What Can Animal Hair Do to My AC Filter?

Pets are an important part of many people’s lives. You probably consider your dog or cat a beloved family member and want to keep them well-cared for.

Annoyingly, pet hair usually has a negative impact on the efficiency of your air conditioning system. But if you keep up with maintenance, you can avoid impacting airflow and protect your air conditioner from harm.

How Do AC Air Filters Work, and Why Are They Important?

Air filters are one of the most important parts of any forced-air HVAC system. The filter is the primary solution to capture airborne particles, such as dust, pollen and pet hair, stopping them from spreading through the ductwork. There is lots of variety in the materials they use to accomplish this, including fiberglass, pleated and electrostatic. The overall effectiveness of an air filter can be measured with its minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which is rated on a scale from 1 to 20, with higher ratings indicating better filtration.

The primary purpose of an AC filter is to protect the evaporator coil, blower motor and other cooling system components from dirt and debris that could lead to problems. An efficient enough filter also improves indoor air quality by keeping particles out of your indoor air, which often contribute to allergies, asthma attacks and other breathing problems.

How Does Pet Hair Affect Your HVAC System and Filter?

When pets shed, their hair becomes airborne and can eventually get into the HVAC system through the return air ducts. When the filter is missing, pet hair collects inside the evaporator coil, blower motor, fan blades and other components, slowing them down and reducing efficiency. Hair can also encourage clogs if it interacts with the moisture inside your cooling, creating a breeding ground for mold and bacteria that can generate foul odors and lower indoor air quality.

But even if you have an air filter installed, pet hair isn’t harmless. When return airflow reaches the main HVAC system, the filter traps the hair and prevents it from landing on sensitive cooling components. However, this clogs the filter more quickly than usual, limiting airflow and placing additional strain on the HVAC system. Without maintenance, high energy bills and frequent breakdowns may be right behind.

What About Animal Dander?

Pet dander, made up of tiny skin flakes and saliva particles, is a common cause of respiratory problems in people with allergies or asthma. You may benefit from a higher efficiency filter to ensure it can effectively capture and remove dander, which is much smaller than pet hair.

How to Care for Your AC System and Filter with Pets

Fortunately, it isn’t hard to protect the efficiency of your AC, even with pets living in your home. Here’s how:

  • Stick to a regular schedule when cleaning or replacing the filter: Depending on the total number of pets as well as the filter’s efficiency, you might need to replace it every 30 to 90 days. Keep an eye on it every month and replace it when a clog appears.
  • Keep ventilation clear: Pet hair can accumulate on air registers and grilles, reducing airflow. Trying cleaning these using the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner as often as needed. Then, call a professional for cleaning out the collected pet hair, dander and dust inside your ductwork every few years.
  • Bathe or brush away excess pet hair: Regular brushing and bathing reduces the hair and dander your pets generate. Brush your pets outside when possible and sweep the area when you’re done to stop hair from just drifting back inside.
  • Consistently vacuum and dust: Not all pet hair ends up in the HVAC system. A lot of it settles on surfaces around the house. Keep up a regular cleaning routine that includes vacuuming, sweeping, dusting and washing any pet beds.
  • Keep the area around the outdoor unit clear: Central air conditioners feature an outdoor unit secured to a concrete slab outside your home. Keep the area around this unit free of debris, such as pet hair, grass clippings, dead leaves, and other forms of yard waste. This ensures effective heat transfer for more efficient operation.
  • Keep up with routine AC maintenance: Ideally, your local HVAC professional will inspect and maintain your cooling system once a year, preferably in the spring. This professional can find and resolve any small issues, keep internal components clean and provide recommendations about how to keep your cooling system running efficiently with pets.

Contact for Indoor Air Quality Services

If you’re concerned about how your pets are affecting your HVAC system and indoor air quality, consider for tailored solutions and top-notch customer service. We offer a range of indoor air quality products to help keep pet hair and dander at bay, such as advanced air filtration, whole-house ventilation and air duct cleaning. We can also maintain your HVAC system for maximum performance and efficiency. Enjoy the peace of mind that everything we do is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To request indoor air quality services in North America, please contact today.

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >
Offer

$50 OFF ANY REPAIR

  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!
print
Offer

MAKE NO PAYMENTS FOR 30 DAYS!

  • Upgrade to Worry-Free Comfort with the Advantage Program and make NO payments for 30 days!
print

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.

Chat with a Service Experts Professional