When spring comes with its warmer temperatures and pollen counts go up, many people who suffer from seasonal allergies battle with nasal congestion, itchy eyes and sneezing. Air conditioning can help with allergies through temperature and humidity control, as well as air filtering.
However, it can actually worsen allergies if it isn’t properly cared for. For instance, leaking ductwork leads to mold, which is a major irritant for many allergy sufferers. The good news is that some simple HVAC maintenance tips can help to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms.
- Regular servicing and maintenance is essential
Spring is the perfect time to give your HVAC a yearly once-over to make sure it is functioning at its best. The professional technicians of 5 Star Repair Services that offer AC repair Houston can keep it running properly and give you tips on how to improve the air quality in your home.
Something you can take care of yourself is to check filters every month and replace them as soon as they appear dirty. Regularly replacing filters can go a long way towards ensuring good air quality.
- A good air filter is your main defense
All air filters are assigned a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). The rating indicates the ability of the filter to remove particles of various sizes from the air. Allergy sufferers need to go for one with a MERV rating of at least eight. These filters are designed to collect microscopic particles as small as three microns from the air.
Those who suffer severely from allergies can also use electrostatic filters that use an electric charge to attract contaminants. They can be washed and used again.
High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters (HEPA filters) are often used in hospitals where people may be suffering from compromised immune systems. They are made of thin glass fibers and can remove 99.97% of allergens and contaminants.
- Check for mold and get rid of it
Mold loves humid, moist environments and can aggravate symptoms of respiratory conditions like asthma and allergies. If humidity levels in the home are properly controlled, this can prevent the growth of mold.
You need to inspect your HVAC system regularly for any signs of mold. This includes areas such as the ducts, drip pan and drain, evaporator coils, and air handler. You may be able to handle small amounts of mold yourself but you should call in a professional mold remediation service if it’s more extensive.
- Don’t forget to dust registers and vents
Even homeowners who are conscientious about dusting may forget to dust registers and air vents. Mold, dust and dust mites can live in the vents, including the register and return vents. The problem is that this gets pulled into the system and circulated throughout your home.
To prevent this from happening, turn off the unit and use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to suck up any dirt, dust or debris. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any remaining dust, so you don’t kick it up and make your allergies worse.
- Pay attention to the outside unit
Evaporative air conditioning systems pull air from outside, cool it, and then release it into the home. This means that the quality of air that circulates in your home is affected by what surrounds your outside unit.
An outside unit with any tree branches or plants growing too close may result in problems. You need to remove any debris that could prevent the unit from functioning efficiently, such as twigs, grass, dirt and more.