Most people would agree that pets make their lives much more enjoyable. Dogs are always excited to see you and even though cats are great at throwing around attitude, they can also brighten our day. On their own terms of course. But did you know that your animal can put a strain on your HVAC system? Don’t get rid of your fur buddies just yet, with care and maintenance, you can have both for a long time to come!
Proper air circulation is a must for an air conditioning system to function. Unfortunately, our animals come with and enjoy things that can prohibit that from happening.
Shedding, Dander, and Bringing the Outside Inside.
The constant shedding of pet fur can get caught in your ventilation system and clog your filters which prevents adequate air circulation.
Dander is another problem for your air conditioning and heating system. Warning- all animals have dander, even ones without fur. Dander is tiny particles of skin that animals naturally shed, and like fur, it sneaks into the ventilation system and clogs filters preventing the proper flow of air through the home.
Fun fact, air ducts are made of metal which actually attract fur and dander. So if your HVAC system isn’t maintained and cleaned regularly, the accumulation of animal hair and dander in your ducting, heating and air conditioning components can cause your system to work harder and longer increasing your energy bill. If your system continues to struggle to cool the home, it can eventually lead to a breakdown which can be an expense a homeowner did not anticipate.
Most of our pets like to frequent the outdoors, but dust, dirt and debris can catch a free ride on our pets bringing the outside inside the home. Just like pet hair and dander, outdoor debris can clog our filters and block our vents, which cause damage to our highly adored HVAC systems.
Marking and Chewing.
More neat-o activities that some animals participate in are marking of territories and sharpening their teeth on things they aren’t supposed to. Some animals have been known to urinate (mark their territory) on outdoor condenser units causing corrosion to the AC coils and aluminum fins. Corroded coils can cause freon leaks and corroded aluminum fins can cause your air conditioning to cool at a slower pace, which means higher utility bills.
Animals chewing on HVAC wiring can obviously cause damage to your unit and potentially harm your animal.
How to Avoid and Remedy These Issues.
Again, you don’t need to get rid of your fur buddies, but there are things you can do to prevent and remedy the issues we mentioned.
1. To avoid clogged filters from pet hair and dander, check your air filters at least once a month and change if necessary. Depending on how badly your animals shed and how many animals you have, you may need to change the filters more frequently. Make sure that you use an air filter MERV rated high enough to filter out pet dander.
2. Brushing your furry friends on a regular basis removes excess hair and bathing them to keep shedding to a minimum are beneficial for your HVAC system. While being diligent at grooming your furry friends, be sure not to bathe them too often as to not dry out their skin. That’s a whole other issue that no one wants to tackle!
3. Cleaning and vacuuming your home frequently is vital in limiting pet dander, hair and dust, therefore, cutting down on the amount of damaging debris that goes into the HVAC system.
4. Have your air ducts cleaned. Removing pet hair and dander that gets stuck in the ducts will not only allow the HVAC system to continue working properly, but may also help reduce animal odors.
5. If you have exposed HVAC wires, contact your HVAC company to enclose them so Buffy or Fido aren’t tempted to do a little nibbling.
6. To keep animals from using your condenser unit as an outhouse, create a barrier around it, being sure not to impede air flow or access to the unit.
As you can tell, HVAC maintenance is extremely important for the health and longevity of your system and our HVAC technicians have seen their share of system break downs that could have been prevented with regular maintenance.
If it’s been a year or more since your last air conditioner and heating tune-up or maintenance check, give us a call to schedule today. 318-222-KOOL (5665)