Although our furry family members provide us with joy and companionship, they wreak havoc on HVAC systems. Cats and dogs contribute to dirty air filters, damaged systems, and poor air quality. Luckily, there are ways to get around this. Below are some HVAC tips that you can implement to maintain a clean and functioning home with pets.

Dog with fur

Brush Your Pet

First and foremost, the best thing you can do is prevent shedding as much as possible. Regular brushing prevents excess fur. This excess fur in the air can cause damage to the HVAC system, especially if you are not changing the filter on a regular basis. Brushing your pet regularly not only minimizes shedding, but makes the filter last longer. If a dirty filter is not changed frequently, it could cause damage to the HVAC system. Shedding seasons are spring and fall, which happen to be when we first start up our heating and air systems. So give your pets a little extra brushing at these times.

Frequent Filter Changes

As stated above, air filters protect the HVAC system and keep them running smoothly. So a regular filter change is a must for having a healthy furnace and air conditioner. The average duration between filter changes is 6 months. But it is recommended that pet owners change them more frequently. A good rule of thumb is to subtract one month for every pet you have. For example, someone with 2 pets should change their filter every 4 months. If you do not know how to change your own filter, check out our blog on the Filter Fundamentals.

Higher-Efficiency Filters

Air filter efficiency is measured in MERV ratings. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is. An average MERV rating for a no-pet home is between 5 and 8. Ratings between 10 and 12 can trap smaller particles, like pet dander. Therefore, this is the rating recommended for homes with pets. Check out FilterKing’s blog about MERV ratings here.

Regular Vacuuming

The best way to keep optimal air quality is by preventing pet fur and dander from entering the filter in the first place. Pet fur buildup living on your floors and carpet is minimized with regular vacuuming. Focus on corners and along the edge of the wall to ensure the lingering fur is gone. Your air filter will thank you for not having to do all the work!

Build a Fence Around A/C

HVAC Maintenance for pet owners

The outdoor unit can be affected by dogs as well. Territorial peeing is common and urine can damage. Also because these units almost act as suction, fur from a curious pet can be sucked into the unit. Building a fence around the unit will not only protect it from the pets, but from environmental damage as well. Check out our blog for landscaping tips and ideas for around your air conditioner.


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