Allergy season will soon be upon us here in the Sunshine State, and if you are among the more than 50 million Americans that are affected by allergies, take note! Before prime allergy season begins, it’s time to learn how to reduce the pollen that gets spread throughout your home by your HVAC system.
Though you may think that staying indoors is the best way to get through allergy season, if your HVAC system is circulating pollen particles through your home, you could be in for a rough season!
Ready to banish pollen from your home this spring? Follow these tips from our team at Best Home Services!
HVAC + Allergies: What is the Connection?
It’s quite simple. Your HVAC system circulates air throughout your space, and when allergens such as dust, pollen, or pet dander get into the system, they get spread around your home. That’s why many people think that they have an allergy to their AC system when it is because the system is blowing allergens throughout their space.
If you have pollen allergies, there is a BIG connection between your comfort at home and your HVAC system.
There are many things you can do to reduce pollen and other allergens from invading your home and making your nose run and your eyes water such as:
- Installing higher quality HVAC filters
- Cleaning your ductwork to get rid of dust, mold, and pollen build-up
- Regularly cleaning and getting your HVAC system inspected
Some homeowners make the mistake of believing that typical pleated air conditioner filters protect them from allergens. While these filters keep large debris and dust from damaging the equipment, they don’t do much to protect your sinuses from minuscule allergens.
To remove allergens from your home’s indoor air you need high-energy particulate air filters or HEPA filters. These are the best HVAC filters for those who suffer from allergies. They are made from layers of glass fibers that are formed into a plated paper-like material.
HEPA filters can trap more than 99% of pollen, dust, and smoke particles.
A caveat: HEPA filters are not compatible with every air conditioning system and can cause decreased airflow and energy-efficiency issues. Before installing a HEPA filter, consult with our team at Best Home Services to ensure that it is the best choice for your HVAC system.
Choosing a HEPA Filter
HVAC filters are rated according to a system called MERV. This system is based on how well the filter blocks particulates of different sizes and ranges between 1 to 20 MERV. A higher rating is best for removing minute particles like pollen.
Generally, standard filters are rated at 8 MERV and HEPA filters have a MERV rating of 17 or above.
Replacing HEPA Filters
For HEPA filters to be most effective, they need to be changed at least every other month. If you have severe allergies or a particularly high pollen count in your area, they may need changing even more frequently. HVAC systems work better when air can flow seamlessly through the filters, so make sure your filters are clean. If a filter gets clogged, your air conditioner can overheat or fail.
Over time, dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens can collect in the air ducts that snake through your home. As your AC circulates air through your home, it will also circulate these allergens, causing a whole host of problems.
Cleaning your air ducts is important if you have:
- Worsening allergies or asthma
- Completed a home renovation
- An infestation of rodents or insects
- Visible mold growth in your vents or HVAC system
It is especially important to have duct cleaning performed by our team at Best Home Services if you have never had your ducts cleaned or can’t remember the last time it was done. Call our team for duct cleaning and HVAC maintenance today; 844-921-2833!
Preventative HVAC Maintenance
If you haven’t had regular preventative maintenance performed on your HVAC system, spring is a great time to mark this off your to-do list!
Many allergy-related problems can be prevented by scheduling seasonal inspections to clean dirty cooling coils, fan motors and blades, drain pans, and other components.
Further, you will enhance the energy efficiency of your entire air conditioning system by having its parts and components cleaned and maintained. It’s a win-win!
Other Tips for a Healthy Spring Season
Follow these last quick tips for a healthy and happy spring!
- Keep doors and windows closed, especially during the peak pollen hours of 5-10 AM.
- Vacuum your home often and dust with a damp cloth to prevent the spread of pollen spores.
- Avoid using ion-based air purifiers. These will remove pollen but can create ozone that can exacerbate allergy or asthma symptoms.
Banish Pollen this Spring
As you can see, there is a direct correlation between your HVAC system and your allergy symptoms inside your home. By having your system maintained regularly, you can prevent pollen and other allergens from invading your indoor air.