BulldogOur dogs, cats, and even gerbils put some extra wear and tear on our home. Furniture gets chewed, floors suffer accidents, and our HVAC system gets clogged up with pet hair.

Of course, Fido is worth every extra filter clean, but it’s important to be proactive about this maintenance, or your appliances will need to be replaced quickly, and your air quality will suffer. Besides, Air quality doesn’t just affect you—it’s important for your pet’s health too. So, what can pet owners do to keep their HVAC equipment running smoothly?

Clean the Filter

Many of your HVAC products have filters. The most important is the furnace filter because it will affect your air-quality year round. Cleaning it every twelve months is fine for non-pet owners, but you may find it’s pretty filthy after six months, depending on how much your pets shed.

Your air conditioner, humidifier, dehumidifier, and air purifiers may all have filters that need regular cleaning too. Plus, the ductwork that carries air between your home’s HVAC equipment will also get full of pet dander and hair. Those should be cleaned yearly too, but you’ll need to call a professional for the job.

Vacuum the Right Spots

Regular vacuuming will stop pet hair from reaching your furnace and other HVAC products in the first place. A few areas you might overlook are especially important to vacuum:

  • Baseboards: They are the perfect height for most pets to shed their hair.
  • Vents: It’s a little awkward to get at some vents, they are right near the wall. However, vents tend to collect a lot of hair, and they pass it right onto your furnace.
  • Under the couch: Most pets have favorite hiding spots beneath furniture, especially couches and beds, and tend to shed a lot of their hair in that spot.
  • The toy bin: If you have a designated bin for dog toys, it likely collects a great deal of hair.
  • Cat climbers: Cats enjoy carpeted toys, especially climbers. These can hold dander and pet hair, but hardly ever get the vacuum treatment.

Invest in a Better Brush

If it seems like your home is covered in hair again the moment after you vacuum, well, you’re not alone. Depending on the season, pets can shed a lot of hair. One smart way to curb your vacuum time is to invest in a pet brush that really works.

Most pet brushes are designed like human combs, they untangle hair, but they don’t capture much. Some pet brushes actively pull on the hair or trap it, to help you get as much of it as you can. Don’t worry, most pets find these brushes comfortable, even enjoyable.

Bathe Your Pet Frequently

Bathing your pet helps remove hair and dander before it can ever touch your HVAC products. Of course, not everyone agrees that a cat should be bathed. It’s true, cats clean themselves, but they don’t remove their dander, and that may affect your air quality significantly. Dog owners will have fewer concerns about getting their pet in a bath. Fido may even enjoy it!

These strategies can increase the life of your HVAC equipment and improve your air quality, but only if you implement them regularly. It may be best to set yourself reminders to clean your filters and groom your pet.