Many pets shed in spring and summer. Allergens lingering in tufts of fur can make warm weather months miserable for people with allergies. Keep your pets and their shedding from affecting your Frankford, Delaware, home’s indoor air quality with air purifiers, regular HVAC system maintenance, and the following methods.
Keep Your Home and Your Pet Clean
Pet dander consists of skin particles that animals such as cats, dogs, rodents, and birds shed along with their fur or feathers. Proteins in pet saliva, urine, and feces can also trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. In addition, animals also carry other allergens such as dust that can linger in your home for several months and negatively impact your home’s indoor air quality.
Allergens can attach to furniture, walls, and floors, so clean your home often to keep them from accumulating. Vacuum each day, if possible, dust with a damp cloth twice a week, and steam-clean your carpets regularly. Use a dust mask to protect yourself from inhaling allergens as you clean, and don’t forget to clean your HVAC system’s air registers.
To curtail accumulations of pet hair in unwanted places in your home, keep your pet out of your bedroom and don’t let it sit on furniture or carpeting. Instead, buy your pet its own bed and clean the bed every week. You should also bathe your dog or cat every week, taking it outside each day for brushing. Many types of pet shampoo can remove and neutralize pet allergens.
If family members are especially sensitive to allergens, take your pet to a professional groomer. After you touch your pet, don’t touch your eyes until you wash your hands. And if you can’t resist cuddling with your pet, change your clothes after playtime.
Ventilation increases your air exchange rate and lowers concentrations of contaminants in your home. On mild, sunny days, open your windows and let in some fresh air.
Use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms to remove humid air when you cook or take a shower. Removing moisture can make your home feel cooler and more comfortable so you don’t have to use your air conditioner as much. Even with the windows closed, fresh air can enter your home because of the difference in air pressure that exhaust fans create.
A whole-house ventilation system, also called a heat recovery or energy recovery ventilator (ERV), connects to your HVAC system. This system removes polluted air, replaces it with filtered outside air, and transfers heat like a heat pump, making it the most efficient ventilation method. An ERV keeps your indoor humidity low by transferring moisture as well.
Use an Air Purifier
An efficient air purifier, also called an air cleaner, can supplement your HVAC system’s air filter and remove many pollutants, including pet dander. You can choose a whole-house system or a less expensive room unit for areas where your pet spends most of its time.
Air purifiers with higher minimum efficiency reporting value, (MERV) ratings have better filters. Some models can remove bacteria and viruses. However, air cleaners with denser filters use more energy to move air through them. Many air purifiers can monitor your indoor air quality and remind you to change or clean your filter.
Maintain Your HVAC System
Have a professional inspect your HVAC system at least once a year to extend its life, prevent expensive, inconvenient breakdowns, and keep your home’s indoor air quality high. Check your air filters at least once a month and change them when they become dirty. A dirty filter can’t remove pet dander and other pollutants, forcing your system to use more energy instead.
You can add an air filter monitor to remind you to change your filter, similar to the devices used in many air purifiers. Some can also connect to your smartphone through a Wi-Fi network.
Custom Mechanical has more than 30 years of experience installing, maintaining, and repairing HVAC systems. Call us at 877-696-0808 for air quality testing and personalized, expert advice for keeping pets and their shedding from impacting the air inside your home.
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