If you own pets, then your HVAC system needs more TLC than HVAC systems in houses without pets. This is because the presence of pets is likely to affect your HVAC's operations in several ways.
How They Affect Your HVAC
Accelerated Filter Clogging
Pets contribute to accelerated filter clogging by shedding hair or fur and dander; some pets also track outdoor dirt indoors. Some of this debris will eventually find its way into the HVAC filter and clog it, and clogged filters reduce your HVAC's efficiency.
Damage to the External Unit
If you have a big pet such as a dog, then you should also know that they can damage your outdoor HVAC unit. For example, dogs are notorious for marking their territory by peeing on things, and one of these things can be your condensing unit that sits by the house. Unfortunately, dog pee is acidic and will, over time, damage the delicate fins of the condenser.
Energy Inefficiency Due To Draft
Many pet owners have a pet door at the back that the dog can use to get in and out of the house even when nobody is at home. This can be beneficial to the pet, but it is not kind on your heating and cooling energy efficiency. This is because the pet door allows draft into the house which interferes with your indoor air quality and temperature.
What You Can Do
Fortunately, you don't have to resign yourself to a sub-performing HVAC system just because you have a pet. Here are a few measures you can take to limit their effect on your HVAC:
Clean the Pet Regularly
Cleaning and brushing the pet regularly will help you limit the amount of hair and dander they produce. You also need to clean and dust the house regularly to get rid of pet debris. This will help your filters stay clean for a longer time and help you maintain HVAC energy efficiency.
Fence the Outdoor Unit
As for the condenser unit, the best thing you can do is to limit your pet's access to it by fencing it off. Just make sure that the fence is a few feet away from the unit so that it can still get efficient air circulation it needs for operation.
Adjust the Temperature Down When Leaving
Lastly, it also helps to turn down the temperature when nobody except the pet is at home. This will reduce the effect of the draft on your HVAC efficiency, but your pet will still be comfortable. Don't forget that pets stay comfortable in wider temperature ranges than people.
Contact local AC services for more help.