If you’re like a lot of Portland homeowners, you probably have a pet or two. Maybe it’s a dog and cat, several dogs, or several fluffy felines. But, all of that pet hair and dander can wreak havoc on your HVAC system unless you take some preventative maintenance steps. Here are five great HVAC maintenance tips for pet owners by Three Rivers Heating and Cooling.
#1. Brush your pet regularly.
The best way to keep pet hair out of your HVAC system is to brush your pet regularly. Whether it’s a dog, cat, rabbit, or other furry pet, picking up the hair and brushing it the less for will float into the intakes and destroy the filter. Pro tip: brush your pet on the back porch or over a hardwood floor that you can easily clean up and sweep. Brushing outdoors is even more beneficial as Lucifer can fly away rather than becoming part of your home HVAC system.
#2. Change your air filters more frequently.
Consider matching filters to the shed rate. Some filters are actually designed for pets and if your pet sheds seasonally, you may need to change your filter based on the shedding rate. Knowing when your dog sheds winter coats or when your cat moves from inside to outside can be the key to changing your filter appropriately with the shedding rate.
#3. Build confinement around outdoor air conditioners.
If your pet spent a lot of time outdoors and around your heat pump or air conditioning system, you may need to build a small fence a few feet around the unit. He pumps and air conditioners are giant suction units and can pull outdoor air in as part of their cycling the air indoors. If your pet rubs up against the HVAC system they can send more fur and dander directly into the unit and can clog the system from outdoors.
#4. Vacuum and edge the house.
The indoor air intake is a section for hair and dander and can pull all the dust and allergens into the filter so that the home air quality can go down if not maintained regularly. You can make each filter last longer by picking up as much pet hair with a vacuum and edging around the exterior portion of the HVAC system a couple of times a month.
#5. Consider maintenance at least twice a year.
For most heat pump and HVAC systems, once a year servicing is plenty but with pets, and the more pets and more hair they all have, it may be a good idea to do this twice a year. All that extra fur can cause stress on your HVAC system so you want to make sure that it isn’t gumming up the system. An HVAC technician will take a closer look at both indoor and outdoor units and provide maintenance services as well as tips to keeping it in good working order.
We want to enjoy our pets but we also want to enjoy heating and cooling at different times of the year. Using these simple tips will keep your HVAC system working properly year-round.
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