If you’re like most homeowner, you’ve been looking forward to the return of warm weather flowers, and blues skies. However, if you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may not be as welcoming as you’d like to be to blooming flower gardens, orchards, and other sources of pollen. Fortunately, those in your position can usually find respite from their allergies by keeping windows and doors closed during periods of heavy pollen activity and keeping cool by turning on the air conditioning system.
Although this is a very effective approach to managing allergies, some people continue to experience sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and other symptoms of allergies even when inside their home environment, and they tend to blame their HVAC units for this. However, none of the components of air conditioning systems are known allergens. The problem comes from the quality of the air that the system is circulating throughout the home. For instance, if mold is present, mold spores may end up being distributed throughout the entire home via the air conditioning system. The same thing goes for any other airborne particulates such as pollen, pet dander, and dust mites.
Here’s how to keep your HVAC system from contributing to your allergies:
Change Your Filters on a Regular Basis
HVAC systems can use permanent or disposable filters, permanent filters can’t
really be cleaned to the extent that they’re completely free of airborne
particulates that result in allergies. Many systems offer the option of using
either permanent or disposable filters, and for households where allergies are
a part of the picture, disposable filters are a better option. Ask your HVAC
technician for advice on the best filter for your particular system and
Wage War on Allergens in the Home
Although it’s tempting to open windows and let a fresh breeze flow through the house, those fresh breezes often carry airborne pollen and other allergens, it’s best to leave windows closed when pollen counts are high because even window screens designed to keep pollen out don’t do the job 100-percent. You should also refrain from wearing outdoor footwear inside the home during pollen season — pet dander, pollen, and mold spores can all end up on the bottom of your shoes during the course of an average day. As an added layer of protection against allergens, be sure to use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter. It’s also important to ensure that the outside area in the vicinity of your air conditioner compressor is free of overgrown vegetation — this can cause pollen to be sucked into the system.
Have Your System Checked Regularly by a Reputable Company
Mold, bacteria, pollen, dust mites, and pet dander can all build up in your HVAC system, so be sure to have your ductwork professionally cleaned in order to prevent this scenario from adversely affecting your health.