Fighting Fall Allergies? Start With Your HVAC System
Fight Fall Allergies With HVAC Upgrades
An unseasonably warm October could mean bad news for chronic allergy sufferers: a prolonged sniffling and sneezing season. But you don’t have to wait around for a winter freeze to kill autumn irritants like ragweed and leaves. Instead, you have the power to reduce allergens in your home. And you might be surprised to know it all starts with your HVAC equipment.
Maintaining your home’s heating and cooling system not only helps keep allergies at bay, but helps your system running more efficiently, too. Follow these five HVAC tips to put a stop to seasonal fall allergies:
1. Clean or Replace Filters
Air Conditioning Units
Are you still running your window AC unit? Don’t forget to clean the filter! Otherwise, the unit will continue to blow dusty air into the room – further agitating your allergy symptoms.
Most window units are simple to clean. Simply pop out the front grill of the unit, remove the mesh filter, and wash it in a mixture of warm, soapy water with bleach to remove mold. Let dry completely before placing back in the unit.
How about your heater? Don’t forget that furnaces need their filters cleaned or replaced every few months to ensure maximum efficiency (and not to mention, allergy relief). To swap out your filter, first turn off the furnace. Remove the existing filter (generally located inside the furnace or return air vent). Be sure to pay attention to markings instructing you which side of the filter should face the furnace – otherwise, you could accidentally block airflow rather than clean it.
Some filters need to replaced outright, while others are washable or reusable. A good rule of thumb? A furnace filter with a plastic frame is reusable. You’ll only have to clean it periodically with a vacuum and water.
If DIY isn’t your style, our One Hour Air field technicians are happy to assist you with replacing filters.
2. Schedule a Duct Cleaning
Did you know the average family home creates 40 pounds of dust per day? Yikes! Even worse, the majority of that dust gets caught in your duct system. Remove dusty irritants by having our HVAC technician thoroughly clean your ducts.
Dirty ducts drastically reduce a system’s lifespan, as dust particles build up and clog sensitive mechanical components. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25% to 40% of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted—much of it from blocked ductwork. In short, keeping your HVAC system operating at max efficiency year after year can easily offset the cost of duct cleaning.
As a homeowner, you can do your part by banishing dust bunnies. Be sure to regularly clean vents, bookshelves, and other dust-collecting culprits. Leave shoes at the front door to keep dirt outside, and keep windows closed on windy fall days.
3. Invest in Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality ranks anywhere from two to five times worse than outside. Your home’s inhabitants also have to deal with dust, pollen, household chemical vapors, and other indoor air pollutants that spur respiratory illnesses – all of that, on top of seasonal allergies!
The good news? One Hour Air offers a line of indoor air quality services to ensure a happy, healthy breathing environment for your family. Chose services like duct cleaning, duct sealing, ductwork installation and repair, humidifiers, and indoor air quality repair.
4. Install a MicroPower Guard®
Standard, store-bought filters only block about 50% of airborne irritants. But you can ensure almost 100% filtration by choosing One Hour Air’s exclusive electronic air filter, the MicroPower Guard®.
These disposable filter pads use polarized technology, creating a magnetic force field that captures 97% of airborne particles. A MicroPower Guard® is essential to any whole-house air purification system. Contact One Hour Air to discuss installation today!
5. Maintain Moisture
The secret to healthy home air is striking the right balance when it comes to moisture control. Too much humidity is an invitation for mold – but too little can result in dry air that triggers allergy symptoms.
Too Much Moisture
Clogged drain channels prevent an AC unit from reducing humidity, resulting in excess moisture that can discolor walls or carpet – and not to mention, invite mold. A good rule of thumb is to keep humidity below 55%. Talk to your One Hour Air technician to make sure air vents aren’t collecting condensation – especially in often forgot areas like your attic or basement.
People with respiratory conditions such as allergies and asthma might find relief from adding moisture to their home environment. Increased humidity can help combat congestion, pressure, and a persistent cough. Adding moisture to the air with a humidifier has been proven to lessen these symptoms.
Talk to a One Hour Air technician about installing a whole house humidifier to introduce water vapor into your home air. Attached to your duct system and water line, a top-of-the-line humidifier relieves dry winter air and offers several health benefits. Just be sure to maintain the humidifier over time to treat hard water and prevent algae.
Call the HVAC Allergy Experts
With a few tweaks to your heating and cooling system, fall can be fun again! Imagine a day without sneezing, coughing, or wheezing associated with fall allergies. Talk to a One Hour Air technician about improving the air quality in your home. It’s an investment in health – and happiness!