Down with Dander: How to Keep Your Pets Safe and Your HVAC Healthy

Little girl with dog at home

You step into a friend’s house for the first time and sneeze.

Then you sneeze again, and again, and again.

When you finally stop sneezing, you ask your friend (through watering eyes), “Do you have a cat?”

Pet allergies can be tough, especially because you don’t need to be near the animal in question for your symptoms to manifest.

That’s because most pet allergies are triggered by pet dander – tiny flakes of skin – in the air. And when pet dander makes its way into your home’s central air system, it can lead to serious health issues and a decline in air quality.

In this blog post, we’ll look at ways you can keep your pets safe and happy while still maintaining a healthy HVAC system.

1. Keep your ducts clean

As dander builds up inside your ductwork, it increases the likelihood that mold or bacteria will grow inside your HVAC system and circulate through your home.

Keeping your ducts clean can prevent this build up and making sure you’ve sealed your ducts against cracks and leaks will ensure dirt and dander don’t get inside your system and spread around the house.

2. Check your air filter

Regular readers of this blog can tell you that we highly recommend changing your system’s air filters with the seasons, if not every month.

This is especially important when you have furry friends living with you. You might even want to invest in a HEPA filter, which can capture and remove up to 99 percent of the particles in your home.

Vacuuming near the pet dog

3. Vacuum your home

Making sure vacuuming is part of your regular cleaning routine is essential to keeping pet hair and dander levels low. The more hair and dander your vacuum picks up – and you then throw away – the less that ends up inside your central air system.

4. Guard your outdoor unit

If your pets spend a lot of time outside, you’ll need to keep them away from your outdoor AC unit. You might see some serious damage to your unit if your dog mistakes it for a fire hydrant or your cat decides to use it as a scratching post.

Both scenarios can harm your system and your pets, so put up some sort of barrier that can keep them away while still allowing air to flow in and out.

Grooming dog to keep fur down in home

5. Groom your pets

Brushing and bathing your dogs and cats on a regular basis is not only good for your pets, it’s good for your HVAC system. With routine grooming, you’ll reduce the amount of dander your four-legged companion produces and make them a happier, more comfortable creature.

6. Cover your vents

This tip isn’t so much about keeping dander out of your HVAC system as it is just keeping your pets safe. Anyone who owns a cat knows that they’ll make it their mission to wriggle into the tightest corners of your home, and that includes vents, where they can get stuck.

Heating vent covered

Keep your vents closed and close off access to any areas in your central air system that might pose a safety hazard, and you’ll have a healthy pet.

You can accomplish this by scheduling regular HVAC maintenance. Your technician can examine your ductwork for mold build-up, change your filters and make sure your pets haven’t caused any damage. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a professional look at your central air system, contact All Seasons Comfort Control. Our experts can look at your heating and air conditioning units and make sure they’re ready to provide a comfortable environment for you and your pets.