Pet dander can accumulate in air ducts
For the most part, pets are good for your health. They can help you lower your blood pressure and stave off depression. But if someone in your household has allergies, pet dander needs to be managed. Frequent vacuuming and changing your furnace filters are two essential step, but you may need to periodically have your air ducts cleaned as well.
Kirk Nygaard, founder of o2Pure Air Duct Cleaning, says the most common contaminants he finds in ducts are "construction debris, dust, dog and cat food, kitty litter and lots of toys." The Seattle air duct cleaner said many older homes in his service area were built on pier-and-beam foundations with the ducts installed beneath the subfloor. Larger items often find their way into the ducts via the floor vents. If you can see those items when you look into your ducts, just imagine the contaminants you can't see.
If you find pet food in the ducts, chances of pet contaminants, such as dead flakes of skin, traces of pet saliva and urine have found their way into your ducts. Every time the air conditioner or heater turns on, those contaminants are blown from the ducts and back out into your home, causing anyone with pet allergies to begin to suffer from symptoms, such as sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose. Thoroughly cleaning your home to remove contaminants from all areas can reduce the allergy symptoms caused by pets.
Kirk suggests that cleaning your air ducts every two to four years and changing your air filters every two and half months. Choose a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) filter with a valve of 10 or higher to capture larger pet debris particulate before it finds its way to your ducts.