cat and dog and indoor air quality

It’s no secret the quality of your life can improve if you own and take care of a pet. Cats and dogs give a sense of comfort and camaraderie for people all over the world. People and pets form bonds that can be beneficial for health and very gratifying. However, having a furry friend in your living space can actually negatively affect your indoor air quality (IAQ). This is true, particularly if they have long fur. The good news is that there are a few steps you can take to bypass the issue of pets affecting your air quality. In this article, we share a few tips on how to improve indoor air quality so you can make your living environment a safer and healthier place for you and your pet.

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How Pets Can Affect Your Indoor Air Quality

There are many factors that can affect the IAQ of your building. For example, if you use spray cleaners in a closed space with central air conditioning, those cleaners may contain harmful chemicals that can disperse through the air and cause breathing difficulties. While pets do not disperse harmful chemicals, they do give off airborne particulates. Some particulates include fur and dander that can also be dispersed throughout the air in your living space. Besides potentially causing breathing difficulties, these particulates can get inside equipment such as air filtration, ventilation, cooling, and heating systems. This means that as a pet owner, you must make extra efforts to ensure the air is clean and free of particulates.

Homeowners with pets might find that the airborne particulates from the fur and dander can cause problems for people with allergies and respiratory conditions. For example, someone who has asthma or COPD might find that the dander and fur wreak havoc on their lungs. Therefore, any steps you take to ensure your air is clean will protect not only those living in the house but also your guests.

Why Excellent Filtration is Essential for Optimum Air Quality

hvac air filter replacement

The first step a pet owner can take to improve the air quality inside the house is to ensure that the HVAC system is filtering correctly. Air filters are extremely important for removing the impurities that would otherwise disperse throughout the air in your home and potentially be breathed in by the occupants. The key is to consistently check the filters and make changes or replacements if need be.

If the HVAC filters aren’t cleaned or replaced often enough, they can accumulate excess debris and will send that matter back out into the air in your home. In addition, they won’t be picking up and filtering out new allergens. The longer your HVAC system is not working the way it should be, the more chance there is that it will stop working altogether. A general rule of thumb for pet owners is to change your HVAC filter every 30 to 45 days. Be sure to check it often to see if and when you need to replace the filter.

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Groom Your Pets Often and Properly

image of woman combing her dog to prevent poor indoor air quality

Pet owners should always practice good pet grooming. Regular fur brushing can minimize shedding for cats and dogs. Pet areas should also be cleaned on a regular basis. These include litter boxes, pet beds, play areas, kennels, and other places where your pets spend a lot of time. The less pet fur and pet messes there are, the fewer particulates your lungs will have to deal with. It is also important to have a good vacuum cleaner, such as a high-power machine with a HEPA filter and various attachments for cleaning different areas of the house. Even if you don’t have carpets, the vacuum will help get rid of pet fur, dander, and other allergens from various porous items in your house, such as curtains, rugs, upholstered sofas and chairs, and fabric-covered items like cushions.

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Improve Your IAQ With Dehumidifiers and UV Lights

indoor air quality

In addition to having a high-functioning HVAC filter, you may want to consider UV lighting as a means of improving your indoor air quality. No matter how often you clean your pet, they are still capable of carrying multitudes of germs. Even a quick romp in the yard is enough for your cat or dog to pick up microorganisms that may be harmful to your health. Once your pet comes back inside, they can transmit these organisms onto other surfaces. The organisms can then multiply or disperse into the air.

When it comes to pollutants like bacteria and mold spores, UV lights are able to quickly and efficiently get rid of them. An HVAC contractor can come to your house and install the UV lights in the HVAC system or near the evaporator coil inside the machine. Because the lights are inside the system, they do not cause harm to people or animals.

A dehumidifier is another way to improve IAQ. High humidity is a big problem in many homes, and it can cause many problems if it is not addressed. Some signs of excess moisture include condensation on the windows or patches of mold in the corners of the window sills. You can control the humidity and climate inside your house with a whole-house dehumidifier, which can be used in addition to your HVAC system. Mold is not only hazardous for humans but also animals, so pet owners should be aware of the warning signs. An HVAC contractor can advise you on whether a whole-house humidifier is right for your home.

 

Why Regular HVAC Ductwork Inspections Are A Must

Another key step to improving your indoor air quality is to inspect your ductwork regularly. These enclosed areas are often prime mold growing hotspots. In addition, it is easy for debris like pet fur, dander, and dirt to accumulate there. Moreover, if your HVAC ductwork is damaged, it may affect the way your HVAC system works by decreasing efficiency. It can also cause humidity to build up. You can improve your air quality and protect your health by having regular ductwork inspections and maintenance done.

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Ensure Your HVAC System Works Efficiently With Regular Tune-Ups

Tune-ups for your HVAC system are essential and can be scheduled at the same time as your ductwork inspections. By being diligent about regularly maintaining your home HVAC systems, you can ensure that your equipment lasts a long time. HVAC tune-ups will also ensure that your equipment is functioning optimally. It allows your system to give you the most value in terms of proper climate control. This also includes improving your indoor air quality. When your HVAC system is working its best and you have optimum air filtration, you will be providing a safe and clean living environment for everyone in the home, including your beloved pets.

 

Call McAllister Energy To Learn More About Indoor Air Quality Solutions

McAllister EnergyMcAllister Energy offers expert heating and cooling services in Camden County, New Jersey. We employ highly-trained NATE certified technicians who can provide you with professional HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our technicians has the know-how and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

McAllister Energy guarantees the best heating and cooling prices in the area. Our technicians can improve your indoor air quality and energy efficiency while reducing your home heating and cooling costs. If you are interested in improving your IAQ, then our experts can offer expert solutions for all of your HVAC needs. We offer affordable prices and offer satisfaction guarantees. Give McAllister Energy a call today to schedule an appointment and receive a free in-home estimate.

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