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HVAC MaintenanceMarch 7, 2022Pets — and Their Effect on Your Home Air Quality

Pets are treasured “family members” for many of us, but the smells and dander they may create — not to mention the occasional killed prey indoor/outdoor pets can bring home as “gifts” — can negatively affect your home’s air quality. Plus, it’s not uncommon for pet hair to clog your home’s AC filters, making them less effective, especially during shedding season.

Fortunately, there are solutions to these air quality and AC functionality problems that can be caused by your four-legged family member, says Millian Aire Director of Maintenance Charles Arnao. Millian Aire offers three primary methods to control your pet’s effect on home air quality:

Filtration

An effective filter is the first line of defense. Options include:

  • One-inch pleated air filter
    Filters need a certain amount of density to be effective. As a rule of thumb, Arnao explains, if you hold an air filter up to the light and can see through it, it’s probably not catching the airborne particles it should. Another simple method to gauge a filter’s effectiveness is to pour a little salt and pepper on it; if the particles fall through, so, too, will dust, mites and other contaminants continue to circulate in your air at home. Choose a filter that stands up to these easy tests.
  • Four to five-inch pleated air filter
    Similar in style to the typical one-inch cardboard-framed HVAC filters, but thicker, these catch more debris, but may also restrict your HVAC system’s air flow, causing it to work harder. Both of these pleated filters are fairly easy to replace by a homeowner, without having to engage a technician.
  • Electronic Air Cleaner (EAC)
    Millian Aire offers two brands of EACs, one by Trane and another by SolaceAir. Both are more expensive than pleated, cardboard filters, but they are also much more effective at removing particulate matter from circulation in the air of your home, says Arnao. Because they include an electrical component, EACs require installation by a trained technician.

UV Light Air Purifiers

Ultraviolet, or UV, light purifiers are designed to damage the DNA of contaminants and pollutants in the air, ensuring, with extended exposure, the cells die, and their harmful effects are no longer a threat in your home. The UV device most often installed by Millian Aire is manufactured by SolaceAir. It is connected to your home’s HVAC where the duct system begins (which is why it is also known as an In-Duct UVC system).

These devices are effective at killing unwanted plant and microscopic life, says Arnao, including a range of undesired growth such as mold, mildew, bacteria, viruses, and more.

UV purifiers are powered by a specific type of ultraviolet light called UV-C, which has a short wavelength that is the most effective for germicidal control. These devices will require occasional bulb replacement (every two years on average), which should be done by an HVAC technician to ensure they are installed safely. The light fixture’s ballast comes with a lifetime warranty.

Oxidizer

Another tool popular with pet owners is an oxidizer, which attacks smells and neutralizes odors. The SolaceAir model typically installed by Millian Aire is effective at not only removing pet odors, but also various fumes that can build up in a home.

Because building and energy codes have evolved to make homes more energy-efficient, homes are generally more tightly sealed than before. Thus, any gases from cleaning liquids, pesticides, and other chemicals can be trapped in the indoor air, creating not only foul odors, but possible health hazards in your home.

All of the above solutions to improve the air quality and comfort of your home can be retrofitted onto an existing system, meaning you do not have to live with the threat of poor air quality, no matter the age of your home or HVAC system. A Millian Aire technician will be happy to visit you at home, inspect your current HVAC system, and discuss the options available for you to live in a more healthy home.

Reach out to us via the link below to schedule a free audit of your home air system today!

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