Pets are great additions to any household. They increase morale, are caring companions, and are oh so cute! However, pets can negatively impact the air quality of your home. Pet dander, hair, and dirt tracked in from outside cause allergic reactions and sometimes sickness. Read more about how pets affect indoor air quality and ways to keep your home’s air quality pristine.
Pet dander is microscopic flakes of skin shed by dogs, cats, birds, rodents, and other animals with feathers or fur. An estimated 10 to 15 percent of Americans are allergic to pet dander and not the pet’s fur or hair. Research also shows that double the amount of people are allergic to cats compared to dogs. Other allergens include proteins found in saliva, urine, and feces from cats, dogs, and other pets. All of these things are very lightweight and tiny. They therefore can remain in the air for a long time and easily stick to furniture, bedding, and other fabrics in the house.
Dander and other allergens can flake off an animal’s fur and become airborne. Allergens are then circulated through the HVAC system along with dust for you and your family to breathe in. This process decreases your home’s indoor air quality. Pet hair also clogs your HVAC system’s air filters, which causes your system to work harder and spreads dander and hair around the home. Even short pet hair can clog your air filter.
There are many ways to ensure that your home’s indoor air quality doesn’t end up like the inside of the dog house. For starters, regularly bathing your pet will help cut down on dander and fur shedding. Try to bathe your pet once a month and brush them twice a month. Keeping a regular grooming/cleaning schedule for your pet will limit the spread of dander, fur, and other allergens that are attracted to pet fur around your home. A happier, healthier, and cuddlier pet will also be the result.
The key to maintaining good indoor air quality, even if you don’t own a pet, is vacuuming. Instead of dusting with a cloth, use a vacuum to suck up any unwanted dust on tables, window sills, couches, etc. This will help avoid dust circling in the air and then being redistributed by your HVAC system. A vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter will be your best friend because it captures a wide variety of allergens that affect air quality. HEPA filters reduce pet dander, fur, dust, pollen, mold spores, and even smoke. If you or a family member suffers from bad allergies, a HEPA filter is a great addition to your cleaning routine.
Air purifiers come in many different sizes, from portable units to whole-house models. If you decide to go with a portable air purifier, make sure it is the correct size for the room. Whole-house air purifiers help eliminate asthma and allergy symptoms by providing your entire home with fresh, healthy air. Air purifiers also help your HVAC system run more efficiently and reduce energy costs.
For more information on how to maintain good indoor air quality, contact Stafford Home Service today.