Caring for Your HVAC System When You Have Pets

Pets are a joy to have in the house. But our furry friends can also drop plenty of dirt, dander, and hair. To prevent excessive amounts of fur and dander from clogging up your HVAC system, choose the best HVAC air filter for a home with pets, and maintain at-home comfort for you and your pets.

HVAC Maintenance Tips for Pet Owners

It’s challenging to keep your Naples home smelling fresh when you have pets. The hair and dander also pose a serious risk of overloading your air conditioning system. Here are some HVAC tips for pet owners to keep heating and cooling systems running smoothly.

  • Brush regularly. While it’s a great reason to spend time with your pet, brushing them regularly also minimizes the hair fall that can build up in your air filter. Grooming them outside is even better so the fur can blow away in the wind. The warm Naples climate means you can groom pets outdoors throughout the year.

  • Replace air filters more frequently. Pets carry dust, dirt, and dander that fill your HVAC air filter more quickly. Proactively relieve the strain on your system by keeping air filters clean. Non-pet-rated filters tend to last one-half to two-thirds of their standard lifespan with one or more pets in the house. If you have more than two furry pets, check even pet-safe filters at least a month before they’re scheduled for replacement.

  • Improve air filter quality. Increase the quality of your HVAC filters to remove more hair and dander from the air. Air filters are graded by MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings. Most HVAC systems come with MERV 5 to 8. The best HVAC filter for pets is MERV 11 or higher. This level effectively removes pet dander and allergens from the air. If your HVAC system can’t support a high MERV rating, you can supplement your system with an air purifier.

  • Keep your pets away from hardware. From chewing on exposed wires to rubbing their fur directly into outdoor AC units, pets can get up to mischief with your HVAC equipment. Build a fence around outdoor units and make sure wires are secured and hard to reach.

  • Vacuum twice a week or more. Keeping the floors swept and vacuumed regularly limits the amount of fur and dirt that can stir up from the floor into the air. Maintaining a routine of cleaning the floors twice a week can significantly reduce your HVAC system’s workload.

  • Schedule regular HVAC maintenance. For the health of your HVAC system, maintenance is key. With pets in the house, schedule HVAC maintenance and tune-ups twice a year. If you mention that you have pets on your first inspection, our technicians can take a close look at both the indoor and outdoor units and make recommendations based on how your pets affect system efficiency.


How to Remove Pet Odor from Air Ducts

If you catch a strong whiff of pet odor as soon as you turn on the heater or air conditioning, the scent may be coming through the vents. Here’s what to do if the smell is circulating in your HVAC system.

  1. Look for signs your pet peed in the vent. If it smells like urine instead of dander, check any vents your pet may have had access to. Bring a blacklight with you because body fluids—including urine—glow under a blacklight. If you find evidence of urine, clean the area thoroughly with a pet urine cleaner or a solution of equal parts baking soda and vinegar.

  2. Deodorize the vent. A deodorizing spray can neutralize pet odors in the air ducts. Simply spray it into the vents and allow the airflow to carry the product throughout the system. Select the spray carefully; some will only cover the smell instead of removing it.

  3. Hire a professional HVAC cleaner. Deodorizing your air ducts will help reduce the pet smell, but it cannot remove the fur and dander buildup in the ductwork. A professional HVAC cleaner has the skill and equipment to remove pets’ scent from vents fully.

  4. Schedule regular duct cleaning. Cleaning your air ducts regularly will prevent future pet odors in the air ducts.


Keep Your HVAC Running Smoothly in Naples, FL

Pets bring so much love into the home, but they can also strain your HVAC system if you’re not careful. Practice regular maintenance to prevent a unit from being overworked from the pet hair and dander. Our expert technicians at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Naples offer prompt and skillful HVAC maintenance and repair. If you need a hand with your system, call (239) 237-3360 or request service online to get started.