Pet Dander and How It Affects Indoor Air Quality

Pet Dander Indoor Air Quality Service in Puyallup, WA

All homes are filled with a wide range of allergens, such as pollen, dust mites and mold spores. If you own almost any type of pet, then your home’s air also likely contains a high concentration of pet dander. Similar to dandruff shed by some people, dander is basically just dead skin cells. Specifically, it refers to the skin cells shed by any animal with hair, fur or feathers, including humans, dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs and other pets. Some animals, such as hypoallergenic dog breeds, shed less dander, but all animals produce at least some.

Pet dander is especially an issue for allergy sufferers or people with respiratory issues, but it can really affect anyone and lead to coughing, sneezing, runny or itchy eyes and a variety of other symptoms. Many pets also give off other allergens that can further worsen indoor air quality. For instance, both cat and dog saliva contains various allergens that stick to their fur whenever they clean themselves, and these allergens then get into the air whenever the animals shed their fur. Cat and dog urine contains numerous allergens as well. All of these different allergens mean that indoor air quality is typically far worse in homes with pets. The good news is that there are ways to minimize pet allergens and improve your home’s air quality, and here are some steps pet owners can take to do just that.

The Importance of Regular Cleaning

The fact that your home will always contain much more pet dander and other allergens makes it even more important that you are diligent about cleaning. Regularly vacuuming and mopping your floors can make a huge difference in minimizing dander and most all other household allergens. Even better is if you use a vacuum with a HEPA filter since this will trap more than 99% of all allergens. The filters found in normal vacuums typically aren’t efficient enough to trap tiny particles like dander, and most standard vacuums actually end up spreading more of the allergens through the air.

Upgrade Your Home With an Air Purification System

By far the best thing you can do to tackle pet dander and other allergens is to upgrade your HVAC system with a whole-home air purification or filtration system. There are a wide variety of different air purification and filtration systems available, all of which can be a great help in removing allergens as well as bacteria, viruses and airborne pollutants from the home.

A media filter is one of the easiest and least expensive options. Media filters are essentially just a larger, much more effective version of a standard HVAC air filter. This type of filter is installed within the existing ductwork and will work to remove a huge amount of allergens and other airborne contaminants.

Another option is an electronic air cleaner. Instead of using a physical filter, an electronic air cleaner produces charged ions that stick to pet dander and other particles as they enter the air cleaner. At the opposite end of the unit where the air flows out is a special plate that carries the opposite charge of the ions. Since positive and negative ions always attract and stick to one another, all of the charged particles stick to the plate and are thus filtered out of the air.

Whole-home air purification systems can be even more effective as they don’t just trap particles in the air flowing through the ductwork. These systems also send out charged ions that stick to any particles. The difference is that the HVAC system helps to circulate these ions throughout every room in the home. Whenever these ions come into contact with dander or other airborne particles, they immediately stick to the particle. This increases both the size and weight of the particle, which causes most of the allergens to fall out of the air. This means that you won’t have to constantly breathe in the dander, and all of the dander and other particles will also be removed every time you mop, vacuum or clean your countertops.

There are also whole-home HEPA filtration systems. These systems are typically just as effective as air purifiers and will work to remove almost all airborne allergens and pollutants from the home. Whole-home HEPA filtration systems are mounted onto the existing ductwork and use an internal fan to draw air in and pump the clean air back into the ductwork. This is important because otherwise the system would limit the effectiveness of your heating and cooling since it would greatly restrict the airflow in the ductwork.

If you’re concerned about pet dander or indoor air pollution, Puyallup Heating & Air Conditioning installs whole-home air purifiers and a range of other indoor air quality equipment. We also offer expert heating, cooling and ductwork services for customers throughout the Puyallup area. For more information on our indoor air quality services, give Puyallup Heating & Air Conditioning a call today.

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