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Create An Allergy-Free Home
Posted: June 21, 2018 by Andy

Sneezing? Runny nose? Watery eyes? Before you take a pill, check your air conditioner!

Each year, the warmer weather brings sneezing, congestion, and watery eyes. The air is filled with the pollen produced by newly budding plants, causing respiratory discomfort from allergy symptoms while you're trying to enjoy the warmer days.

Eventually, this pollen makes its way into your home, and higher levels of humidity can create ideal conditions for mildew to grow, further advancing the assault on your sinuses. Fortunately, you can improve the quality of your home's air to help alleviate any allergy symptoms you're experiencing.

We aim to make your home a comfortable and irritant-free place to be. Here are some tips to help keep your air clean and keep those pesky allergy symptoms away.

Add a dehumidifier

During the cold winter months, a humidifier helps soothe irritated nasal passages caused by the cool, dry air. When summer comes, your humidifier can end up causing you allergy problems. In warmer areas of the country, humid air promotes the growth of mold inside your home, inflicting you with the same symptoms as outdoor allergies.

Using a dehumidifier indoors helps prevent any mold or mildew growth by keeping the moisture in the air at a low level and under control. Set it, so humidity levels are around 45-50%, thus preventing mold from growing, and keeping your allergy symptoms from flaring up.

45-50% humidity might seem low, but consider the average humidity is typically around 50% and can go as low as 35% in the afternoons.

Besides preventing mold, a dehumidifier also keeps dust and mites in check. Just like mold thrives in high humidity environments, so do these microscopic relatives of the spider. They tend to live in your bedding, furniture, and areas where dead skin cells accumulate. Fortunately, a low-humidity home prevents dust mites, as they cannot survive when humidity dips below 50%.

Add an air purifier

Over 30 million people suffer from respiratory allergies that are triggered by pollen in the USA alone. While blooming flowers do bring beauty back into your neighborhood after a frigid winter, for most, they also bring itchy eyes and runny noses. Fortunately, adding an air purifier can help make your day more comfortable by removing pollen and other airborne particles from your home.

There are two primary types of air purifiers. A filter-type air purifier is the most common and its filters screen out airborne pollutants. Each time air passes through the purifier, it becomes progressively cleaner, before distributing it back into your home.

A UV light air purifier uses ultraviolet light - which is invisible - to kill airborne organisms safely. This includes mold, pollen (which is comprised of living cells), and floating bacteria. Some UV air purifiers combine a filtration system with the light to destroy not only the floating allergens, but also prevent them from getting back into your air.

Invest in your central air system

The way your air conditioning system functions plays a significant role in the quality of your home's air. If your AC unit is not correctly sized for your home, it could be turning off prematurely throughout the day. When this happens, it may not run long enough to remove the humidity from the air.

Additionally, if your equipment is outdated or hasn't been maintained adequately, this can also cause issues. When your evaporator and condenser coils get dirty or clogged, your AC can't adequately transfer heat, resulting in humidity build-up and mildew starts to grow. By giving your AC system at least an annual tune-up, you can prevent an allergy issue or breathing problem before it starts.

Clean, well-routed ductwork also plays a crucial role in how air moves throughout your home. If certain rooms and areas aren't well ventilated, the stagnant air can allow humidity to rise and airborne particles to linger. For maximum allergen relief, you should make sure your home is well optimized for airflow and that you have the right equipment. If you're in doubt, let our HVAC experts take a look.

Replace your air filter regularly

While dehumidifiers and air purifiers provide the best results, a small step you can take for cleaner air is by replacing your AC system's air filter. These filters keep contaminants from entering your air conditioner so it can run efficiently year-round, but it's also useful in removing dust from the air. Be sure to replace your air filter on a regular basis. If you're prone to allergies, you should change your filter at least every other month, if not more often.

Also, the right filter goes a long way toward solving your allergy woes, and you want one with a high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating MERV stands for - the higher its MERV number, the better the filter will be at removing dust and dirt from your home's air. Before selecting a new air filter, consult your system's filter recommendation or give us a call if you're uncertain. Some air conditioners are designed to be most effective with a filter of a specific MERV level.

By following these tips, you'll keep your home's air clean and free of pollen, dust, and other particles. You'll also minimize the adverse effects that allergy symptoms have on you, and you'll breathe easy knowing that unwelcome dust mites and mildew won't be able to survive - the only living things sharing your home will be your family, friends, pets, and houseplants!

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