To many, pets are more than just animals, they’re family. But what happens when you, or someone in your human family, develops an allergy to the furry companion? For extreme reactions, we recommend taking big steps. However, if it’s a small reaction, there are a few things you can do to minimize the allergy. Pet dander can have a negative impact on some allergy sufferers, read on to learn how to keep the coughing, sneezing, and itching at bay.
What Causes an Allergic Reaction to Pet Dander?
This can be a complex question to answer. Therefore, we’ll start at the beginning; what is an allergic reaction? To put it plainly, an allergic reaction is your immune system reacting to a particle that could potentially harm you.
When your body is having an allergic reaction, the immune system will release antibodies to stop whatever foreign particle is in your system. As a response, your cells will release a histamine, which can cause the blood vessels to expand and trigger any allergy symptoms.
When someone has a reaction to pet dander it means someone’s immune system is overly-sensitive to the skin particles pets shed. Contrary to popular belief, dander does not come from pet hair. Just as humans are constantly shedding skin cells, so are our pets. While pet hair can trap dander and help spread the allergen around your home, it does not cause the allergic reaction itself.
What Are the Symptoms?
As we mentioned above, pet allergies can cause the body to trigger an allergic reaction. Allergies can present themselves differently depending on your immune system and severity of the allergic reaction. Some people may have an asthma attack while others will just experience very low-level congestion.
Some symptoms of allergies from pet dander include:
- Asthma attacks
- Sneezing or coughing
- Itchy, red, watery, or irritated eyes
- Runny nose
- Itchy throat or roof of the mouth
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pressure or pain
How Can I Protect My Family?
Don’t worry if you have mild reactions to your pet’s dander. There are preventative measures you can take to ensure clean and healthy home.
The first thing you need to do is commit to a cleaning schedule. At a minimum, vacuum every day and make sure no pet hair or dust accumulates on baseboards, furniture, or in any corners of your home. Choose low-pile carpets and have them frequently cleaned.
Next, try to keep your pet out of your bedroom. Having an entire pet-free room can give the allergy sufferer some respite. Wash or groom your pet outside to keep that dander out of the house. Also, make sure the allergy sufferer frequently changes and washes their clothing.
What’s HVAC Got to Do with It?
The thing about pet dander is that it’s incredibly small. At Service Champions, we frequently talk about the importance of HVAC filters. This is a prime example of a filter making a huge difference. A filter with a high MERV (Minimum Efficient Reporting Value) rating can effectively remove animal dander from your indoor air. However, a filter with a low MERV rating is unable to capture those particles, meaning they’ll continue to circulate through your home.
To go a step beyond air filters, we recommend investing in an air scrubber. This UV device is an add-on to your existing HVAC system. It’s usually placed directly in your ductwork just after the air filter. The air scrubber acts as the ultimate line of defense against dust, dander, and viral air contaminates. As air passes by the scrubber, UV rays essentially “zap” contaminates, making them too heavy to move through the atmosphere and keeping them out of your air supply.
And finally, the best solution to dealing with pet dander is to schedule routine maintenance for your HVAC system. During a furnace or AC tune-up, our technicians will take apart and clean every part of your unit. They’ll make sure no dust or dander is left in your system and will also evaluate the state of your ductwork. Catch small problems before they become big by conducting routine maintenance.
Want to Keep your Pet Dander Allergies at Bay? Call Service Champions
At Service Champions, we believe pets are family. Because of this, our techs are trained to come up with the most innovative solutions to your pet dander allergy problems. We are the only Diamond Certified HVAC and plumbing company in Southern California. If you live in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, or San Bernardino county, schedule an appointment today. Simply call the number at the top of the screen or click here to book online.
If you’re looking for an easy way to keep up with your HVAC system maintenance, consider our CHAMP-Rewards which include discounts on repairs, plumbing services, products.”