We tend to think of our four-legged, furry friends as full-fledged members of the family, sometimes complete with access to the furniture and bedding! But while our animals bring us love and joy, they can also bring dust, dander and other unsavory air-born particulate into the house. These unwanted invaders could be negatively affecting the quality of the air we breathe for the worst. Here are some tips to stay healthy around pets.
- Choose an Allergy-Friendly Pet
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing an animal companion for your family. Almost all animals, cats, dogs, and birds included, create dander. Dander is comprised of dead skin cells, urine, and feces particles that are shed by the animal. These tiny, sometimes microscopic particles can get into our mucous membranes and negatively affect the immune system, which can in turn lead to allergy and inflammation.
The size of the animal will factor into how much dirt, dust, and dander it will track into the house, as is the length of coat. Most cats and dogs shed fur. In addition to being something of a nuisance, shed pet fur can also trigger allergies in many people. A hypoallergenic animal is one that grows hair instead of fur, like a poodle or golden doodle. Alternatively, some hypoallergenic animals or have very little fur to shed such as the Sphinx cat. In case someone in your family suffers from allergies to pets, a hypoallergenic animal might be the best choice. Obtain pet insurance for your new companion, just in case an emergency arises.
- Minimize Air Contamination
Regular bathing and grooming of your animals can reduce dander, lowering the workload on the air purifier in your HVAC system. Bathing, brushing, trimming and shampooing your animals will eliminate a lot of grime and dander. From there, your home’s air purifier will eradicate any contaminants that slip through. Tying a whole-house humidifier into your existing HVAC set-up maintains a specified level of moisture in the air and helps to bolster the immune system.
- Upgrade Your Air Purifier
When connected to your HVAC system, modern air purifiers use a couple of different methods to pull unwanted junk from the air. A traditional air purifier pulls the air in your house through a series of filters. These filters collect pollen and dust, that can compromise our immune system, as well as bacteria and germs that can actively make us sick. The most effective air filters utilize UV light to kill germs and bacteria. UV-light-enhanced High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters have been shown to effectively remove 99.7% of dust and allergens, while also eliminating airborne germs and bacteria.
- Servicing and Maintaining your HVAC System
Regular servicing and maintenance of your home’s HVAC system will ensure that you are breathing the best quality air possible. Changing filters, cleaning ducts, and attaching humidifiers and purifiers all work together to eliminate germs, dust, and bacteria.
To schedule a service check of your HVAC system or to learn more about purifiers and humidifiers contact Ireland Heating and Air, serving the greater Illinois area.