Cat laying on the couch.

How to Protect Your HVAC System from Pet Fur & Dander

If you're like most proud owners of a dog or cat, your pets are members of your family and you wouldn't dream of parting with them. However, you might not know that in addition to chewing your shoes and destroying your carpets, your pets are also doing damage to your HVAC system. Your furry best friends are impacting your HVAC system's efficiency, which in turn is costing you money.

The Impact of Your Pets on Your HVAC System

Owning cats and dogs means you will get a lot of cuddles and deal with a lot of pet hair and dander. Pet dander is small skin flakes that your pets naturally shed. Both pet dander and pet hair can irritate your allergies and wreak havoc on your HVAC system. All that hair and dander is kicked up when your HVAC system turns on, and it will often wind up in your ductwork.

When your furnace or central air turns on again, any pet hair or dander particles then spread throughout your home — dramatically impacting your home’s air quality and making anyone with pet allergies miserable.

In addition to impacting your indoor air quality, your pet's fur can also accumulate in your ductwork and HVAC components, which can eventually cause damage.

Here are a few tips for how to protect your HVAC system when you share your home with pets.

1. Protect Your Condenser

The condenser is the large metal box that is typically found on the side of your home. It houses several components that are critical for your central air conditioner to function. If you have a dog that has free rein of the backyard, chances are they will relieve themselves just about everywhere, including near your condenser.

Keep an eye on your dog and ensure they don't lift their leg near your condenser. If this occurs, train your dog to relieve themselves somewhere else in the yard. Unfortunately, if this doesn't work, protect your condenser with a fence, or plant shrubs near the condenser to deter your dog.

2. Invest in a Quality Air Filter

Your air filter is the first line of defense against allergens. Most HVAC systems usually use an inexpensive fiberglass filter, but this type of filter allows most pet dander and pet hair to flow through it.

Investing in a high-quality air filter is the best way to ensure as many allergens as possible are trapped and can't make it into your home or your HVAC system. A HEPA, or high efficiency particulate arrestance, filter is a great option because these filters are relatively inexpensive and will trap the majority of pet dander and hair that they encounter.

Check the filter regularly and replace it according to your HVAC technician's recommendation.

3. Keep Your Home and Pets Clean

Finally, keeping both your home and pet clean is often the best way to protect your HVAC system from dander and hair. Here are a few tips to help keep the pet hair and dander in your home and on your pets under control:

  • Vacuum and sweep daily. This quick chore stops dander and hair from accumulating in the most commonly used rooms in your home.
  • Dust often. Again, the principle here is to minimize buildup of pet dander.
  • Brush your pets several times a week. This task helps you bond with your pet and also keep it from shedding all around the house.
  • Take your pet to a groomer regularly. Don’t rely solely on your at-home pet care; make an appointment for your pet with a professional at least once a month.

You love your pets, but they can do some serious damage to your HVAC system. If you have any more questions, contact us.