For many, pets are an important part of their family. They have been proven to lower blood pressure and ease symptoms of depression. Although the benefits are clear, to some, pets can lead to certain allergic reactions. To minimize this, frequent home and HVAC maintenance is recommended.
What is Pet Dander?
Pet dander are tiny flakes of skin that come from every animal. Pets regularly shed hair and skin which can become airborne and travel across a home, landing on multiple surfaces including carpets, bedding, furniture, and more. There are many people out there who experience a negative reaction when they come in contact with pet dander. An immune system is supposed to help fight off viruses and bacteria. This process enables our bodies to fight off diseases. Some people, however, have sensitive immune systems. In fact, pet dander's strength remains a long time after they settle on a surface.
Pet Care Tips
For most, dogs and/or cats are the glue that holds their family together. Because of this, there are a few habits that homeowners can implement that will make both pets and owners happy. First, minimize the amount of time that a pet spends in the bedroom. Since people spend a great deal of time in the confines of their room, it could quickly become a haven for pet dander. Instead, keep the door closed and clean the room often.
Additionally, if you have carpet installed in your home, select one with a low pile. It will be much easier to vacuum up the pet dander that sticks to the carpet fibers. To be on the safe side, steam clean it often. Even better, use throw rugs since they are much easier to clean. Additionally, whenever you vacuum, wear a dust mask. Vacuum cleaners can move around dander that has settled making your allergies worse.
HEPA Filtration and Purification
Make sure your ducts are sealed. Unsealed ductwork can allow animal dander and dust to buildup in your ducts which in turn can get blown through your air vents and into your living spaces. Also, when vacuuming, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. They are equipped and designed to remove allergen-sized particles.
For those with pets that live indoors most of the time, routine maintenance is key. Since pets shed hair and skin, these travel throughout the home ending up in HVAC filters. This leads to more frequent filter changes as opposed to homeowners without pets. Homeowners who neglect to change out filters can be left with clogged filters which can overwork their HVAC system, shortening its lifespan and leading to expensive repairs or a complete replacement.
Homeowners can purchase and install HEPA filtration that attaches to the central heating and cooling system of their home. High efficiency air filters are only designed to capture particles that are airborne, so they won't help much with dander that has settled on surfaces. Although filters alone won't completely eliminate dander, regular household cleaning can help minimize it.