We love our pets, but sometimes they can add to maintenance and cleaning chores in your home. In addition, fur, dander and other particles shed by pets can affect cooling systems. There are ways to minimize pet shedding, such as frequent pet grooming and cleaning more often. However, airborne particulates may eventually make their way into your air conditioner. Here are tips from heating and cooling experts on ways to maintain your air conditioning system when you have pets.
Change Air Filters Regularly
Filters are the first line of defense in keeping your AC system clean and operating efficiently. Filters capture airborne pollutants and prevent them from entering ducts and coating components. Cleaning or changing filters is an important, simple AC maintenance task that most homeowners can do. Manufacturers usually recommend cleaning or changing filters at least every three months. However, if you have pets, you will probably have to change filters more often.
Clogged filters affect airflow and the system’s efficiency. Air can’t pass through dirty filters, which causes the unit to work harder to produce conditioned air. In addition, debris can bypass a clogged filter and deposit soil on coils, ducts, and other downstream components. This affects the ability of the coils to transfer heat, which makes the system work harder and use more energy to operate. In contrast, a clean filter can reduce the unit’s energy usage by up to 15%.
Standard filters capture large particulates, such as hair, insect parts, and animal dander. Ask your HVAC technician about upgrading to better quality filters that capture smaller particulates. Filters are rated by the minimum efficiency reporting value, a number that describes the ability to capture particles of a particular size. The higher the MERV number, the greater the filtration. Filters rated MERV 8 through 11 are adequate for most households. However, you may have to change these filters more often. Your HVAC contractor must evaluate what types of filters are compatible with your system. Small pore sizes create more resistance that can affect airflow.
Vacuum and Clean Grilles and Registers
Grilles and registers are often overlooked in the cleaning regimen. As air blows through vents and into the living space, dust, hair, and other debris can coat registers and grilles. If yours are easily detachable, remove them and wash them with mild soap and water. Make sure they are completely dry before reinstalling them. If they are difficult to remove, vacuum them regularly and wipe them with a damp cloth to remove grime.
Schedule Air Conditioner Maintenance
Most manufacturers recommend tune-ups before first use in the spring for the air conditioner and in the fall for the furnace. If you have pets and run your equipment most of the time, you may require more frequent AC maintenance.
Heating and air conditioning maintenance keeps systems running efficiently, extends the service life and reduces the incidence of breakdowns. Technicians examine and clean each component of the unit, including filters, condensate system, refrigerant levels, electrical connections, blowers, coils and ductwork.
Del-Air Heating and Air Conditioning is a full-service HVAC company offering new installations, scheduled repairs, maintenance and emergency services. Our technicians are NATE-certified, demonstrating that they are knowledgeable and experienced in core HVAC skills and specialties. We offer preventive maintenance plans for our residential customers to make sure your heating and air conditioning equipment is in tip-top shape.
Call today to schedule an air conditioning maintenance session. We are licensed, insured and bonded.