We love our pets—they’re cute, lovable and their photos take up most of the space on our phones. However, they also require a lot of care and maintenance. Other than the normal pet responsibilities, pet owners also have to deal with a great deal of fur or pet dander left behind. If not cleaned often, the dander can make its way into the ducts, vents and air filter, potentially increasing allergens in the air and worsening the indoor air quality.

If you’re wondering how you can protect your HVAC unit and indoor air quality from excess dander and dust, you have come to the right place! The pros at OnTime Service have some great and helpful HVAC maintenance tips for pet owners.

1. Three Words: Change Your Filter

You’ve probably heard this suggestion often, but that’s because it’s one of the easiest ways you can ensure your HVAC unit is well-maintained. Changing your filter ensures proper air flow, good indoor air quality and energy-efficiency. According to the Department of Energy, changing your air filter can increase energy-efficiency by 5 to 15 %. If your filter is clogged by fur and dander, it can lead to lesser air flow throughout your home and cause other, bigger problems such as a frozen evaporator coil.

Ideally, it is best to change your filter every month or two. However, since you have some fluffy occupants in your home, you might have to change your filter a little more frequently.

2. Clean Vents and Registers

When your pets leave fur behind it can accumulate in all the corners of your home. One place where fur can end up is in or around your vents and registers. Any dust that gets through these vents can end up in your ducts. Prevent this from happening by frequently cleaning your ducts—here is how you should do it:

Turn off your air conditioner through your thermostat and breaker
Unscrew the grilles from the vents located on ceilings, floor and walls
Using the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner, vacuum up the dust on the grille, then vacuum the vents and ducts to the best of your abilities. You probably won’t be able to reach all the way into the duct.
Use a damp cloth to clean up the grilles to ensure there isn’t any dust left behind.

3. Groom Your Pet Often

One of the best HVAC maintenance tips for pet owners is simply to groom their pets often. If you have a particularly fluffy pet, take some time to brush and bathe them. Grooming your pets will lead to healthier skin and fur as well prevent odor and pests. Pet dander also happens to be one of the most common causes of allergies, so grooming your pets is good for you as well.  How often you bathe and groom your pet depends on several factors like their breed, coat type and how dirty they get.

4. Consider Duct Cleaning Services

Sometimes cleaning your ducts might not be manageable on your own because of their location in crawlspaces, basements and attics. However, it is important to get ductwork inspected and cleaned occasionally as dust, dander, mold and even pests can accumulate overtime. When air circulates through these ducts, it picks up pollutants and allergens that you end up breathing in. Have an experienced HVAC technician you trust come look at the ductwork in your home and determine if it needs cleaning.

5. Protect Outdoor Condenser

This might not cross your mind initially, but your outdoor condenser can be vulnerable to a lot of things, including your pets. By putting up a fence around your condenser you can prevent your pets from chewing the refrigerant lines or urinating on the condenser which can lead to costly damage. Make sure the fence is at least 2-3 feet away from the condenser and trim any vegetation around the condenser as well.

Maintain Your HVAC Unit with OnTime Service

We hope this list of HVAC maintenance tips for pet owners was helpful! If you want more tips, get in touch with the pros at OnTime Service. Our team of knowledgeable experts offer a myriad of HVAC related services including duct inspection, repair, and cleaning as well as AC maintenance and repairs. Call us today at 205-942-1405 or fill out a service request form on our website!