What Can Animal Hair Do to My AC Filter?

Pets are an important part of many people’s lives. To be honest, our pets are usually considered a beloved member of the family and we want to have them around for many years-->

How Do AC Air Filters Work, and Why Are They Important?

A filter is an important part of any forced-air HVAC system. Your air filter captures airborne contaminants, such as dust, pollen and pet hair, keeping them from reaching other rooms or areas of the property. There is lots of variety in the materials they use to accomplish this, including fiberglass, pleated and electrostatic. Your filter’s effectiveness can be illustrated with its minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which ranges from 1 to 20, with higher ratings indicating better filtration.

An air filter’s key purpose is the protection of the evaporator coil, blower motor and other cooling system components from dirt and debris capable of damaging them. An efficient enough filter also improves indoor air quality by keeping particles out of your indoor air, which can cause allergies, asthma attacks and similar conditions.

How Does Pet Hair Affect the Air Filter of My HVAC System?

When pets shed, their hair becomes airborne and can eventually get into the HVAC system through the return air ducts. If there isn’t a filter in place, pet hair accumulates within the evaporator coil, blower motor, fan blades and other components, slowing them down and reducing efficiency. Hair can also mix with condensation formed during air conditioning, creating a breeding ground for microbes like mold, which give off foul odors and lower indoor air quality.

But even if you have an air filter installed, pet hair can still lead to problems. When return airflow arrives at the HVAC system, the filter captures the hair as it passes, keeping it from landing on sensitive cooling components. However, this clogs the filter more quickly than usual, putting extra strain on the HVAC system. Without exchanging or cleaning the filter, high energy bills and frequent breakdowns may be right behind.

What About Animal Dander?

Pet dander, made up of tiny skin flakes and saliva particles, is a common allergen that causes respiratory problems in people with allergies or asthma. You may benefit from a higher efficiency filter to ensure it can effectively capture and remove dander, which is much smaller than pet hair.

How to Care for Your AC System and Filter with Pets

Maintaining an efficient, properly functioning air conditioner is certainly possible, even with pets living in your home. Here’s how:

  • Change the filter regularly: Depending on the number of pets and the filter’s specific design, you might need to replace it every 30 to 90 days. Keep an eye on it every month and replace it if you notice weaker airflow or can see evidence of a clog.
  • Clean your air vents and ductwork: Pet hair gradually piles up against the air registers and grilles, preventing proper ventilation. Clean these with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner as often as needed. Then, hire a professional to remove built-up pet hair, dander and dust in the air ducts every few years.
  • Bathe or brush away excess pet hair: Regular brushing and bathing is a great strategy for reducing pet hair. Brush your pets outside when possible and sweep the area after you’ve finished to keep any hair from getting back inside.
  • Consistently vacuum and dust: Pet hair can be found in pretty much every room of a house. A lot of it settles on surfaces around the house. Proper cleaning should include vacuuming, sweeping, dusting and washing any pet beds.
  • Clear the area around the outdoor unit: Central air conditioning systems come with an outdoor unit fixed to a concrete slab outside your home. Clear away any accumulated debris, such as pet hair, grass clippings, dead leaves, and other objects. This ensures effective heat transfer for more efficient operation.
  • Schedule regular maintenance: For best results, have a trusted HVAC technician inspect and maintain your air conditioning system every year, preferably in the spring. They can identify and fix small issues, clean internal components and share advice on keeping your air conditioning running efficiently with pets.

Contact for Indoor Air Quality Services

When you’re tired of excess pet hair affecting your HVAC system and indoor air quality, choose for expert advice and solutions. We offer a range of indoor air quality products to help keep pet hair and dander at bay, like high-efficiency air filtration, whole-house ventilation and air duct cleaning. We can also maintain your HVAC system for maximum performance and efficiency. Enjoy the peace of mind that everything we do is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To request indoor air quality services in North America, please contact today.

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