4 Ways your HVAC Unit Can Alleviate Allergies
4 Ways Your HVAC Unit
Can Alleviate Allergies
Allergies can be annoying! They trigger when small agitating particles hit your respiratory system. Here in Texas, at least during the autumn season, it’s common that Ragweed or mold spores are found in the air. Pet dander is another very common allergen. You may have noticed that allergies are less of a problem when you’re indoor because there are fewer allergens inside. It’s not only the fact that pollen is kept outdoors but staying inside can help to lessen the symptoms of your allergies as a result of HVAC ventilation.
An air conditioning unit that is well maintained can help to reduce allergies inside of a home, business, or other building. It does so by removing allergen from the air, reducing the number of allergy-triggering particles in the air. Air-borne allergens can be almost completely removed in a well-sealed building with an efficient and filtration-focused HVAC system. This greatly increases the air quality and overall comfort!
1. Filter Household Air Through High-MERV Filters
Every HVAC system has a filter, even single-zone window units. A/C filters are designed to remove lint and allergens out of the air before it is temperature-treated and sent back out into your home. Higher-quality filters remove more particles from the air. Filters of MERV 11 or higher (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value – which measures the effectiveness of a filter in stopping dust and other particle contaminants)
are rated to remove very small allergen particles like seasonal pollen reliably. However, filters must be changed regularly to work efficiently.
2. In-Line Air Purification and Air Scrubbing Devices
Additional air purifiers and air scrubbing devices can be installed in-line with your HVAC unit. This method can further treat your air as it cycles through your system, further removing allergens and any possible immune system irritants before the air reaches the vents in each room.
3. Keep the House Ductwork Clear of Allergens
A powerful A/C system can cycle most of that dust back through fresh filtration systems. Ducts are designed for airflow without buildup. In good condition, your air ducts rarely need cleaning because the HVAC keeps air moving along and constantly filtered.
4. Remove Humidity from Mold-Risk Areas
Humidity varies greatly by region, but if you have a moist area (ex: dryer outflow or previously flooded room) humidity control via your HVAC system can stop the growth of allergy-causing mold colonies.
Steps Homeowners Can Take To Reduce Allergies
Reducing allergies is all about reducing and removing allergy-causing particles (allergens) in the air.
What Kind of Air Filters Do I Need?
Change your air filters on the recommended schedule (every 3-9 months) and select a filter with a high MERV rating. The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter is at removing tiny allergy-producing particles in the air.
Typically, allergy-recommended filters range between MERV 11-13. These filters are high-quality but are still disposable and regularly replaced. An allergen-rated filter in your HVAC system pulls fresh air in from the interior air register and runs it through the filter to reduce dust in the home and on the cooling/heating coils.
The Filtration Needs of Your Househould
Each home needs a unique level of filtration for everyone to be safe and comfortable. Someone with an autoimmune disorder, for example, will benefit from a home that is better sealed with a higher MERV grade of filter in the system. Those who are sensitive to air contaminants may also require additional filtration like ionization and UV air scrubbers.
What Do I Do About Air Ducts?
Air ducts rarely need cleaning because they are designed to be cleared by regular airflow. Only in rare situations do your air ducts need cleaning:
Detected Mold Growth
Critters Living in the Ducts or Outdoor Vents
Excessive Dirt Buildup
Regular duct cleaning should not be necessary in most homes. The average building or home will have some fine dust in the channels, as this is always blowing around outdoors. But actual lint and allergens are rare as these are steadily pushed through your airways by the HVAC blowers.
The only time duct cleaning will reduce your allergies is if there is mold growth in your ducts or critters living in your attic and/or ductwork. Call us at (469)363-4006 if you think your ducts need cleaning for an assessment and quote.
Should I Worry About Humidity?
Air conditioners are natural dehumidifiers, which can prevent typical mold growth in damp homes, as certain mold spores trigger common allergies.
You would only need to worry about humidity control if your home has recently flooded from a water leak. Once soaked, home materials like drywall and floor layers can harbor enough moisture to grow mold. In these cases, dehumidification efforts can be used to dry out and kill that mold – and stop the allergy-causing mold spores from generating inside your home.
Regular Maintenance is Important!
The better your HVAC is maintained, the better it can keep your home free of allergens and save you those allergy symptoms. Contact us today to discuss the HVAC maintenance and improvements your home may need to become an allergy-free zone.