It’s hard for most people not to love dogs and cats; they’re adorable, they offer unconditional love and can be all-around great companions. But for people who are allergic to pet dander, this can be a forbidden love.
Pet allergy symptoms can range from mild effects like itchy skin and watery eyes to serious respiratory problems. Unfortunately, for individuals who are highly allergic, removing allergy-causing pets from the home is usually the only healthy solution. But for those with mild allergies, a robust indoor air quality (IAQ) system and routine cleaning can make life livable with furry friends.
It’s the Little Things
Airborne particles of pet dander can be so small they’re invisible to the human eye -- but they can make a big difference when they come into contact with someone who’s allergic. In order to clear the air, you’ll need to step up your HVAC system’s air quality capabilities.
Ordinarily, an HVAC system will circulate these particles around the home, worsening conditions for allergy sufferers. An HVAC filter will trap some of these irritants, but not all of them -- and especially not the smallest bits. To capture these, you’ll want to upgrade to an electronic air cleaner, which uses a low-voltage charge to attract those microscopic particles and make them stick to the filter media.
Upgrading your filter system is the most important step toward bringing pet allergy relief, but it’s not all you can do to supplement your HVAC system. You can also install devices that use ultraviolet lights to kill airborne germs and neutralize pet odors throughout your home. And if pet dander has been blowing through your vents for some time, you might consider a thorough, professional duct cleaning to remove the irritants that have accumulated inside your ductwork over the years.
A Hairy Situation
Using advanced IAQ tech can make for a happy home with allergy sufferers and furry friends, but there are plenty of other things you’ll need to do to avoid unwanted symptoms -- chief among them: always consult a doctor about your pet allergy and your home habits if you’re cohabitating with a pet.
These tips will also help you breathe easy and avoid the itch:
Keep a clean home! It’s easier said than done, but it’s critical in homes with pets and people who are allergic to them. Daily vacuuming and dust mopping make a big difference.
Brush your pet daily, and do it outside if possible. If you can’t do it outside, do it in an area of the home where allergy-sensitive people rarely go, and clean the area immediately afterward.
Keep pets off all furniture and out of the bedrooms of those with allergies.
Open the windows when weather allows and allow some fresh air to blow through!