What Can Animal Hair Do to My AC Filter?

A family pet is part of millions of families. You probably consider your dog or cat a beloved family member and want to keep them well-cared for.

Regrettably, pet hair usually has a negative impact on the efficiency of your air conditioning system. But if you keep up with maintenance, you’ll help preserve steady airflow and protect your cooling system from harm.

How Does an AC Filter Work, and Why is It So Important?

Air filters are one of the most important parts of any forced-air HVAC system. It captures 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 could be anywhere from 1 to 20, with higher ratings corresponding to stronger filtration.

Your filter is primarily responsible for protecting the evaporator coil, blower motor and other important parts from dirt and debris that could lead to problems. An efficient enough filter also improves indoor air quality by reducing particulates in the air, which often contribute to allergies, asthma attacks and similar conditions.

How Does Pet Hair Affect Your HVAC System and Filter?

When pets shed, their hair becomes airborne and is drawn into the HVAC system through the return air ducts. If there isn’t a filter in place, 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 microbes like mold, which give off foul odors and lower indoor air quality.

Even when the filter is already in place, pet hair isn’t harmless. When return airflow draws it toward the HVAC system, the filter traps the hair and prevents it from landing on delicate cooling components. That being said, eventually the filter will clog, limiting airflow and placing additional strain on the HVAC system. Without exchanging or cleaning the filter, high energy bills and frequent breakdowns may be right behind.

What About Animal Dander?

Pet dander, consisting of tiny skin flakes and saliva particles, commonly exacerbates 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

Maintaining an efficient, properly functioning air conditioner is certainly possible, 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 should try to replace it after 30 to 90 days. Keep an eye on it every month and replace it when a clog appears.
  • Clean your air vents and ductwork: Pet hair can accumulate on air registers and grilles, preventing proper ventilation. Trying cleaning these using the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner as often as needed. Then, hire a professional to remove built-up pet hair, dander and dust in the air ducts every few years.
  • Bathe or brush away excess pet hair: Regular brushing and bathing reduces the hair and dander your pets generate. Make sure to handle brushing outside and sweep the area afterward to prevent the hair from getting tracked inside.
  • Consistently vacuum and dust: While it affects your HVAC system, pet hair can be found all throughout your home. A lot of it settles on surfaces or under furniture. Proper cleaning should include vacuuming, sweeping, dusting and laundering your pet’s bedding.
  • Don’t let debris collect near the outdoor unit: Central air conditioners feature an outdoor unit fixed to a concrete slab just outside the home. Clear away any accumulated debris, such as pet hair, grass clippings, dead leaves, and similar materials. This ensures effective heat transfer for more efficient operation.
  • Schedule regular maintenance: For best results, have a trusted HVAC technician inspect and maintain your air conditioning system every year, preferably in the spring. They’ll know how to find and resolve any small issues, clean key components and share advice on keeping your air conditioner running efficiently with pets.

Contact for Indoor Air Quality Services

When you’re tired of excess pet hair affecting your HVAC system and indoor air quality, look to for personalized recommendations on the best solution. We offer a range of indoor air quality products best suited for combating pet hair and dander, like high-efficiency air filtration, whole-house ventilation and air duct cleaning. We can also maintain your HVAC system for maximum performance and efficiency. You can rest easy with the knowledge 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

MAKE NO PAYMENTS FOR 30 DAYS!

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

© 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