If you have furry family members, you know all the love and care that goes into taking care of them. Between shooing them away from scratching or chewing on the furniture and feeling your heartstrings tug as they greet you with kisses and snuggles at the door, it’s a mixed bag of emotions. 

When you have pets in your home, lots of things change. You can’t leave doors wide open anymore. You have to put your socks up high before the sock-snatcher gets them. Your pantry is just as stocked with dog food as it is with human food. And, maybe most importantly, you have to expect your house won’t be quite as clean as it once was (if there was ever a time you didn’t have pets).

Since there’s more dust, dirt, and fur flying around your home, you need to be a little more vigilant in your cleaning and maintenance to take the pressure off your HVAC system. These steps can also increase the efficiency of your air conditioner and furnace, and improve your overall air quality. 

Here are six simple ways to maintain your heating and cooling system when you have pets:

Keep Your Pets Well Groomed

If your pet isn’t a fan of the bathtub or the groomers, this can be a tough one. But the more hair you can rinse or brush off, the less there is to float around in your home. Springtime is a great season to invest in a particularly heavy duty grooming session, since your pet will be shedding his winter coat. 

Vacuum Regularly (Or Invest in a Roomba)

It’s an extra chore, but sweeping and vacuuming up hair and dust before it gets into your HVAC system will keep it from circulating around the house. Automatic or robot vacuums are a great way to get a daily cleaning without lifting a finger, and the small expense may save you from larger ones down the road. 

Change Your Furnace Filter More Regularly 

Your furnace filter removes most of the debris from the air being circulated. Usually, homeowners are told to change their furnace filters once every three months. If you’re a pet owner, you’ll want to change it a bit more frequently (especially if you have multiple dogs or dogs that shed a lot). 

Use a High-Quality Filter

When it comes to air filters, it’s not just about quantity; it’s about quality. Although it’s typically fine to throw a three-3 for- $30 pack of filters in your furnace room, spending a few extra dollars on a denser filter will be worth the clean air. It might reduce airflow just a little, but it shouldn’t have a major impact on the energy efficiency of your heating system. 

Consider an Air Purification System 

Air purification systems are a popular option for pet owners, people with allergies, respiratory illnesses, or immune weaknesses, or those with children or elderly people in the house. Our technicians can install a system that virtually sucks all of the tiny allergens, dust mites, and microscopic bacteria out of the air, leaving you with a completely healthy house. It’s so powerful, it can even pull cigarette smoke right out of the air. 

Have Your Furnace, Ducts & Air Conditioner Inspected & Cleaned

Regular maintenance on your HVAC system isn’t a major expense, but it can save you from furnace shut-downs on the coldest day of the winter (Murphy’s Law, right?) or air conditioner mishaps on the hottest day of summer. For most people, that makes it worth the minor investment. 

Don’t overlook your air conditioner maintenance, even if you have an outdoor unit. Having your condenser units, condenser coils, condensate drain, and coil fins checked and cleaned or replaced will keep your air conditioning system in good shape, regardless of the dust, dirt, debris, and fur that gets inside.