Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pets and Indoor Air Quality

Pets are members of the family, so it is only natural to want to include them in everything. When I was growing up my family always had a cat. But about 6 months ago, we actually got a dog, so now we are a two-pet family. Until the dog joined our family, I never knew how much fun a dog could be. We are realizing how much work a dog is, too. While we are really enjoying our pets now, we are also becoming aware of the effects on the air quality in the home. Follow the tips below to keep air quality under control when you have pets in the house.

Pets and Air Quality
 

Image via Flickr by BryanAlexander

Contrary to popular belief, dander isn't pet hair. It's actually dead skin cells. People who are allergic to animals are most likely allergic to pet dander. This can get on furniture, in your home's air supply, and even in your air conditioner.

Along with dander, pets can track in allergens and dirt from outside. They pick these up from rolling around in the grass or walking around the neighborhood. These allergens can accumulate on the air conditioner's motors and fans, which then circulate the allergens throughout your home. This can drastically reduce the indoor air quality. That's why it is important to have your HVAC system inspected and cleaned regularly.

Grooming
Grooming your pets will help reduce the dander and other allergens they may bring in the house. The ASPCA recommends that you groom your pets frequently. Dogs need a bath at least once every three months, and usually more often than that. If he or she spends a lot of time outdoors, then bathing more often is a good idea. Use a good shampoo to get rid of dirt and dead skin cells, which will limit pet dander.

Brushing pets often is also useful in reducing allergens. Long-haired pets, including many cats, need brushing at least once a week. This will help remove dirt and hair before it ends up in your HVAC ductwork.

Designated Pet Areas
Keeping your pets outside isn't always realistic, but having outdoor pets will limit allergens indoors. At the very least, keeping pets outside your bedroom is a good idea. This will reduce the allergens in your bedroom and improve the air quality. Since since most people spend about eight hours a day sleeping, you should see some benefit from resting in a pet-free bedroom.

If a family member or a frequent visitor is allergic to your pets, consider creating a pet-free zone. This could be an area or room in your house where pets are not allowed. That will improve the air you and your guests breathe while indoors.

If you love your pets, you don't want them to be left out of the family. Taking proper care of them and cleaning your house of dust and pet dander should eliminate most allergens. Turning your air conditioner on can also reduce allergens, so it's essential to get appropriate maintenance and cleaning for your HVAC system.