Household pets are part of our families. Just like us, they eat, drink and sleep inside our homes and roam the same rooms we do. And while they keep us company during the day and night, being a pet owner also comes with an added layer of responsibilities.
Some of these responsibilities are easy to guess and expected—for example, taking them on daily walks in the Florida heat; bringing them to the vet when they’re sick; making sure they’re fed and well rested; brushing and grooming their coats; and checking in on their well-being often.
But, did you know that being a pet owner also means frequent check-ins and maintenance on your HVAC system? This is especially true in the Clearwater and Tampa Bay area, where your pets usually spend more time indoors with warm temperatures throughout the year.
Today, we’ll introduce you to several HVAC maintenance tips for your household and pets below. Have a question? Contact our trusted team at Air Care today.
Groom Pets Regularly
Regular visits to the groomer help pets shed less and keep them comfortable during the hot and humid summer months in Clearwater, FL.
Pet hair isn’t just a nuisance that sometimes aggravates your allergies; along with dirt, debris and dander, pet hair can also clog your air filters, air vents and ductwork—making your AC system work even harder to cool your home.
Even if your pet isn’t known for shedding, be sure to brush your pet’s fur regularly, especially if they have a thick undercoat, to prevent unwanted hair from clogging your air filter and HVAC system.
Clean Your Home Often
Just like grooming your pets regularly helps your AC run better, keeping a clean home is just as important to its efficiency. When you vacuum, mop or dust surfaces regularly, you’re preventing unwanted pet hair, dander and dirt from entering your AC system, too.
Cleaning and wiping down all surfaces are equally important, and you can even invest in special pet vacuums and carpet cleaners that specialize in the removal of unwanted pet hair and dander. Click here for a few examples.
Check or Change Air Filters Frequently
We usually recommend checking your air filters every 30-45 days to ensure dirt and debris doesn’t decrease air flow to your AC system. However, if you have one or multiple pets living in your home, you should check and change your filters more often.
That’s because pet dander, which are small particles of dead skin, shed from your animal and rise into the air inside your home. Your air filter is designed to catch these particles and prevent them from entering your HVAC system. But when pet hair and dander build up on the air filter, it can block airflow in your home and cause your AC equipment to work harder than it should. As a result, check your air filter every 20-30 days to ensure it’s free from excess dander, hair and debris.
Clean Your Air Vents or Ducts
Air supply and return vents circulate clean, conditioned air throughout your home. Just like your air filters, sometimes pet hair, dirt and dander can build up and block the airflow to your HVAC system. And if you’re not careful, excess particles can even find their way into your AC unit and ductwork.
Clogged and dirty air ducts are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, which put you and your family at risk for sickness and allergies. So, as you can imagine, it’s important to check and clean your air vents often.
As a good practice, inspect your supply and return air vents as often as you check your air filter to ensure these are free from excess debris. If you notice pet hair or dander on the surface of a vent, you can wipe it clean with a cleaning cloth, dry brush or vacuum attachment. For tougher dust and debris, watch the video below to see a demo on how to clean your air vents.
Consider Investing in Purification Systems
Air purifiers and UV light purification systems act as an additional safeguard against allergens and extra particles in the air, like pet hair, dust and dander. These purification systems also help you and your family breathe cleaner air inside your home.
If you have one or more household pets, you can either research an air purifier that fits the size and format of your home, or contact our team at Air Care to learn more about the UV light air purification system that’s installed right inside your unit.
Check the Pet Door
A “doggie” door is a convenient way for your independent pet to leave and enter your home without any help. However, pet doors can sometimes lead to air leaks or high energy bills if you’re not careful.
If you’re considering a pet door, discuss options with our AC professionals at Air Care first. But if you already have a pet door in your home, ensure it’s properly installed. Then, check in and around the pet door for leaks, and add extra caulking to ensure indoor air isn’t escaping from your home, ultimately causing strain on your AC system.
Adjust Your Thermostat
It’s tempting to set your thermostat at the same or cooler temperatures when you’re away to help keep your furry friends comfortable. However, they’ll be just fine and remain safe if your temperature is set higher when you’re not home.
Fight the temptation to turn it down and adjust your thermostat to at least 78 degrees during summer days to help keep your energy costs down—and keep your pets as happy.
Protect Your AC Equipment
Dogs and cats love to claw, chew or dig almost anything they can get their paws on. So when your furry friends are left alone, it’s important to protect your household investments, especially when it comes to your indoor and outdoor AC equipment. To prevent your HVAC system from damages and keep your pets safe, there’s a few safe measures you can take:
- Indoors: Indoor AC equipment is usually installed inside a hallway closet or attic. Always keep the door to your equipment closed, whether you’re at home or away, to protect the AC wires, pipes and other harmful components against your curious companions.
- Outdoors: The outdoor condenser unit is likely installed in your backyard or on the side of your home. Similar to our tips for clearing plants around your unit, consider closing off your outdoor AC equipment with a PVC or wood fence to protect both your AC system and furry friends from harm.
If you have questions or need additional advice, contact us at Air Care today.
Bi-Annual AC Service
Many of these preventative measures will help you and your pets stay safe and comfortable inside your home. However, these steps do not replace regular HVAC maintenance, which we recommend be performed twice a year.
As part of your bi-annual AC tuneup, our technicians will check your air filters, air vents, ductwork and entire cooling and heating system to ensure everything is running smoothly. If something needs maintenance, we’ll recommend a solution on the spot, and pay extra attention to areas affected by pet hair and dander.
To schedule your AC system tuneup today, contact your AC professionals in Clearwater, FL.
“Pleasant and professional. See you in the summer for the AC Check-Up. My dog loves you!” – Patterson