Did you know that the average household has 1.6 dogs, 1.8 cats, and/or 2.1 birds? Pets provide us with many benefits, take petting your dog for instance. Studies show that cortisol (the stress hormone) levels lower when you pet your dog or cat.
While having lower stress levels is great – endless sneezing fits from pet dander flying around is not. One out of every 10 people are actually allergic to their pets! And even if you don’t have a specific allergy towards your pet, breathing in high amounts of pet dander every day is not good for your overall health.
In this article we will share tips on how homeowners can improve their indoor air quality and fight allergies, bacteria particles, and smelly pet odors while living with their pets.
What is pet dander and how can it affect me?
Ever wonder what all is in those thousands of specks flying around in the air that become visible when the light shines through the window just the right way? We typically refer to these particles as dust. Indoor dust is comprised of tiny particles of animal hair, pet dander, textile fibers, paper fibers, human skin cells, human hair, and food particles, to name a few. Pet dander is the microscopic protein that your pet sheds from its skin. This dander floats around and makes its home in your carpet, clothing, furniture, and even your body’s airways when you breathe in.
Pet dander can cause a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and shortness of breath. Coming into physical contact with pet dander can cause contact dermatitis, hives or triggers a person’s asthma.
How can I reduce the amount of dust and dander in my home?
Air Filters: The largest circulator of dust and dander in your home is your HVAC system. Which is why it is important to make sure you are using the right filters for your HVAC system and that you are changing them out often enough.
Air filters come with a MERV rating system which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This rates the filter’s ability to collect and remove larger particles before they get circulated back into your home. 1 is the lowest MERV rating an 14-16 is the highest. Look for a filter that has a MERV rating of 13-16 for the best allergen particle removal.
The thickness of a filter is also something to pay attention to. A media filter is 4 inches thick and will perform better than a standard one-inch filter. If you aren’t sure what air filter is best for your HVAC system, call us at 281-356-8564 for help.
Around every 90 days you should replace your air filter to help maintain good air flow and keep particles and allergens out of the air you breathe. If you have multiple pets in the home or your air conditioning unit is working harder, like in the summer, you may want to replace your filter sooner than 90 days.
Media Filters: These filters take the reduction of dust and dander to the next level. They are installed directly into your return-air ductwork. Different brands have different benefits. We’ve outlined two of our favorite below:
Air Scrubbers: These are the ultimate defense in improving your overall air quality. Check out the benefits below and dive into a detailed article here.
What's the next step?
Our goal at Country Air is to keep you comfortable and healthy in your home. Call us today and we can help go over the best indoor air quality solutions for your home or office that also fits within your budget. Estimates are always free. 281-356-8564.