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How to Maintain Your HVAC System Pet Owners Edition

Join the bandwagon of “I have too much on my plate”. Because we all know that life is on the fast track when you’re trying to get things done. Your home is definitely in the top tier of your priority list, and everything that comes after can wait. Maintaining your home is not just about mowing the lawn or having squeaky clean floors! It’s also about keeping all electronic systems in good working condition because repairs can be so cumbersome. For now, we’re going to focus on your HVAC system (and why maintenance is so essential). And, in this special ‘Pet owners edition’ we’re also focusing on, you guessed it right, your pets!

Pets are like family, and there’s no denying that. But they also increase the workload when it comes to maintenance and hygiene. Having a pet (or more) at home can be quite a messy affair. This is why you need to take out that extra time and effort to get things into place.

Speaking about your HVAC system, does having a pet affect its maintenance?

It sure does!

photo of boy wearing camouflage shirt holding a cat hvac system
Photo by Min An on

Pets tend to shed hair, fur, and also bring in dirt and grime from the outside. This eventually circulates into the air and yes, gets into your HVAC system as well. Now, while your system might be equipped to get this grime out of the air in your home and filter it efficiently, the working load on it also significantly increases. This translates into one simple thing: having pets means your HVAC system needs double the maintenance.

Let’s look at how you can effectively maintain your HVAC system with pets around:

Filter cleaning

With a pet around, your cleaning of filters needs to be more thorough and also more often. The hair, dead skin cells, and other particles are most likely going to get stuck in the filter. And if it isn’t cleaned properly, it can cause your HVAC system to falter. Also, not every type of filter can handle fur and residue as such. It’s always safer to go for a more heavy-duty, high-quality filter that will be able to handle the load and won’t break down. For this, you can check with your local HVAC systems expert and take their advice.

Remember to vacuum

You would also definitely have to vacuum your rugs, floors, walls, and furniture more often with a pet at home. Dust and fur can settle on these articles and circulate in the air later on. Vacuuming regularly can reduce if not avoid the occurrence of too much hair from your pet and hence, not tax your HVAC system either. Remember, regular vacuuming is not just good for your HVAC maintenance, but also for the overall cleanliness and tidiness of your home environment.

Protect the outdoor unit

 The outdoor exhaust that is fitted in your home needs to be doubly protected, for which you could use a fence or a cage of sorts. If your pet is a rather active one, they might damage the outdoor HVAC motor and cause electrical issues with the system. This is bad for the running of the system and can also be potentially harmful to your pet as well. It’s also a smarter idea to keep the motor in a place that isn’t easily accessible to your pet and can be hidden fairly well.

Cleaning your pet

It’s not just your HVAC system that needs regular cleaning – your pet needs it too. Regularly combing, bathing, washing and brushing your pet can reduce the amount of hair or fur fall they have. Shedding reduces when the fur coat is clean and has lesser germs and bacteria. So, lesser the shedding, lesser the residue you’re going to have to clean out of your HVAC system later on. Once these particles settle into your filters, it can also require professional assistance to get a thorough cleaning done. The HVAC maintenance guide and checklist by AC Designs Inc talks about how hair and fur can damage your systems and other such precautions.

Don’t forget the ducts

The above-mentioned particles can also get stuck in the air ducts, or the HVAC ductwork. You should have your ducts thoroughly checked at least once in a year. Because it’s quite easy for a pet’s hair and shedding due to settle in them and cause a blockage later on. To avoid this, ensure that along with a check. You also get all the ends and corners of your ductwork inspected for crack or spaces.


It’s heavy-duty work when it comes to having a pet at home. But we all know that home wouldn’t be the same without them. So, as much as we love our furry friends, it’s also important for us to keep a check on their shedding and hair which can cause problems to internal systems in the future. For HVAC maintenance, extra care does need to be taken with a pet around. And a professional will be able to both give you advice and offer you top-notch services for times when you cannot do it yourself!

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