted his company to be a reflection of all the great things he learned over the years working in the field from Customer satisfaction #1, to honesty and pride in his work.

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