Many people enjoy having pets in their home and love and treat them as part of the family. Unfortunately, though, this can also lead to discomfort and health problems for those of us that sometimes suffer allergic reactions to pets, but still want to keep them in the house.
There is a commonly held misconception that it is the fur of pets that causes or aggravates allergies, when actually it is dead skin cells shed by pets that are usually the culprit. This material is often informally known as dander, and is similar to dandruff in humans.
Fortunately, there are several ways to manage the dander problem and allow pets and humans to live in the same space with less risk of triggering allergic reactions. A well-maintained heating and air conditioning system plays an important role in controlling dander buildup in the home by removing it from the air.
Not only do heating and air conditioning systems warm and cool homes, but they also help to purify the air by forcing it through filters as part of the ventilation process. For this process to work properly, it is vital that the filters are regularly replaced. A blocked filter will not filter the air properly and simply blow the dander it should have trapped back into the air inside the home. A qualified and licensed heating and air technician should check the system regularly and clean or replace any blocked filters.
It is also important to bathe/wash pets regularly, as this helps to remove dander from their skin. Pets should also be towel dried as much as possible to limit how much they need to shake to get dry. If possible, let the pet dry off in a clean area away from the main living areas of the home. Less dander in the air means the filters in the heating and air conditioning system will clog up slower and the system will work more efficiently.