Pet Hair Can Be Ruff on Appliances

black cat sitting in dryer reaching out toward camera


There’s no doubt that our furry friends add heaps of joy to our lives. Pet owners handle the quirks and oddities that their companions bring with a touch of good humor. But sometimes there are little things that new pet owners, and some veteran pet owners, may not have realized. When we say that pet hair can get everywhere, we mean literally everywhere. And it can gum up even the best built machines.

You’re probably familiar with the vacuum cleaner losing suction and needing to be serviced due to excessive pet hair. That’s not the only appliance in your home that needs a little extra maintenance when there are shedding dogs and cats in the home though.


The Washer and Dryer

You probably do a little bit of maintenance on your washer and dryer anyway, and you may be familiar with cleaning out the lint trap in your dryer. But did you know your washer also has a filter that needs to be cleaned out regularly? If you’re the proud owner of a heavy shedder like the popular golden retriever, you’ll want to clean out the filter of your washing machine regularly. The more shedding your pets do, the more it gets on your clothes, and your washing machine gets the first go at cleaning all that out.

If you completely neglect this simple task, then a quick wash out could turn into an archeological excavation after the machine stops working entirely. On the plus side, it doesn’t need to be done as often as your dryer lint.


The HVAC System

Your HVAC system refers to the appliances that heat and cool your home. In North America, this is usually an air conditioner and a furnace combo. All HVAC systems have a ventilating system where warm or cool air is delivered via ductwork to different rooms in the house. And because air is traveling through an open system, this means there are areas where pet hair can be introduced. A good filter will stop the pet hair from reaching the components of your system, but filters do wear out over time. If all you have is a beagle or a cat, a quality filter should last about three months. But the more pets you have and the more shedding that occurs, the more important it is to check the filters and replace them regularly. It’s so important that some HVAC companies even recommend reducing the shedding with regular grooming.


The Computer and TV

Pet hair drifts everywhere, as many pet owners know. Another common place to find a build-up of pet hair or dander is across your television or inside of your computer, mouse, and keyboard. While it may be annoying to have cat hair scattered across your televiosn while watching a movie, it does not tend to be as damaging as large amounts of pet hair inside of your computer, which can slow processing or cause an increase in heat without the ability to vent it safely. Vacuum regularly around your computer and other electronics and dust with a soft cloth (never spray electronics directly with cleaner). You can also use canned air to spray hair away from your keyboard and the bottom of your mouse. For more detail on how to clean your electronics check out this article from the Spruce.


Pet Hair under the Fridge

This is one of the worst places to deal with pet hair. Fridges are heavy and the items inside are not always perfectly sealed. Moving them around can be a hassle. But if you have ever moved one aside you may have noticed that pet hair clinging to the metal under the fridge or up against the wall. The problem occurs if the pet hair becomes so dense that it clogs up the refrigerator’s condenser coils. When this happens, the fridge stops cooling the way it was designed to. Fortunately, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a thin attachment to get into most hard-to-reach places, including around the fridge. If the coils are already clogged, there is a special brush for refrigerator coils you can use. On the plus side, this is not something that takes too long or has to be done too frequently in most situations.


Although it seems like a lot, the truth is that pet hair just accelerates the regular maintenance we should all be doing on our homes anyway. Instead of vacuuming once every two weeks, we might have to do it every Saturday. Instead of changing the filter once every three months, it might be every other month now. And that is okay, because our walking fluff balls are worth it.

Besides regular home mainentance, there are a few things you can do to minimize the amount of hair tumbleweeds blowing around your house before they get caught in various appliances. By regularly grooming your pets you can often reduce the amount that they shed. That may mean combing your kitty once a day or bathing your Bassett Hound monthly. Those of us with double coated dogs know that the few times a year that they “blow out their coats” feel like it’s snowing dog hair in your home. Have a specific place (probably one that is well contained) to brush your dog daily through that time period and promptly collect that hair so it doesn’t have a chance to travel. You could even put that excess hair outside; birds love to line their nests with animal hair for warmth!

If you notice that your pet is shedding escessively it may be a sign of stress, poor nutrition, or a medical issue. If your pet’s shedding patterns change, you may need to consider a trip to your veterinarian to check for underlying conditions.


Author: Brett Elliott

Brett is writer, digital marketer, and pet lover with three dogs. Brett often writes for Home Service companies such as who helped sponsor this story.