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  1. #1
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    Cat hair and dander

    We had a brand new HVAC system installed about 2 months ago. Included Heating, cooling, all new ductwork, new vents, etc. The kitchen and baths never had vents at all and they were added as well.

    We have two cats and I'm allergic, so filtering out the cat hair and dander was priority #1. The system we were advised would be best has a 4" filter (Merv 11 is currently installed.) Should that be enough to filter the cat hair and dander?

    The reason I ask is, since the install, our kitchen appliances are just covered in cat hair and dust! I have to clean the surfaces every 3-4 days. Presumably, this is the same situation throughout the house, but the black stainless appliances show everything. This is a brand new vent location, so I can't really say "this never happened before."

    I know no system would be perfect and a little dust is to be expected, but the volume of cat hair is truly horrifying....

    But, before I call the HVAC system and just blindly believe whatever they say is "normal", I'd like to get other opinions...

    thanks

  2. #2
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    If you have serious allergy problems an electronic air cleaner or some kind of HEPA system would have been the better option MERV 11 is on the low end for allergy issues but it will trap cat hair no problem as long as the hair makes it to the filter.

  3. #3
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    Vancouver, B.C.
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    Cat hair and dander

    Quote Originally Posted by Sooty View Post
    If you have serious allergy problems an electronic air cleaner or some kind of HEPA system would have been the better option MERV 11 is on the low end for allergy issues but it will trap cat hair no problem as long as the hair makes it to the filter.
    That really is the key. Getting the hair to go to the system. If it goes in front of the vent first then it will blow the hair around the house. If the hair makes it to he return air first then it will get sucked up and caught by he filter.

    The filter is really there to protect the equipment from damage. It will help clean particles from the air but it is limited as to how quickly it can collect those particles to. The furnace shouldn’t be expected to be a replacement for constant vacuuming and sweeping, and grooming of the animals. A higher efficiency filter will help the furnace deliver a better quality supply air but that air is always going to be mixed back in with the room air and it takes quite a while to complete an air exchange The animals are mobile and constantly shedding. A furnace that is stationary can’t keep up to that. The hair will always be there. You can try running your fan continuously and see if that helps. They may be able to lower the fan speed a bit to reduce the velocity of the air through the vents. There are limits as to how low this can go so this may bot be an option. I would also suggest you have a majority if not all vents open and unblocked.

    It’s probably too late now but if you were to have your supply vents on the ceiling then I doubt it would blow the hair around quite so much. That’s probably not an option for you now at this point bless your house is one of the ones with winter/summer duct selections.




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  4. #4
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    Sep 2002
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    You realize cats jump all over counters , like all day long , and half the night ...

  5. #5
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    Oct 2011
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    You're allergic to cats but choose to keep them?
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    You're allergic to cats but choose to keep them?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Snapperhead View Post
    You realize cats jump all over counters , like all day long , and half the night ...
    Actually, ours don't - they're too old and fat 😂


    You're allergic to cats but choose to keep them?
    I'm stuck with the cats - long story and, yes, way less than ideal. 😟


    Getting the hair to go to the system. If it goes in front of the vent first then it will blow the hair around the house. If the hair makes it to he return air first then it will get sucked up and caught by he filter.
    All our vents are on the ceiling, so, not sure cat hair is getting in front of the vent to just blow around - especially in the kitchen where there are no soft surfaces for it to cling to. But, I hear what you're saying. The returns are near the floor, so the cat hair is getting into the system - and it sounds like the filtering we were offered was not as ideal as it was suggested...

    thanks everyone, for the input.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatguy View Post
    That really is the key. Getting the hair to go to the system. If it goes in front of the vent first then it will blow the hair around the house. If the hair makes it to he return air first then it will get sucked up and caught by he filter.

    The filter is really there to protect the equipment from damage. It will help clean particles from the air but it is limited as to how quickly it can collect those particles to. The furnace shouldn’t be expected to be a replacement for constant vacuuming and sweeping, and grooming of the animals. A higher efficiency filter will help the furnace deliver a better quality supply air but that air is always going to be mixed back in with the room air and it takes quite a while to complete an air exchange The animals are mobile and constantly shedding. A furnace that is stationary can’t keep up to that. The hair will always be there. You can try running your fan continuously and see if that helps. They may be able to lower the fan speed a bit to reduce the velocity of the air through the vents. There are limits as to how low this can go so this may bot be an option. I would also suggest you have a majority if not all vents open and unblocked.

    It’s probably too late now but if you were to have your supply vents on the ceiling then I doubt it would blow the hair around quite so much. That’s probably not an option for you now at this point bless your house is one of the ones with winter/summer duct selections.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Good answer. Most particulate settles to the floor before making to the air handler filter. Any movement through the home stirs up the dust. The air currents in the move the dust until is settles on horizontal surfaces again. Much of the dust in home is brought in on clothes and through open windows/doors. Also strong wind loads up the interior of the home.
    The cleanest home I ever investigated was where the occupants thoroughly vacuumed the areas of the home occupied by the cats everyday with a high quality hepa filtered vacuum cleaner.
    The most common allergen is dust mite fecal material. Mold produced VOCs are nest. I would incorporate filtered fresh air ventilation at the suggest rates of ASHRAE, an air change in 3-4 hours. Also critical is maintain <50%RH throughout the home to control dust mites and mold growth.
    To avoid mold in the a/c system, operate the blower on low 24/7 during the cooling season which will dry out the damp spots in the a/c. In green grass climates, it is usually necessary to add supplemental dehumidification to maintain <50%RH during evenings and rainy days. Monitor the %RH on all levels to judge the need for supplemental dehumidification. A small whole house dehumidifier is a way to provide fresh air and maintaining 50%RH during all seasons of the year is green grass climates. Check out the Ultra-Air whole house dehumidifier with the fresh air options. It includes a Merv 13 air filter.
    Keep us posted on what happens as you resolve this problem.
    Regards Teddy Bear
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  9. #9
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    Dec 2006
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    Vancouver, B.C.
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    Cat hair and dander

    I didn’t realize your vents were mounted on the ceiling. I originally assumed they were floor mounted which can be a nightmare for blowing settled dust back into the air. No harm, most of my previous post still applies. Ceiling mounted vents can have their drawbacks too so you are not in the clear completely but for control of cat hair I think you are better off.

    If you currently have vents blowing air at your appliances try directing the air away from those appliances. The air exiting the vents may be clean but following Bernoulli's Principal it will pull in a vortex of room air with it and that includes dust and hair floating around. It is that dust and hair that gets blown onto the appliances at an increased rate that causes them to accumulate dust quicker than gravity alone. It can make a big difference in some cases.

    When is the last time you checked your filter? Are there any areas that allow air to bypass the filter at all?


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    Last edited by thatguy; 04-10-2019 at 03:55 AM. Reason: Added some notes and info...
    Quickly, I must hurry, for there go my people and I am their leader!

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