We love our pets, but they can have a negative impact on indoor air quality
Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to a recent National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Besides feeding and watering, positive attention, and cleaning, pet owners should be aware that having a pet comes with responsibilities that aren’t quite as obvious, like maintaining the quality of your indoor air.
Most people don’t think about their air conditioning system when they get a pet. However, taking care of your heating and cooling unit after getting an animal can improve the quality of life for you and your pet. Here are some pet-specific temperatures to think about.
Dog owners shouldn’t worry too much about regulating the temperatures to accommodate your pet. Dogs are well equipped to deal with hot or cold temperatures. However, keep in mind that dogs don’t sweat the way humans do. They sweat through their paw pads and expel excess heat by panting. Many Florida dog owners allow pets inside anyway, but during extreme heat, it’s good to give them a place indoors.
Cats, for the most part, take care of themselves. Similar to dogs, cats are adapted to withstand hot or cold temperatures. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should neglect them when extreme temperatures hit. The cats at highest risk from heat are those who don’t have access to clean, fresh water or those who accidentally get locked outside.
Many times, domesticated birds are from tropical areas, so they’re used to warmer temperatures. With that in mind, avoid putting your birdcage near AC vents. The cool temperatures from your air conditioning could negatively affect your bird’s health.
Reptile & Amphibian Owners
Both reptiles and amphibians need to regulate their body temperature using outside sources. Because they’re ectothermic, it is especially important to be aware of the requirements of your pet’s habitat. Take time to learn the specifics of what your animal needs in terms of light, heat, and humidity. This knowledge will help you provide a safe and comfortable environment for your reptile or amphibian.
Tame Dander and Improve Indoor Air Quality
All pets come with dander, even the ones without fur. Dander refers to pieces of skin from animals that get swept into the air. In regards to your air quality, dander can pose a serious problem. Many people are allergic to dander and it can even worsen symptoms of asthma. If you are a pet owner, it’s important to keep your home and pets clean – but it’s equally important to keep your air clean. Here are three main ways:
Change Your Air Filters
In order to improve the air quality of your home, remember to change your air filters periodically. Make sure to use air filters built to catch pet dander. Your normal HEPA or ionic filters may not be heavy-duty enough to capture pet dander. Check with your local HVAC services to find out which air filter will work best in your home.
Clean Your Home’s Ductwork
Dander can settle within the HVAC ductwork of your home. It’s important to maintain your home’s air conditioner and heater yearly. For pet owners, that might include having an AC repair company clean your air ducts.
Install an Air Purifier in Your Home
If you’re still concerned about pet dander in your air, buy an air purifier to continue cleaning your home’s air. An air purifier can make a big difference for people who suffer from pet allergies.
If you have any other questions regarding your home’s HVAC system and your pets, feel free to contact Leonard’s Air at 813-428-6086.