At this time of year, allergies can be a problem for many people. Many allergy sufferers assume that they can do little or nothing to stop their allergies from impacting their lives. What they don’t realize is that their HVAC system can be used to control indoor air quality and reduce their symptoms.
By running the HVAC system regularly and by maintaining the various parts of the system, homeowners can reduce their allergy symptoms.
- Switch to a HEPA or Pleated Air Filter
All HVAC systems use an air filter to clean the air that circulates through the home. The air filter prevents the ducts, AC, and furnace from filling with dust, which in turn can keep the system running efficiently. When the air filter is dirty, more dust can circulate around the home.
A HEPA filter can filter out finer particles from the air. HEPA filters will remove up to 99.97 percent of the particles from the air. However, HEPA filters don’t fit in all HVAC systems. Homeowners who want to use a HEPA filter but can’t fit one in their HVAC system can call an HVAC professional to retrofit the filter slot.
Those who don’t want to make major changes to their HVAC system for the sake of using a HEPA filter can use a pleated media air filter with a rating between 7 and 13. These filters have a wide surface area for catching many particles and are nearly as effective as HEPA filters.
According to the US ENERGY STAR program, the air filter needs to be changed every three months. Homeowners can choose to replace the air filter more often, especially if they suffer from allergies. Check the filter on a regular basis and replace it when it is dirty.
- Inspect and Maintain the Ducts
Ducts can harbor mold, dust and dander. When the HVAC system runs, this mold and dust is pushed out into the home, exacerbating allergies. Clean ducts can prevent this problem from occurring. Many homeowners can tell when it’s time to clean their ducts because their furniture becomes dusty after the AC or furnace turns on.
Another way to tell if the air ducts need to be cleaned is by removing a vent and looking into the duct. If the air duct is blanketed with a thick layer of dust, you should have the ducts cleaned. The best way to decide whether or not to clean the ducts is to have the ducts inspected by a professional. HVAC contractors use small cameras to inspect ductwork and make recommendations for cleaning or repair.
Homeowners or HVAC professionals should also inspect the ducts for leaks. Dust and grime can enter the ducts through holes or breaks in the joints, which can increase the rate at which the ducts become dirty. Have your ducts sealed to prevent this from happening.
- Use the Filter Mode Setting
A lot of dander and pollen enter the home through the windows. The best way to prevent this from happening is to leave the windows closed and run the HVAC system. At this time of year, the temperatures aren’t cold enough to justify furnace use and not hot enough to justify running the air conditioner.
Homeowners who want to run their HVAC system but who don’t want to change the temperature of their house can turn the air conditioner on to filter mode. This keeps the air in your home fresh and prevents the pollen from coming in.
- Work With Your HVAC Professional
Do you have questions about how your HVAC system can help control your allergies this year? Work with a professional HVAC contractor. At Custom Comfort Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling LLC, we’re happy to answer your questions and reduce your allergies symptoms this spring. Contact us today.