Having a pet can be a great addition for many families. In fact, three out of five households in the U.S. have pets and most of those pets are dogs and cats. While these furry friends bring joy and companionship to your home, they also bring allergens that can negatively affect your indoor air quality.
According to the American Lung Association, pet dander is flakes of skin shed by any mammal, like cats and dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc.
Besides dander, people can also be allergic to the proteins found in pet saliva and waste. Pet dander is microscopic and has a jagged shape, making it easy to become airborne and stuck to bedding, fabrics and furniture throughout your home. For people who suffer from pet allergies, this can result in symptoms such as: a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, shortness of breath and itchy, watery eyes. Some people develop rashes, hives or contact dermatitis. It can also trigger asthma as well.
While pet dander does affect indoor air quality, there are solutions to keep everyone (human and pets) healthy and comfortable.
Clean Your House and Your Pet
Regularly cleaning your home is an effective way to keep pet dander at a minimum. The American Academy of Asthma Allergy & Immunology recommends:
- Mop floors and wipe down cabinets, backsplashes and appliances weekly
- Vacuum carpet weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or HEPA filter
- Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets weekly in 130-degree water
- Wash area rugs and floor mats weekly
Regularly grooming your pet can help prevent dander buildup as well. Consult with your veterinarian to determine how often your pet should be brushed and bathed as they require a certain level of oil in their fur or hair to remain healthy.
Maintain “Pet Free Zones”
Keeping pets out of areas such as bedrooms can provide a respite for someone in your home suffering from pet-allergies.
Install an Air Purifier
With the right indoor air quality system, the air in your home can potentially be fresher than the air outdoors. Air purification systems can limit the impact of pet dander, dust and other common air pollutants in your home. They can also remove 99.98% of airborne allergens and kill germs as well as surface bacteria and viruses. This can improve the health, wellness and comfort for you and your family.
Change Air Filters Regularly
The filters in your HVAC system are designed to remove allergens, dust and dander from the air circulating through your home’s ducts. Changing or cleaning your filters regularly is important for the system to be able to work properly. Manufacturers typically recommend switching out filters every 60 to 90 days, but if your filters are especially dirty you may need to change them out more frequently. Click here to read more about different types of filters. If you have questions regarding anything HVAC related or pertaining to your indoor air quality, it is worth having a professional inspect it.