How Pets Affect Home Air Quality and 6 Things You Can Do About It

How Pets Affect Home Air Quality (And 6 Things You Can Do About It)

A pet makes a house a home, even if they do come with their own set of to-do lists and air filter challenges. Most homeowners don’t realize that maintaining indoor air quality with pets can be simple and easy, as long as you stay on top of regular maintenance and easy checklists for your HVAC system.

From litter boxes to cages, dander and fur, particles from pets get circulated through air filters, HVAC systems, and more. This can require a more frequent schedule for air filter changes and annual inspections of HVAC systems to maintain a clean and comfortable indoor air quality level.

If you’re looking to improve your home’s indoor air quality as a pet owner, we can help with some easy tips and tricks. Dive in below or schedule an HVAC service today to learn more about our iWAve Air Purifier for homes with pets and allergens. 

How Pets Affect Home Air Quality and What You Can Do About It

Understanding Air Quality as a Pet Owner

All pets put off dander, flecks of skin, fur, and other particles that circulate in the air. When people notice an uptick in allergies, it is often due to trapped pet dander that is stuck in the HVAC system.

To maintain your home’s indoor air quality as a pet owner, you will need to be aware of circulating fur and hair, saliva, and urine. Litter boxes, rodent cages, reptile habitats, and more put off dried urine particles, bedding, and other items that add to the mix of air quality in your home. Urine especially can evaporate and release ammonia into the air. This can cause respiratory issues and strong odors that you may feel are “trapped” in your home.

When homeowners ask us about reducing the allergens in their homes with pets, it comes down to these core items. Inhaling dander can lead to respiratory issues, especially in individuals with asthma or other respiratory conditions. Common allergic reactions to dander include sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose. In severe cases, it can trigger asthma attacks.

Remember, pets shed at various and regular shedding releases fur and dander into the air. Fur can clog HVAC filters and reduce their efficiency. This not only affects air quality but also increases energy costs. Plus, fur contributes to dust buildup in the home. Dust contains a mix of dead skin, dirt, and other particles, which can exacerbate allergies and asthma.

There are easy fixes to these trapped odors and allergens! With a few small steps, you can restore your home to smelling fresh and feeling comfortable.

6 Easy Tips to Improve Home Indoor Air Quality as a Pet Owner

6 Easy Tips to Improve Home Indoor Air Quality as a Pet Owner

1. Get Into a Regular Cleaning Routine

Frequent cleaning of the home helps to reduce the accumulation of pet hair, dander, and other allergens that may otherwise sit and circulate into the HVAC system. We recommend general housekeeping such as dusting, sweeping, and mopping floors to help maintain your indoor air quality with pets.

To go the extra level, many homeowners invest in a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which can effectively remove pet hair and dander from carpets and upholstery. Pet bedding should also be washed regularly to remove hair, dander, and other contaminants. This prevents the buildup of allergens in areas where pets sleep and may accumulate the most.

2. Air Purifiers: A Must-Have for Pet Owners

Air purifiers are one of the easiest ways to maintain your home indoor air quality with pets. There are several types of air purifiers, including HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, and UV purifiers. Each type targets different pollutants.

Our HVAC company in Maryland offers the iWave Air Purifier, which uses an ionization process, designed for minimal maintenance and optimal performance. The iWave Air Purifier for your home can significantly reduce airborne pet allergens, improve air quality, and create a healthier living environment year-round.

3. Weather Permitting, Make Proper Ventilation a Priority

Proper ventilation of the homes helps to dilute indoor pollutants and brings in fresh air. When the weather permits, remember to open windows, use exhaust fans, and circulate the air. Even on hot summer days, opening windows in the early hours or late at night can bring a welcome breath of fresh air into the home.

Even for humid days, exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms can help remove contaminants. Use your exhaust fans when showering, cleaning, cooking, or just to help circulate the air in general. 

Inspect your HVAC unit to ensure it is also doing its job of filtering the air. HVAC systems with good filtration can capture pet hair and dander, improving indoor air quality without having to do a thing.

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4. Grooming Your Pet for Better Air Quality is Simple and Easy

Regular grooming of dogs, cats, rabbits, and other furry pets reduces shedding and dander production. It helps keep your pet’s coat healthy and clean while creating a more comfortable home environment – win win.

Brush your pet regularly to remove loose hair and dander. Bathe them occasionally using pet-safe shampoos. Professional grooming services can provide deep cleaning and grooming, reducing the amount of hair and dander in your home, if you’re not up to the task at home. Ask your vet about the best grooming habits for your pets to make everyone healthy, happy, and comfortable.

5. Create Pet-Friendly Zones in the Home

Designate specific areas for your pets to play and sleep to help contain hair and dander. Use pet gates or barriers to keep them out of certain rooms. Using washable rugs and easy-to-clean materials in pet areas can help manage messes and reduce allergens. Opt for materials like tile or hardwood floors in pet areas, as they are easier to clean than carpets.

When cleaning, avoid toxic cleaners. Some cleaning products contain chemicals that are harmful to pets. Avoid cleaners with ammonia, chlorine, and other harsh chemicals. You can also DIY your own pet cleaning products. Create your own cleaning solutions using pet-safe ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. These are effective and non-toxic, plus easy to do at home at minimal cost.

6. Schedule Regular HVAC Maintenance

Most homeowners can do an HVAC inspection once a year. As a pet owner, you may want to invest in HVAC maintenance and inspections twice a year. This will help with changing the air filter, inspecting the air ducts, and ensuring your unit is operating efficiently.

ASC HVAC in Maryland can help with residential HVAC services designed to optimize your unit’s operating power and provide cleaner indoor air. We have tips and tricks to help cut costs, reduce energy usage, and improve your home comfort.

Indoor Air Quality with Pets Can Be Simple

Maintaining good air quality in a home with pets is entirely possible with regular cleaning, proper ventilation, and the use of air purifiers. Understanding the sources of pet-related pollutants and taking proactive steps can ensure a healthy environment for you and your furry companions.

Whether you’re trying to reduce the circulation of allergens or generally reduce the energy usage of your HVAC unit, focusing on reducing pet fur and dander in the air will go a long way. Plus, you’ll have a healthier environment for you, your family, and your pets.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I clean my home with pets?

Ideally, you should clean your home at least once a week. This includes vacuuming, dusting, and washing pet bedding to reduce allergens and maintain good indoor air quality.

Can air purifiers help eliminate pet allergens in my home?

Yes, home indoor air purifiers can significantly reduce the amount of pet allergens in the air. The iWave Air Purifier is a great home indoor air purifier that requires minimal maintenance while still eliminating persistent odors and allergens in the home.

Are certain pets better for air quality than others?

Yes, pets that shed less and produce fewer allergens, such as certain breeds of dogs and hypoallergenic cats, can be better for maintaining indoor air quality. For small pets like rodents or reptiles, you want to consider their bedding, litter boxes, and more that may affect your indoor air quality.

What are the best vacuum cleaners for pet owners to improve air quality?

Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters and strong suction power are best for pet owners. They effectively capture pet hair, dander, and other allergens from floors and upholstery that may otherwise circulate in your HVAC system.