Pets and Your Home Air Quality

a cat sitting on a table

The indoor air quality that you and your family experience within your home is something that is entirely within your control. Still, many homeowners don’t understand how to manage the quality of the air that they are breathing and the indoor air they are exposing their loved ones to in the process.

One factor that can wreak havoc on the quality of your home’s indoor air is the introduction of a new pet. Dogs, cats, and others affect your home’s air quality by tracking in dirt, mold, dust mites, and other allergens each time they leave the home, and the hair and dander that your furry friend sheds on a daily basis acts as a clog within the HVAC system that is tasked with regulating both the temperature and air quality that flows throughout your home.

This doesn’t mean that you’ve got to put your puppy up for adoption in order to return to a high breathing standard, however. While it’s certainly true that pets affect the air quality inside your home, there are a variety of ways to tip the scales in your favor while also welcoming a new puppy, kitten, or school of fish into your living space.

Hire an HVAC technician for particularly tough jobs.


Your air conditioning system (the HVAC system unit, vents, ductwork, fan blades, and fluids) needs routine maintenance, regardless of the number or type of occupants living in the home. On average, an air conditioner will need to be replaced every fifteen to twenty years. This is because the fan unit lives outside in the rain, changing temperatures, and other vicious elements that we leverage concrete, wood, and brick to protect ourselves against. The AC unit isn’t so lucky, and it requires routine servicing and eventually a total replacement in order to continue providing our homes with the quality temperature treated and high air quality airflow that we have come to rely on as homeowners.

An HVAC system technician can address the indoor air pollution and indoor air quality concerns that you have as a result of an aging AC unit or because of internal factors such as the introduction of a family pet into the home. Pets are a part of our lives, there are more than 130 million dogs and cats (not to mention fish, birds, horses, and other pets) living in American homes as companion animals these days. That number is only going to continue growing as a surge in adoptions spurred on by the coronavirus pandemic is seeing more and more animal lovers take the plunge and adopt a new friend into their lives. With the help of an AC repair technician, great indoor air quality doesn’t have to be a desperate chore that’s doomed to fail.

Replace filters often for the best results.


Most homeowners know that the air filters living throughout the home require routine replacing. For those with pets at home, however, this schedule must be bumped into overdrive. While the average filter might last four to six weeks, a homeowner with air quality issues as a result of pet hair and other allergy-inducing visitors that your pets bring into the home might want to consider a two to four-week interval for swapping out air filters.

Pollen and other allergy-causing materials come into the home far more readily on the backs of a dog just in from the park or a cat that’s spent his afternoon sitting outside in the sun. Combatting these intruders takes a bumped-up filter change and the use of air purifier devices that can capture and remove pollen, pet dander, and other irritants from the air.

Improving indoor air quality simply requires a plan. Make the most of your enjoy time spent with your pet and the air that you breathe.

Ebonie Barden works across OI's platforms and deparments, developing content that reflects our readers' inquiries and needs in order to best engage and serve our diverse audiences on the topics that matter.

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