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We Love Our Pets, But …

I am a huge dog lover. I have two unbelievable dogs – Maddie and Ollie, who mean the world to me. Coming home to those two mutts, tails wagging and anxious for some major rough-housing — the fun we have is my personal therapy.

The wonderful companionship of pets is not without its downsides. Pets shed their fur/hair and they also shed dander (dry flecks of skin). They can also bring in or spread dirt, pollen, mold spores, dust mites, urine, feces and odors into your home, all of which can negatively impact your indoor air quality (not to mention triggering or aggravating allergies).

Negative Effects on Your HVAC System

Though you might not be allergic to any of the above items, the quality of your indoor air can be significantly by the accumulation of these materials. They can lead to sneezing and other respiratory issues. When these bits of “stuff” are drawn into and spread around the house by your HVAC system, it can become an even bigger issue for you.

Your HVAC system can also suffer. Air is constantly rotated through your house, with stale air being “returned” to the system to be “refreshed” and “resent” into our living areas. The “return” means that pet dander, fur and all other particles go with the air, clogging your filters and thus decreasing your HVAC’s overall efficiency.

How to Combat Poor Air Quality

Here are some suggestions for keeping your HVAC running smoothly without getting rid of your pets (in my case, lovable mutts) —

Change your air filters regularly.
This is one of the most effective, and easiest, things you can do to improve indoor air quality. Change them every 30-60 days to reduce the harmful buildup of fur/hair, pet dander and other harmful air particles.You can also install a HEPA filter as an added defense against allergens. Call NASCAIR and we’ll be glad to recommend a high efficiency air filter that creates good air flow and provides excellent filtration.

Clean and seal your ductwork.
Ductwork is a popular place for pet dander and other harmful air particles to build up and blown back into the room. Make sure all ductwork is properly sealed and cleaned by professionals.

Keep a clean house.
Regularly vacuuming your carpet and furniture and sweeping hard surfaces can prevent dander and pet hair from building up around your home. Use of a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter attached to your vacuum cleaner is strongly recommended.

Run dehumidifiers to control humidity.
Dehumidifiers are incredibly helpful for moisture control in your home, which in turn makes for better quality air.

Install a UV germicidal bio light.
While your air filter captures particulate contaminants, UV germicidal bio lights work to reduce biological contaminants AND they work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even if your HVAC system is not running (air filters only work while your system is running).

Whole house air purification.
Installed as part of your home’s heating and cooling system, whole house purification systems will remove polluted air not just one room—but throughout your entire home.

NASCAIR can definitely assist you if you are interested in, or just want to know more about HEPA air filters, dehumidifiers, UV germicidal bio lights or whole house air purification.

Other suggestions:

  • Regularly bathe your pets
  • Don’t smoke indoors.
  • Place door mats at all door entryways.
  • Take shoes off before entering the home.
  • Minimize use of harsh cleaners.
  • Don’t idle cars, lawn mowers or other engines in the garage.
  • When weather permits, open doors and windows for fresh air flow.
  • Change and wash bedding on a regular basis.

A final plug for dogs (and cats).

We love dogs. And we like helping organizations such as the Humane Society of York County. Check out their website by clicking on their logo at the bottom of the NASCAIR home page. You’ll see us as one of their partners, providing services and participating in their events.

The Humane Society of York County is holding their second annual Puppy Bowl this Saturday (Jan. 28). Check it out.