Posted: May 19, 2019 at 11:20am
By: Lakes Region HVAC
People in New Hampshire love their pets! More than half (52%) the households in The Granite State own a pet—which ranks the state slightly below the national average of nearly 57%, according to American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
It seems people who travel to New Hampshire also enjoy bringing their companion animal with them. How many? Enough to support 957 pet-friendly lodging choices in New Hampshire, according to BringFido.com.
If you own a seasonal home you share with family, rent through a real estate agent, or host on Airbnb, you may have wondered if you could be pet friendly without driving away guests who have allergies.
How many guests could you potentially turn away by being pet friendly? 1 in 10 people report allergic reactions to cats and dogs, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Whether you have the choice to go pet friendly and expand your rental revenue or need to amicably share a vacation home with family, here are 3 ways to make pet owners and allergy sufferers comfortable in the same vacation home.
You may think allowing dogs and not cats may be a good compromise because nearly twice as many people report allergic reactions to cats, according to the American Lung Association. However, allergies go much deeper than fur. Even cats and dogs that are called “hypoallergenic” are not 100% allergy-free, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The proteins that trigger symptoms in allergy sufferers are found in dander, skin flakes, saliva, urine, and feces, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Less fur can mean less proteins and other environmental allergens stuck in the fur, like pollen and mold spores, from covering carpets and furniture. However, an allergy sufferer can present symptoms from being licked by a cat or dog or from an unclean litter box.
There are many ways to reduce allergens on your pets, including bathing them once a week, brushing pets often (outside!), and even wiping dander off a pet’s fur with special products, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
However, pet care is in your guests’ hands so you need to focus on keeping the living space clean and allergen free.
Rip out the wall-to-wall carpeting for wood or laminate flooring, toss the shag throw rugs and lay down low-pile rugs, and avoid fabric furniture, according to The Humane Society. All pillows and blankets should be washed after pets visit.
Buy a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter if you don’t already have one. These allergen filters can clean air pollutant particles as small as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and even tobacco smoke, according to WebMD. Make sure to vacuum your vents too. Floor vents especially collect pet fur, grit, and dust.
Finally, thoroughly wipe down all hard surfaces to remove the allergy-triggering pet proteins.
Even after the pet fur and surface-bound allergens are cleaned, there are still protein allergens in the air. Cat dander can take 20 to 30 weeks to dissipate to levels found in animal-free homes, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
There are free-standing air purifiers or whole house IAQ products available, or you can invest in a complete solution with a ductless mini-split. With a HEPA filter, a mini-split can purify air in a bedroom or open-space living area. These easy-to-install units use wall-mounted air handlers and only require a 3-inch hole in an exterior wall to connect to the condenser outside. The added valued with these HVAC units is they also provide heat and humidity control to combat mold spores.
Check the air filter once a month for gritty buildup and fur. A clogged air filter can’t purify the air, and it reduces the energy-efficiency and lifespan of your mini-split.
As always with seasonal and commercial lodgings, sign up for a scheduled maintenance plan with the best nearby HVAC contractor. Not only will your equipment run at peak performance for longer, but you will save money on repair and replacement costs.
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