Pets are our best friends and often also our housemates. While all responsible pet owners know about feeding and caring for their pet, how a pet impacts the operation of heating and air conditioning systems sometimes gets overlooked. Here are some ideas for keeping your HVAC system in good operating condition, if pets are part of your household.
Regularly Inspect and Change HVAC Filters
Every dog and cat owner knows that even with the best of grooming, dogs, cats, and other furry pets shed some hair. For an HVAC system, this means pet hair is drawn into the return air vents, clogging the filters, reducing the efficiency and life of the system, and making the changing of filters especially important.
In homes without pets, changing the HVAC filter may only need to be done occasionally. But in High Desert homes with furry pets and higher levels of dust in the air, HVAC filters often need to be changed every month or two.
Regular grooming of pets, preferably outside or in the garage, will considerably reduce the load of pet hair going into the HVAC filters. Regular sweeping, vacuuming, and dusting also prolong the life of HVAC filters and keep household allergens at a minimum.
Protecting Your HVAC from Damage by Pets
Wiring going to a HVAC system, heat pump, or AC should always be enclosed in conduits to prevent pets from chewing or playing with them. Remotes for operating the system should not be left on chairs, couches, or other areas where pets –or people- can accidently activate or change settings.
The outside condenser units is another area where pets, especially dogs, can cause problems. Soft dirt around the edge of the condenser pad may be a tempting spot for animals to dig, and this can result in claws damaging the delicate fins on the coils and the sharp metal injuring the animal.
Condenser units can also be mistaken for fire hydrants by dogs. If a dog regularly marks his territory on a condenser unit, this can lead to corrosion of the coils and, eventually, even a leak of refrigerant. The simple solution is installing a fence or other barrier around outside HVAC units located on the ground.
Pet owners can simplify the maintenance of their HVAC system by signing up for regular service from a professional HVAC company like Elite Climate Control.