How To Choose An HVAC Air Filter For Homes With Pets

image of pets on couch depicting dander and indoor air quality

The majority of US households have pets and it’s easy to see why. People say they reduce stress, bring joy, and provide companionship. Studies have confirmed that they boost physical and mental health. No wonder many consider pets as members of the family who are free to roam around the house as they please. The downside is that they spread fur and dander wherever they go. Unfortunately, these aspects have a negative impact on indoor air quality. They can trigger allergies, asthma attacks, and other respiratory issues. Pet owners can avoid these by knowing how to choose the right HVAC air filter for homes with pets.

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What Does An HVAC Air Filter Do?

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The primary job of an air filter is to block unwanted airborne particles at the entrance of the heating, ventilation, and cooling system. Air passes but dirt, dust, pollen, fur, and other contaminants are left behind on the filter surface. The system stays cleaner for longer which improves equipment lifespan. The quality of the indoor air also increases thanks to the drastically reduced amount of pollutants. As long as the owner replaces the filters every month or so, the system will operate at a high level of energy efficiency.

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What Is MERV Rating?

Air filters are rated according to their ability to capture airborne contaminants. These are expressed through the minimum efficiency reporting value or MERV. Higher is better in this case, although you will have to pay more for the increased performance.

At the lowest level as MERV 1-4 filters provide the lowest amount of protection. They can block dust mites, fibers, and pollen but not much else. MERV 5-8 filters can catch all these while also stopping dust and mold spores so they are much more useful.

MERV 9-12 can capture smaller allergens including pet dander so people with mild allergies can breathe more freely. MERV 13-16 are the highest ratings given to air filters. Units with this rating can block even viruses and bacteria so they are the best for individuals with respiratory sensitivities.

Excess Fur and Hair Leads to More Frequent Air Filter Replacements

All homes deal with indoor pollution but those with pets have more problems to contend with. The greater the number of pets, the bigger hit on air quality. Owners should use a vacuum cleaner to get as much pet hair off their carpets, sofas, beddings, and other surfaces. They should also replace the air filter at a higher frequency than the manufacturer’s recommendations. After all, they have an above-average amount of contaminants in the air. The filter will get dirty faster than usual. This is especially true if the breed has long hair as these tend to shed more.


Types Of HVAC Filters

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Now that you know what air filters are and why they matter, you should get familiar with the different types that are available for your HVAC system. Learn about their quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. Find out which ones are suitable for your specific situation as a pet owner who is concerned about indoor air quality and equipment longevity.

1. Disposable Air Filters

If you have a limited budget, then you might be forced to get the cheapest filter available. These are disposable units that tend to have low MERV ratings. They are not that effective at blocking airborne particles but it’s hard to complain if they are all that you can afford. Just remember that you will need to replace disposable filters at a fast rate given all of the excess fur floating in the air. The low upfront cost ends up being negated by the high maintenance cost.

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2. HEPA Air Filters

allergies and respiratory issues

High-efficiency particulate air filters, commonly called HEPA filters, are quality options that pass a stringent standard. They are able to capture up to 99.7% of contaminants that are larger than 0.3 microns in width. This is good enough to capture virtually pet hair, as well as other common allergens. If your family is known to have respiratory issues, then it is worth investing in this type of air filter. Just clean up the unit from time to time to avoid clogs.

3. Electronic Air Filters

HEPA filters are excellent by themselves but you might want even greater protection than what they can offer. Consider electronic air filters that are capable of removing most particles 0.1 microns or larger. These innovative filters can make a bit of noise as they come into contact with pet hair. They are also more expensive than HEPA filters so be prepared to shell out money to acquire these.

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Owners must take care of themselves so that they can take care of their pets. If they get chronic allergies or asthma because of pet dander, then they may get too ill to attend to others. Prevent these episodes through the use of reliable air filters for the HVAC system. Make sure that these are able to block most particles by getting the right type and checking their efficiency rating. Avoid disposable filters unless you are under a tight budget. HEPA filters and electronic filters do a much better job. Look for high MERV numbers for greater confidence in their filtration abilities.


Call McAllister Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

McAllister EnergyMcAllister Energy offers superior heating and cooling services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire the best-certified technicians who can provide you with excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our techs has the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

McAllister Energy guarantees the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services can improve your comfort, increase your energy efficiency while reducing your home heating and cooling costs. Also, all of our services all aim to improve your indoor air quality. If you happen to need an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can recommend the best one for your home while staying within your budget. We back all of our work with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. To schedule a service appointment, give McAllister Energy a call today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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