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Indoor Air Quality Tips for Pet Owners

Pet Grooming and Other Strategies

If you have any furry pets in your home, you know how fast pet fur can accumulate. You can see it start to build up on your carpets, furniture, and more. What we often forget is that the hair can build up in places we can’t see, like our air ducts!

They can’t help it, but it can impact the indoor air quality of your home. That’s why we’ve put some tips and tricks together to help you minimize the effect of pet fur in your HVAC!

Brush Your Pet Periodically

Giving your pet a regular brushing session at home can greatly reduce the amount of hair that ends up all over your house, and eventually into your ductwork. Even cats, who are notoriously thorough about grooming themselves, can benefit from brushing. If you’ve ever dealt with hairballs, you know exactly what we mean!

Maybe you’re one of the lucky few with a furry friend that doesn’t put up a fuss about brushing, but here are some great tips for brushing cats and dogs just in case.

Vacuum Regularly

For homes that have cats or dogs that shed heavily, we recommend vacuuming as often as once a day. Especially if it’s shedding season or you’ve got more than one!

For single level homes this can often be achieved by regularly emptying a robot vacuum cleaner. Stick vacuums are also a popular option for our customers who want a quick and easy solution. There’s nothing that can beat a vacuum when it comes to removing pet hair from surfaces.

We recommend true HEPA filtered vacuums to reduce the amount of particles vacuuming kicks up. People who are especially sensitive may want to leave the area for a short period of time. Check out these best practices for vacuuming your home!

Check Your Furnace Filter

Many homes have a basic MERV 8 air filter. These filters are great at capturing hair, but struggle to capture finer particles like pet dander and dust mites. If you share your space with pets, we recommend a MERV 11 filter as the optimum balance to improving your air quality without putting too much strain on your furnace.

In our experience, Aprilaire 4″ filters are the best bang for your buck. These air filters don’t cost much more than a standard 4″ filter, but they last much longer (up to a year) and give better filtration performance.
If your furnace has a 1” filter slot, we recommend filters that have a larger number of pleats (lots of filter material) as they tend to last longer. Filtrete by 3M and Honeywell both make great filters.

If your furnace has the option to install a 4” filter, we strongly recommend upgrading the cabinet to accept an Aprilaire filter or installing a well fitted 4” MERV 11 filter by Honeywell or 3M.

Clean & Sanitize Your Air Ducts

Years of pet hair buildup in your ductwork creates an environment that attracts even more dust. This in turn enables odor causing bacteria in your ductwork to get worse. Luckily there’s a pretty simple solution: regular duct cleaning! A thorough duct cleaning will remove the buildup and smells along with it.

If you’re curious about what a duct cleaning looks like, you can learn about our process here.

Once your ducts are clean, having them fogged with a disinfectant can further protect you from odors and improve your air quality. We use a botanical disinfectant, Benefect, that kills bacteria, viruses, and mold from your ductwork.

Learn about how sanitizing can give you a fresh start.

Purify your Air with iWave.

The iWave is an air purifying device that we install right inside of your furnace. It serves several purposes, removing particles and VOCs while also inactivating viruses and bacteria. It also encourages smaller particles in the air to clump together in large particles, which makes it easier for your air filter to capture them on their way through.

While the iWave isn’t marketed as an air purifier for pets, it’s general purification performance outpaces many others on the market. If anybody in your home has pet allergies, this purifier can help prevent allergens from circulating in your home through the ductwork.

Pet Grooming is Only the Beginning

We all know how important it is to clean surfaces in our home, but we forget that cleaning the air around us is just as important. Luckily, protecting your HVAC from dog hair and cat hair buildup doesn’t have to be hard. Use these tips to protect your indoor air quality from your furry friends!

Ready to get started? Give us a call or schedule a visit today.

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