Heating Your Home or Business — THE CHOICE SHOULD BE YOURS — Click here to read more.

HVAC Care Tips For Pet Owners

managing pet fur massachusettsPets are members of the family – but they can also create unique complications for your heating and cooling equipment. Here are three potential problems posed by your pet – and what you can do to solve them.

Problem 1: Shedding – Pet fur can quickly block HVAC air filters, causing your cooling and heating system to overwork – which means you’ll pay more to heat and cool your home and put your equipment at a greater risk of breakdown.


  • Vacuum regularly using a HEPA-filter vacuum, and mop tile and hardwood floors weekly.
  • Check your HVAC air filter every few weeks, cleaning or replacing it (depending on the model) when needed.
  • Get professional maintenance for your heating and cooling equipment every year.
  • If you have had your pet for five years or more, consider getting a professional duct cleaning, especially if they are prone to shedding.

Problem 2: Dander accumulation – Dander is dry, dead skin that falls off your pet, and many people are highly allergic to it. A forced air system (one with vents rather than baseboards or radiators) will spread dander and other allergens throughout your home, degrading the quality of your indoor air.


  • Bathe your pet regularly using dander-reducing shampoo.
  • Consider having your ducts professionally cleaned to eliminate accumulated dander.
  • If your HVAC system can accommodate it, consider upgrading your filter to one with a MERV rating of 10 or more; these filters are best for removing small airborne allergens. Contact us to learn more.

Problem 3: Pet door drafts – Many owners install a special door for their pets. Like any other opening in your building envelope, a pet door can produce air leaks.


  • Make sure your pet door (and all your exterior doors and windows) are properly installed to ensure a tight seal when your pet comes and goes.
  • Use weather sealing to prevent drafts around the pet door.

Problem 3: Territory marking – If one of the areas your pet “marks” is your outdoor air conditioning unit, the urine can degrade the coils and eventually cause a refrigerant leak.


  • Consider installing a fence around your condenser if your pet does his business there- (just make sure the fence does not block airflow to your condenser).

Keep your pets happy and your family breathing easier with regular heating and cooling maintenance in southeastern MA from the pros at W.H. Riley & Son. Contact us today to learn more!