According to the APPA, about 68% of U.S. households own a pet. With more than half of American homes containing companions, it raises the question about their impact on indoor air quality (IAQ). Believe it or not, pets can have a major impact on a home’s IAQ. Whether your friend is furry, feathery, or scaly, they can contribute to a poor IAQ, which impacts the overall health and comfort of your household.
Indianapolis homeowners should be aware of the relationship between IAQ and your pets. Poor IAQ leads to symptoms of allergies and sickness, but how exactly does your pet make this negative impact? Well, the experts at Action Air are here to guide you!
How Can Pets Affect IAQ?
- Pet Dander – If your pet has hair or feathers, you may already be aware of pet dander. Pet dander is essentially the animal equivalent of dandruff, and a substance that your HVAC system easily circulates. Pet dander comes from dogs, cats, birds, and rodents, and some people can be highly allergic to it.
- Hair and Feathers – Fallen hairs and feathers both contain dander, but unlike dander particles, they can clog up your HVAC system. Dog and cat hair is especially problematic as both animals tend to shed their coats frequently. Fine pet hair can easily lodge inside and compromise vents, filters, and even your ducts.
- Outdoor Contaminants- If your pet is constantly going in and out, they are carrying outside dirt and detritus in your home. Your pets easily collect bacteria and allergens from mud, plants, insects, and trash. When your pet comes home covered in mud and dirt, your IAQ can be severely impacted.
- Indoor Contaminants – The outdoors isn’t the only place for contaminants, as litter boxes, chew toys, and cages are major contributors to poor IAQ. Pet waste is full of disease-carrying worms and bacteria and produces an awful smell in your home. Even pet food can have a foul odor when left out for too long.
Although your pets contribute to a poor IAQ, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do! There are ways to maintain a proper IAQ without saying goodbye to your pets.
- Bath Your Pets Regularly – Wash your pets with an anti-dander shampoo. Dogs require a bath at least once a month, while cats should be bathed at least twice a year. Birds also need to be cleaned, though their care depends greatly on the type of bird – most only require a splash of water to keep clean. Consider getting your furrier friends a haircut to cutdown on shedding – and make sure to brush them regularly.
- Clean Their Beds – Make sure that you clean the pet beds/pillows or areas where they sleep at least twice a month. These areas collect dander and hair where it is compacted and becomes difficult to get rid of. Air out and wash pillow cases, blankets and mats – and make sure that dog houses are properly maintained.
- Clean and Store Your Pet Products – Replace litter every two to four weeks, or if a foul odor is present. Always immediately clean any pet waste in the house with vinegar and water, and spray with disinfectant afterwards. Rinse off chew toys every now and then with a garden hose and let them dry before placing them back in your home. Always close and store pet food when finished. Throw away any pet food, waste, or other contaminants in outside trash bins to avoid a lingering smell.
Never worry about your pets affecting your IAQ again! If you are looking to improve your IAQ for both you and your pets, contact Action Air today. Indianapolis homeowners deserve a home with healthy, breathable air, and our IAQ services ensure you receive maximum comfort at an affordable price. Give us a call at 317-585-8981 to schedule an appointment with your trusted IAQ experts.