Bringing home a new member of the family adds a lot of joy — but it also adds many new responsibilities. If you’ve just adopted your first dog or cat, you may feel overwhelmed. You many not know that HVAC care for pet owners means a few additional tasks around the house.

Why HVAC Care for Pet Owners Includes a Few Extra Duties

Most of us consider our pets full members of the family. However, most homes are built for humans. We need to be sure that our homes will also be comfortable for them, as well. And because they’re animals, we also need to be sure to protect our homes from any inadvertent damage, including the electrical and HVAC systems.

As much as we love them, our pets shed hair and dander, aggravating allergies and any other respiratory problems. That’s why the Air Conditioning Contractors of America states that families with pets require increased efforts to improve indoor air quality.

Shedding hair clogs AC filters and increases the load on your equipment. It adheres to the insides of ductwork, assisting in the buildup of dust and other residues. You may find floating around rooms where it shouldn’t be.

Extra Steps for Pet Owners

The following list offers some extra HVAC care tips so pet owners can reduce the impact on indoor air quality.

Groom your pet regularly


Regular grooming that includes baths and brushing prevents hair from ending up all over your home. Brushing removes excess hair so you can dispose of it properly. If you perform grooming tasks outdoors, it’s even better.


2. Clean your floors regularly


Removing excess hair and dander from your floors also keeps it from getting sucked up into the HVAC system. Pets can bring in dirt and other allergens from outdoors, and frequent sweeping and vacuuming remove it before it becomes a problem.


3. Change filters monthly


HVAC experts recommend changing your HVAC air filter every three months, but families with pets should perform this task every month. This ensures that the filter doesn’t become clogged with hair. Blocked filters overwork the machinery and cause frozen coils.


4. Add an air purifier to your system


Having a family pet often means increasing the amount of particulate matter in your indoor air. This includes hair, shed skin, dander, or even organic matter that enters the home on your pet’s coat or feet.


If you or a family member have allergies, an air purifier reduces the negative impacts of these contaminants by killing bacteria, viruses, and even pollen particles.


5. Don’t skip duct cleaning


While many only have their ductwork professionally cleaned every few years, one important step in HVAC care for pet owners is annual maintenance. Fur and dander make themselves at home in the ductwork, picking up germs and infiltrating the machinery. A professional technician has the right tools to get them squeaky clean.


6. Add protection to your outdoor unit


If your pet spends time in your backyard, you’ll need to ensure that they don’t damage your outdoor condensing unit. Male cats and dogs often mark their territory with urine, and if they mark the condensing unit, it can cause damage. Urine corrodes the condenser and can even cause permanent damage to electrical and electronic components.


Puppies often decide to chew the strangest things — and some of those things aren’t safe for them. Insulated hoses and electrical wires could even prove fatal when chewed.


If either of these scenarios is likely, have a cage installed around the unit to protect both it and your pet.

7. Adjust your thermostat


Pets are just as sensitive to heat and cold as humans are. You’ll need to ensure that your pet remains comfortable when home alone. Understanding their tolerances can help inform your decisions about programming your thermostat.


The American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) has determined that anywhere between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is safe for both cats and dogs.


Adult cats in good health tolerate anywhere between 45 and 90 degrees, often preferring warmer temperatures. Young kittens and elderly cats are safer at temperatures recommended by the AMVA. And some breeds require more warmth, such as hairless types.


Dogs are generally less heat tolerant than cats, however, veterinary experts recommend taking the breed into consideration in this case, as well.

Consult your veterinarian for more specific details about your pet’s requirements. Then use a programmable or Smart thermostat to keep the recommended temperature.

You don’t have to take on all of these extra maintenance tasks yourself. Make an appointment today with One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning in Chattanooga today. Our expert technicians can install air purifiers and programmable thermostats, as well as provide expert ductwork cleaning so that both you and your new furry friend will feel cool and comfortable and breathe easy.