Allergens in the home HVAC system
HVAC systems play a big part in improving indoor air quality, especially if you live in areas where pollen counts are high. But did you know that HVAC systems can actually help reduce allergy symptoms? There are several ways that you can make sure your HVAC system is doing what it needs to do to keep your house clean and comfortable, without making your allergies worse.
Asthma affects nearly 300 million people worldwide, making it one of the most common chronic diseases. While some people suffer from seasonal allergies, others struggle with milder conditions such as hay fever and perennial allergic rhinitis. These conditions cause shortness of breath, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, and fatigue.
While some people find relief from over-the-counter medications, others turn to medical treatment. For those who do require medical intervention, the best way to treat asthma and allergies is to maintain optimal indoor air quality. This includes ensuring adequate ventilation, filtering out dust particles, and reducing allergens.
However, while you might assume that installing a high-efficiency furnace or AC unit would help, you could actually be doing more harm than good. What exactly does an HVAC system do? How does it impact your health? And what can you do about it? Let’s take a look.
HVAC Systems Reduce Airborne Particles
One of the biggest ways that an HVAC system reduces airborne particles is by increasing airflow. When you open windows and doors, the wind pushes air around, carrying away pollutants and allergens. However, if you don’t have enough openings, the air stagnates inside. This causes moisture to condense on surfaces, creating mold and bacteria.
An HVAC system helps prevent this problem by providing continuous circulation throughout your home. A properly designed system creates a constant flow of clean air that circulates throughout the house. As a result, you’ll notice fewer allergens and less humidity buildup.
In addition to improving indoor air quality, an HVAC system can also eliminate airborne particles. Circulating warm, dry air throughout the home, reduces the number of microbes and viruses floating around. This makes it easier to breathe because the air stays fresher longer.
Every HVAC unit has a filter, even a single-zone window unit. These filters pull lint and allergens (including dust mites) out of the air before they reach the heating and cooling coils.
The higher quality your filter, however, the more particles it removes. For example, MERV 11 or higher is rated to remove very small allergens like seasonal pollen, while MERV 13 or higher is rated to clean up larger allergens such as pet dander.
To find out what type of filter you already have installed, check the manufacturer’s instructions. If there isn’t one included, call the manufacturer directly. You can also look online for reviews of the filter you have, which will tell you how well it works.
Keep The House Ductwork Clear Of Allergens
If you’re like many homeowners, you probably don’t think much about your home’s heating and cooling system. But it’s actually one of the biggest causes of indoor air quality problems. If you want to keep your house clean and healthy, you need to make sure there’s plenty of air circulating throughout the entire building. And that starts with keeping the ductwork clear of allergens.
The problem with dust and debris inside your ducts is that it can cause serious health issues, including asthma attacks, respiratory infections, and allergies. When you’ve got a dirty filter, your furnace might run longer than necessary, which could lead to unnecessary energy use. This can add up over time.
A powerful HVAC can easily circulate air throughout the whole house, even though it’s just a few feet wide. You can help prevent dust buildups in your ducts by regularly inspecting filters and changing them as needed.
Keep Humidity Low
Humidity isn’t much of a problem here in Colorado, but if you have areas where moisture collects (ex: dryer exhaust ducts, humidifier outflows, etc.) it can cause problems. If you don’t want to deal with mold issues, there are some things you can do to help reduce the risk of mold growth. One way to do this is to use air conditioning units that include dehumidifiers. These systems pull humid air out of the home and into the outside environment. Another option is to install a whole house fan/air cleaner. This device pulls air through the entire home and sends it outdoors. Both options can help keep indoor humidity levels down.
Air Purifiers Pick Up The Slack
Centralized heating and cooling systems are great for keeping your home comfortable during cold weather months, but what about when it gets hot? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t want to turn off your AC just to enjoy the warmth of summer, especially since many central units aren’t designed to operate efficiently when temperatures reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, there are whole-house air purifiers that can keep your whole house cool and clean while you sleep.
Whole-home air purifiers can help clear out dust particles, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, smoke residue, and even bacteria. These machines can be installed throughout your home, including bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, basements, and outdoor spaces. They’re particularly useful for allergy sufferers since they can capture airborne contaminants in one location and disperse them into the rest of the space.
If you’re looking for a way to make sure your kids are breathing healthier air, look no further than the air purifier. A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke had lower lung function scores than those who weren’t. In addition, another study found that children whose parents smoked around them had increased levels of respiratory infections compared to kids whose parents didn’t smoke.
Aspen Creek Heating and Air can help you solve all of your air quality and allergen problems, give us a call today so we can work on a plan to make your home an allergen sufferer sanctuary.