Like many other cat and dog owners, you most likely keep your pet indoors. Keeping a pet inside is especially important during extreme weather. However, your pet could have an impact on the air quality in your home. Anyone suffering from a breathing disorder could experience complications as a result. If you are keeping a pet in the home, here is what you need to know about its impact on air quality.
Why Are Pets Bad for Air Quality?
Your cat or dog can leave pet dander throughout your home. Pet dander is tiny flakes of skin that can exacerbate allergies and other breathing disorders. In addition to this, your pet has protein in its feces, saliva, and urine that could also trigger a breathing problem.
Even though the pet dander falls on the floor and furnishings in your home, it can become airborne. When it does, it can find its way into your HVAC system and wind up being spread throughout the home. Limiting your pet to certain areas of the home will not prevent the pet dander from being spread.
Your cat or dog's fur can also be problematic. During its operation, your HVAC system will suck up air to cool and recirculate throughout the home. Unfortunately, pet fur can also wind up being sucked into the system. The fur can clog your filter and cause the HVAC system to run longer and harder to cool your home.
What Can You Do?
One of the best defenses you have against poor air quality is proper maintenance of your HVAC system. For instance, cleaning or changing your air filters on a regular basis will help to prevent clogging from pet fur and dander. Since you have a pet, you might have to change it more frequently than recommended by your system's manufacturer.
If you do not already use a filter that has a high MERV rating, you should consider switching to one. The MERV rating refers to the filtration rate of the filter. The higher the number, the better it will be in keeping dander from spreading throughout your home.
In addition to closely watching your filter, you should consider getting an air purifier. The purifier can help with the air quality. For the best results, look for a purifier that has an HEPA filter built into it.
A contractor who offers residential cooling services can help you find other ways to protect the air quality in your home.