What Can Animal Hair Do to My AC Filter?

Pets are an important part of many people’s lives. In fact, pets are usually considered part of the family, and we want to keep them well-cared for.

Regrettably, pet hair can adversely affect your air conditioning system. With proper maintenance, you’ll help preserve steady airflow and protect your cooling system from harm.

How Does an AC Filter Work, and Why is It So Important?

A filter is an important part of any forced-air HVAC system. It captures airborne particles, such as dust, pollen and pet hair, preventing these contaminants from circulating in your home. Various designs can be used effectively, including fiberglass, pleated and electrostatic. A filter’s effectiveness depends on its minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which ranges from 1 to 20, with higher ratings corresponding to stronger filtration.

The primary purpose of an AC filter is to protect the evaporator coil, blower motor and other important parts from dirt and debris that could cause damage. An efficient enough filter also improves indoor air quality by reducing particulates in the air, which can cause allergies, asthma attacks and other breathing problems.

How Does Pet Hair Affect the Air Filter of My HVAC System?

When pets shed, their hair becomes airborne and can eventually get into the HVAC system through the return air ducts. If there isn’t a filter in place, pet hair collects inside the evaporator coil, blower motor, fan blades and other components, potentially stopping them from working efficiently. Hair can also become clogged with moisture found in the cooling system, creating a breeding ground for mold and bacteria that can generate foul odors and lower indoor air quality.

But even if you have an air filter installed, pet hair isn’t harmless. When return airflow draws it toward the HVAC system, the filter captures the hair as it passes, keeping it from landing on vulnerable cooling components. However, this clogs the filter more quickly than usual, decreasing airflow and increasing strain on the HVAC system. Without maintenance, you may experience higher energy bills and more frequent breakdowns.

What About Animal Dander?

Pet dander, made up of tiny skin flakes and saliva particles, is a common allergen that causes respiratory problems in people with allergies or asthma. You need a filter with a high MERV rating to effectively capture and remove dander, which is much smaller than pet hair.

How to Care for Your AC System and Filter with Pets

Maintaining an efficient, properly functioning air conditioner is certainly possible, even with pets living in your home. Here’s how:

  • Change the filter regularly: Depending on the type of filter and how many pets you have, you may need a new filter every 30 to 90 days. Take a look at the filter each month and replace it when a clog appears.
  • Keep ventilation clear: Pet hair can accumulate on air registers and grilles, limiting circulation. You can clean them with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner as often as needed. Then, call a professional for cleaning out the collected pet hair, dander and dust inside your ductwork every few years.
  • Groom your pets: Regular brushing and bathing is a great strategy for reducing pet hair. Make sure to handle brushing outside and sweep the area after you’ve finished to keep any hair from getting back inside.
  • Consistently vacuum and dust: While it affects your HVAC system, pet hair can be found all throughout your home. A lot of it settles on surfaces or under furniture. Keep up a regular cleaning routine that includes vacuuming, sweeping, dusting and laundering your pet’s bedding.
  • Don’t let debris collect near the outdoor unit: Central air conditioning systems come with an outdoor unit mounted to a concrete slab just outside the home. Keep the area around this unit free of debris, like pet hair, grass clippings, dead leaves, and similar materials. This ensures effective heat transfer for more efficient operation.
  • Keep up with routine AC maintenance: Ideally, your local HVAC professional will inspect and maintain your air conditioning system every year, preferably in the spring. They’ll know how to find and resolve any small issues, clean key components and share advice on keeping your cooling system running efficiently with pets.

Get in Touch with for Indoor Air Quality Services

When you’re tired of excess pet hair affecting your HVAC system and indoor air quality, turn to for expert advice and solutions. We offer a range of indoor air quality products to help keep pet hair and dander at bay, like high-efficiency air filtration, whole-house ventilation and air duct cleaning. We’ll do our best to maintain your HVAC system’s performance and energy efficiency. You can rest easy with the knowledge that everything we do is backed by a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To request indoor air quality services in North America, please contact today.

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >
Offer

$50 OFF ANY REPAIR

  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!
print
Offer

MAKE NO PAYMENTS FOR 30 DAYS!

  • Upgrade to Worry-Free Comfort with the Advantage Program and make NO payments for 30 days!
print

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.