How Pets Can Damage Your HVAC System and What to Do So They Won’t
By the time you are bringing a pet home, you have already done your research. How will you groom him? Is your furniture well covered? Where will he sleep? Do you have a yard for him to run around? These are just some of the questions you have to answer before buying or adopting a cat or dog. But, even as you anticipate the spills and scratches, you have to think about the impact of dog hair in air conditioning. This post answers these key questions: how do pets affect HVAC, and how do I protect my air conditioner from animals? So, whether you are thinking about air conditioner installation and repair before getting a pet or you already have one – this article answers all the questions.
Pets Affect HVAC Systems in Different Ways
Pet Fur, Shred And Dander Cause Damage to Your AC
Cleaning dog or cat hair on clothes, floor and furniture is a common practice if you are a pet owner. The hair is unsightly and can be the cause of allergies in your home. Did you know that dog hair can get in your air conditioning and cause damages?
Finding dog hair in air conditioning is common if you own pets. This is because the AC works by sucking in air through an intake vent, cooling it and circulating it back into the house through ducts. As air is being sucked into the AC, some of the shed hair gets sucked up. This hair ends up clogging the filters. A clogged filter leads to poor airflow and affects the efficiency of the air conditioning system. Your AC has to work harder to suck in air when the filters are clogged. This causes the motors and fans to overwork and break down. In addition, if the filters are not cleaned or replaced on time, they cause major AC maintenance problems. Therefore, if you own pets, you have to get your filters checked regularly.
Pet Urine Can Be a Big Problem For HVAC System
The second issue you have to deal with is the effect of pet urine. Exposure to urine can corrode the condensing coil. To understand this issue, you need to understand how the AC works. The outdoor compressor cools the refrigerant from the indoor unit. This is what helps it absorb more heat from the house. To improve efficiency, the compressor has metal fins that increase the coil’s surface area. This enables it to discharge heat quickly.
When the metal fins are exposed to pet urine, they will start to corrode. At first, the unit will be forced to work harder to compensate for the corroded fins. This will cause your bills to go up. As the corrosion advances, the coil will start leaking, and you will be forced to replace the whole outdoor unit.
While you never think about where your pet does their business, you have to keep the outdoor compressor protected to avoid damages from pet urine. Start by fencing the compressor with metal or wooden panels. Next, go with latticed or slatted panels for the sides of the unit. For units that are visible from the street, you may require permission from either the civic association or the homeowner before fencing it. Always know the rules and regulations prior to building a fence.
Another option is growing plants to create a living fence around the compressor. Make sure there is adequate room for the unit to breathe. Keep in mind that bushes that are growing too close to the unit can choke it and reduce airflow. You, therefore, need plants that will not get closer than 3 to 5 feet from the unit once they are grown. You also don’t want plants that will attract wildlife like rabbits and deer. Compact plant species are the best because they will keep even the most unwavering dog away.
Using repellent sprays or leasing your pet can help. You can also train your dog to do its business elsewhere.
Dirt Brought From Outside of Your Home Is Another Reason Why Your HVAC System Might Not Work Properly
It is a great idea to let your pooch dig freely in the yard or have him as a jogging partner. Exercise is good for his overall well-being. However, dogs will carry a lot of dirt in their feet and fur and bring it into your home. As the air conditioning unit works, it will suck in this dirt. While it may not happen immediately, eventually, the dirt in the air will clog up the filters.
Be Aware of Chewing HVAC Wires Issue
Both puppies and kittens love to chew on wires. If your HVAC unit has any exposed wires, you need to take the necessary steps to get them covered. The last thing you want is for your HVAC to stop working because your pet chewed on and damaged wires. You also don’t want your pet to be electrocuted, do you?
How To Protect Your HVAC Systems From Your Pets
Traps and Repellents Will Keep Your Pets Away
Whether you leave food around or not, animals will still find their way on your property. One of the methods you can use to keep animals away is to use traps and repellents. The good thing is there are affordable traps you can use to catch a wide range of animals. Some traps will capture animals without harming them. Once they are trapped, you can release them back into the wild or turn them over to the animal rescue groups. If you wish not to deal with them directly, repellents will keep them away.
Keeping the Yard Clean Will Save You Not Only Money But Also Energy and Possibly Your Pets
It is important to keep up with yard maintenance all year. This is because skimping on yard maintenance will end up costing you more in energy bills, medical bills and AC repair costs. The worst thing about tall grass and untrimmed trees is that they encourage animals to hide in your yard. This includes predators that may harm your pets. The grass needs to be short, and there should be no debris lying on your lawn. The area around your air conditioning unit must also be clean and clear. If you don’t have the time to handle yard maintenance, you can always work with a landscaper and gardener. Hiring a gardener is cheaper than dealing with AC problems.
Make Sure the Air Ducts Are Clean
Another important thing you must do is make sure the air ducts are clear. Check the ducts regularly to ensure critters do not block them. If critters get in the ducts, they can cause a lot of problems, including damage to various components of your air conditioning system. There is also the risk of your pet trying to chase after critters inside the ducts. While you should let the HVAC technician inspect, maintain and clean your equipment, it doesn’t hurt to ensure there are no critters or debris in your ducts now and then.
Have you recently learnt that animals damaged your air conditioning unit? If yes, you need the help of a professional to assess the extent of damage to your HVAC. At AirMakers, we take pride in being the go-to service provider in all matters of HVAC installation, repair, cleaning and maintenance. We are committed to ensuring you never go a day without air conditioning. Call us now to make an appointment.