Here in Colorado, we not only love our pets, but they are also valued members of the family. We can’t imagine not opening up our homes and letting them wander from room to room, sitting at our feet and joining us wherever we are.
But as they wander from room to room, they not only bring love and affection, they can trigger allergies as well. Approximately 10 percent of people have some sort of pet allergy. That means living with runny noses, itchy eyes, sneezing attacks, rashes, swollen nasal passages, and breathing problems.
A pet allergy is an immune response to a protein found in saliva, skin, and urine of cats and dogs. This protein is discharged into the air when pets shed, releasing dander to the floor below. While some breeds are more likely to cause an allergic reaction than others, there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic pet.
Even if you or a family member doesn’t have pet allergies, it’s a good idea to make sure to replace furnace filters more frequently, as pet hairs and other contaminants can gather in the filter. As filters clog, the dander backs into your ductwork and is distributed throughout your home.
With simple modifications, you can alleviate some of the issues associated with pet allergies.
A typical HVAC filter is capable of removing particles down to 3 microns in size, depending on its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). A High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter is designed to remove up to 99.97 percent of particles, down to 0.3 microns in size. This includes pet dander, which is around 2.5 microns in size.
In addition to changing your filter and upgrading to a HEPA filter, you may also choose to add air purification. Increasing the ventilation and ensuring proper circulation of fresh outdoor air with stale indoor air is also an important aspect to clean your home. Where bathroom exhaust fans are important part of the ventilation process in typical homes, depending on your pets, installing a ventilator or having an outdoor air intake duct installed might be necessary to control your indoor air quality.
Have pets? Have allergies? One of our experienced technicians can help make your home a more livable environment.