If you have a cat allergy but you love your cat and are trying to keep it, there are things you can do to make the situation more bearable. In addition to washing your cat regularly to slough off dander, you should also pay attention to your indoor air quality and your air conditioning unit in particular. Here are some tips to consider:
1. Keep your filters clean.
Air conditioners have filters that catch dust, debris, pet dander and other irritants. However, if they are full, they cannot work correctly. Make sure that you clean or replace the filter on your AC on a regular basis. If possible, replace your filter with a HEPA filter as they are more effective at filtering allergens out of the air.
2. Clean the motors and fans on your air conditioning unit.
Ideally, you should also have an AC professional clean the motors and fans in your AC unit. These elements can also experience a buildup of cat dander, and it may slow down the functioning of your unit. Additionally, if these parts harbour pet dander, your air conditioning unit may eventually blow it through your house where it can exacerbate your allergies. Keeping these parts clean is important if you are concerned about indoor air quality.
3. Clean your ducts.
In addition to having your unit cleaned, consider having your ducts cleaned as well. If dander-filled air has blown out of your AC unit in the past, there is likely dander sitting in your ducts. A professional can remove that for you.
4. Seal your ducts.
In some cases, cleaning the ducts is not enough. You may also need to seal them. If ducts are not properly sealed, they can leak air and debris like pet dander into the spaces around the ducts. In most cases, these are the spaces between your walls or in your ceiling cavities. To prevent your ducts releasing any more dander into your walls or ceilings, you should have a professional make sure they are sealed correctly and fix them if they are not.
5. Install a split system air conditioner.
Instead of focusing on cleaning and sealing duct work, you can also opt to get rid of your ducted air conditioner. Instead, opt for a split system air conditioning installation. These systems do not have ducts to harbour allergens. They can also be used to cool rooms individually. As a result, you could keep your cat in one room without worrying about his or her dander spreading through the ducts to other rooms. For example, some allergy sufferers find it bearable to keep their cat in their living spaces but out of their bedrooms.