How To Care For Your HVAC When You Have Pets

For many people, pets are considered part of the family and are kept indoors most of the time. However, there are some challenges that can arise when it comes to the HVAC system in your home. Pollutants pets can carry into the home after a nice afternoon walk and the dander they can shed directly impact your A/C and heating system because it’s one giant filtration system; if those pollutants are recirculating through your HVAC system then it can wreak havoc on not only your allergies but your HVAC system as well.

How to get the cleanest air quality from your AC  

It’s not only vital to your A/C system but also for your own health and the health of your family to regularly change your air filters.

There are a few factors to take in to consideration when determining how often you should change your home’s air filters. For example, if it is a vacation home with no pets, then changing your filters once or twice a year may be fine. If it is a modern suburban home with no pets, changing your filters every 90 days works. But, anytime a pet occupies a home, it is standard to change your filters every 30 days.

Never use low quality air filters, as they allow the pet dandruff and dust to recirculate into the home, and can end up costing more money down the road. Overtime, costs add up because of the low air quality and the damage it does to your health and to your HVAC unit’s vents, ducts, coils, etc.  Don’t place objects that have dirt or dust on them near your intake vent, such as a vacuum, shoes, laundry basket, or pet crate.   

By grooming your pets regularly, preferably outside the home you will also keep your pet happy and your home’s air cleaner. Doing this should also mean there is noticeably less pet hair in your air filter when you change it. Dogs and cats who have longer, thicker coats should be brushed every 2 days and should be bathed every 2 weeks. You can double the time in between brushing and bathing if your pet has shorter hair, which means they should be brushed every 4 days and bathed at least once a month. 

Keeping your carpet vacuumed daily is another important step to having healthy air quality and maximizing your systems performance and longevity.  Using a quality vacuum that is tailored specifically for pet dandruff and hair is another plus, as it removes specific allergens that pets have naturally.  

Keeping your temperature settings as moderate as possible will not only save you some money, but will also reduce the amount of hair your pets shed. In the summer months dogs and cats shed their winter coat and keeping the A/C settings too low or high can have an adverse effect on how the natural shedding process takes place.    The recommended setting for climates such as Florida is between 69-76 degrees during the summer months and in the winter months the setting should be from 68 to 72 degrees. A mistake pet owners make is turning the thermostat up to 80 degrees when they leave the house which causes shedding to be a year-round problem – adversely impacting the air quality and air conditioning unit.  

While you can do much to limit the effects of pet hair and dander on the quality of your indoor air, you’ll need some specialized help now and then. That’s why it’s always a good idea to schedule regular HVAC maintenance with EasyBreezy A/C, recommended at least twice a year for pet owners.   

During our routine inspections, we’ll make sure that your HVAC system is cleaned carefully, and we’ll identify any issues that should be resolved quickly. A checkup helps keep your HVAC system working smoothly, keeps your system running longer and saves you money!



Why Does My AC Smell?

Common Air Conditioning Odors And Their Causes

Air conditioning falls under the category of basic necessities (like food, shelter, and water do) given how important it is in a home in the present era. However, unlike most other necessities, air conditioners require maintenance and if not kept up with. Luckily, air conditioning systems typically give off warning signs when something is not right – poor air flow, warm air instead of cold, buzzing or other odd noises, and smells.

The following are some of the common smells that you might experience when something is wrong with your air conditioner, along with the likely culprit.

Smell musty or smell like mildew

This is a result of excessive humidity in your AC system along with the presence of mold or mildew in the ducts, clogged drain lines, or stagnant water in the drip pan. To solve the problem of this particular smell, you usually do not need help from expert. Check where the drip pan or wherever the AC releases the moisture pulled from the air for standing water or poor drainage. Also check the drain pipe – if it is dry, then there is likely a clog somewhere. Be sure to change all of the intake filters and continue to do so regularly. If your home is prone to humidity, install a humidifier in one of the main rooms to help pull moisture from the air and lighten the burden placed on your air conditioning system. If the smell persists, then your duct work may need a thorough cleaning. If you have never done this before, it is recommended to give us a call to ensure that no damage befalls your duct work or system.

Smell like dirty socks

Dirty Sock Syndrome is an actual “illness” that can affect your air conditioning system. The dirty socks smell (or gym bag, work boot, 3 day pile of wet laundry smell) is usually a product of mildew somewhere in your system. It could be in the duct work or around the evaporator coil.  Like the above smell, it is typically the cause of high humidity in the home or clogged drain pipes only stage of mildew is long past changing filters to resolve the issue. This will require an in-depth cleaning of your system.

Cigarettes

You guessed it – this smell is caused by of the presence of tobacco smoke residue in your AC system. Even if the smoker uses a designated room or part of the house for their smoking habit, the smoke can and will inhibit the air conditioning system and be filtered to the rest of the home. Change the filters more often and encourage the smoker to some only outdoors. At a minimum, better ventilate the areas where smoking is occurring by opening a window and using a fan to help circulate the air.

Acetone

The scent of acetone, or nail polish remover, is an indication that you have a refrigerant leak in your system. A refrigerant leak can not only be disastrous for the efficiency of the system, but also your health. It poses serious health hazards so if you smell this odor in your air conditioning system then turn off the system immediately and get help from an expert.

Rotten Eggs

This will only be a concern for residents or commercial offices who have gas-drive AC units. The smell of rotten eggs is a common description used when there is a gas leak. If you smell this in your house and you’re sure that it is coming from the air conditioning system, then immediately call a professional for help. Also, open the windows and turn off the appliances to avoid any spark that can result in an explosion, then wait outside for assistance to arrive.

Burning Smell

In Florida, this smell is typically not a concern. You may experience a burning smell after turning on your systems heater after it is dormant for the majority of the year. When you don’t use your heater for a long period of time dust can settle on the heating coils. When you do start using it the dust gets burned off, resulting in a burning smell. The smell will eventually dissipate and fade away.
However, if you have been running your heater for the last 24 hours and the smell has already dissipated, or you never experienced it and you now are, then the smell could be an indication of overuse. When parts are dormant and do not receive regular maintenance, they can wear out from lack of use (just like a tool in your garage that never gets used may rust). It can also be a sign of a bad or malfunctioning compressor. If you smell burning several hours after the heater is in use, then turn off your unit and contact us to evaluate your system.

Smell like Rotting Carcass

Sounds gross and the smell itself can be really disturbing and you can’t help but notice it. As the name shows, this smell is due to a bird, mouse, squirrel, or other creature dying after getting caught somewhere in your system. So, if there is a rancid, rotting smell and no other indication to its cause, you should turn off your air conditioner and contact an AC repairman. A decomposing body of a small mammal can be very harmful to your health and you don’t want your AC system to circulate it through your home.

In all cases, you can avoid, reduce, and prevent smells with routine maintenance and a whole home indoor air quality product.



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