In addition to the regular care and maintenance you need to give to your HVAC system, if your family has furry pets, you also need to consider a few additional factors in order to keep your heating and cooling equipment running efficiently—and to keep your Massachusetts home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) where it should be. Here are four potential problem areas for you to be aware of so you can stay on top of maintenance and care of your HVAC system.
What to do: Make sure you schedule your annual tune-up for all of your heating and cooling equipment. Vacuum and mop your floors weekly. (Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.) Depending on the type of air filter you have, clean or change your air filter regularly. You may need to increase the frequency if your pet sheds. If your pet is five years old or more, consider getting a professional duct cleaning.
Here’s why: Pet fur can create blockages in HVAC filters. If your system is overworked, it will be less efficient. This will cost you more to run and it will be less effective. Blockages of this nature also increase the chances that your system will break down entirely.
What to do: Keep your pet brushed and bathed regularly. It is also worth considering having a whole-house air purifier installed.
Here’s why: When pet dander, which is basically dead, dry pet skin (as well as other allergens) makes its way around your home through your forced-air system, your IAQ takes a real dive. (This applies to systems with vents.)
What to do: Consider having a fence installed around your outdoor condenser unit. However, it’s important that there is no disruption to the air flow to the condenser.
Here’s why: Pet urine can degrade the coils on your outdoor condenser unit, and that can cause a refrigerant leak.
What to do: Check your pet door (as well as all windows and doors around your home) to see that it is tightly sealed. If it is installed correctly, it should be sealed.
Here’s why: Air might be leaking into your home, which leads to general inefficiencies and ultimately costs you more every month.