Reducing Pet Dander (And Breathing Easier) At Home
Everybody loves their pets. But cleaning after them? Not so much. But, it’s still essential – not just for keeping your house tidy, but also for improving your indoor air quality. Reducing pet dander can help you breathe a lot easier at home.
Your furry friends may brighten your day — but they can also harm the air you breathe at home.
And, since we spend around 90 percent of our time indoors nowadays, it’s more important than ever to keep the air clean.
The problem is, the air inside is often more polluted than outside your home. And, when you have pets, it can get even worse.
But, the good news is that it’s easier than you may think to control. And, that’s what we’re focusing on in this post.
We’ll look at how pets and their dander affect the air you breathe. And, we’ll walk you through four easy ways to improve your air quality.
How Does Pet Dander Affect Indoor Air Quality?
Pet dander is the tiny pieces of skin that flake off your pet as they shed. These specs are tiny, and as a result, tend to hang in the air. They also stick around for a long time. And, in the winter, when you keep the windows closed all the time, it builds up significantly.
You won’t see it, but anyone who’s allergic to it will know it’s there.
Their allergy symptoms get triggered when they breathe in these contaminants. They’ll suffer from itchy watery eyes, runny noses, coughing, and more.
And, if enough builds up, even people who aren’t allergic will start noticing some symptoms.
What makes this especially bad in the winter is that people keep their windows closed and don’t go out as much. So, the dander won’t naturally circulate out of the house. And, that means you’re exposed to it for even longer periods.
That’s why it’s especially important to improve your indoor air quality during the colder months.
Reduce Pet Dander in Your Home
- Get On a Cleaning Schedule
- Upgrade Your Air Filters
- Keep Pets Away From Vents
- Get a Whole-Home Air Purifier
Let’s look closer at each of these.
Get On a Cleaning Schedule
Your first step is reducing the amount of dander in your home. If you’re not already, get on a regular, consistent cleaning schedule. This prevents a lot of these particles from building up in the first place.
Your routine should include brushing, grooming, and cleaning your pets. After that, dust, sweep, and vacuum weekly. And, scrub any wood or linoleum floors. Finally, wash all your linens every week.
To make this all manageable, some people break these up into weekly and daily chores. Or, you can break them up over a few days.
Upgrade Your Air Filters
Your air filters play a crucial role in keeping your air clean. And, you can use them to help with the pet dander in your house.
Most homes need a new, regular filter every three months. For homes with pets, however, you need a little more.
To make the most of your air filter, look for ones specifically made for pets and allergens. They’ll trap smaller particles. Some use electricity or charcoal-based elements to attract more particles and eliminate odors, too.
At the same time, you need to change your filter more often than in homes without animals in them.
The general rule is to put in a new screen every three months. But, fur and dander clog them faster. So, start by swapping yours out every two months. If you’ve got more than one pet, consider even more often.
Keep Pets Away From Vents
Next, do your best to keep pets away from vents. This is tough to do — they have minds of their own, after all. But, doing this can help improve your indoor air quality.
The problem is that dander quickly makes its way through the vents into the ductwork. If it’s a return vent, then there’s a chance the system will draw it in enough to reach the filter.
But, if it’s one of the many vents that blow the air into the room, this won’t happen.
Instead, the forced air will circulate the dander and fur. Meanwhile, you’ll still end up with some of it building up inside the vents.
Eventually, you’ll need to pay for duct cleaning. Otherwise, you’ll get another blast of contaminants every time the heat kicks on.
An easy way to keep pets away from the vents keeping their toys away from those areas.
Now, you don’t want to block them off the system. If you place any objects or furniture within 18 inches of a vent, then the system can’t circulate the air properly.
Instead, make sure toys, and litter boxes aren’t near them. This way, your dogs and cats won’t spend as much time near them.
Get a Whole-Home Air Purifier
A whole-home purifier will drastically reduce the amount of dander in your home. And, the right one can get rid of mold, germs, and bacteria, too. It’s a significant investment, but your indoor air quality will be exceptional.
At Broadley’s, we recommend the Reme Halo. It’s an add-on to your HVAC system that treats the entire house without you having to do anything.
The Halo works by imitating the way the sun cleans the air out in nature. It’s a bit of a technical process, but the long and short of it is that the purifier uses a combination of ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide to do the job.
Instead of waiting for particles to reach the system like your air filter, it actively attracts those contaminants and gets rid of them.
This way, those airborne pollutants aren’t making their way through the air and into your lungs. Instead, the Halo keeps the air clean all the time.
If you want to learn more about whole-home air purifiers, or other ways you can use your HVAC system to improve your indoor air quality, give Broadley’s a call today. We’ll help you keep your home healthy for humans and pets.