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4 Big Tips for Keeping Your Home Air Conditioner Allergy-Free

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Allergies seem to be a year-round problem for many people. In fact, as many as 50 million Americans have seasonal allergies, which can mean itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion, headaches and a general feeling of being unwell.

In addition to seasonal plant allergies, there are indoor pollutants including synthetic fibers from carpets and furniture, dust mites, pet dander, chemicals from building materials, insecticides, smoke from cooking or wood-burning fireplaces and more.

A central HVAC system’s air conditioning unit can actually make allergens worse by creating condensation that leads to mold – but it doesn’t have to. When you take a few simple actions, you can reduce the allergens and other pollutants in your home and reduce your symptoms.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • 1 Go with the right filter. Your air conditioner’s filter is your first and best defense against bad indoor air quality. Look for a filter with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value – or MERV – of 8 or greater. These filters can collect particles as small as 3 microns, eliminating most indoor allergens. Be sure to check all HVAC system filters monthly and replace at least every 3 months. Replace sooner if they are visibly dirty. You may want to look into electrostatic filters that trap contaminants using an electric charge and can be cleaned and reused. HEPA filters are a good choice too.
  • 2 Clean dust and debris outside. The outdoor part of your AC unit is a primary way fresh air gets into your home. Dust and debris collected around this unit can be pulled into your home through the HVAC system. To prevent this, clean around the unit as thoroughly as possible every time you notice that it’s dirty. You should also dust or sweep around the indoor unit whenever necessary as well.
  • 3 Watch out for mold. Mold grows in a humid, moist environment. You can be allergic to it or its presence can aggravate asthma, other allergies and a variety of additional respiratory diseases. Serious illness is also linked to the presence of mold in a home. To prevent it from growing, it helps to keep your home’s humidity between 30 and 50 percent. A properly functioning air conditioner helps with this, and so does a whole-house humidifier in many cases. Be sure to check the drip pan, drain, air handler, coils and ducts for mold.
  • 4 Keep vents and registers clean. When air return vents and registers are dusty, the whole house is dusty – because all air circulated by your home’s HVAC system passes through these areas. But they’re easy to clean with a damp cloth. (A dry cloth will release the dust into the air to settle again.) If you notice more dirt inside your ductwork, it’s time for professional air duct cleaning.

Your twice-yearly maintenance appointments can help keep your indoor air clean and allergy-free. Our professional technicians can perform a complete inspection and resolve small problems before they become big ones. During the process, we make sure everything is as clean as possible – helping you ensure that your system is doing its part to eliminate allergens rather than creating new problems. Contact us to learn more.

We offer expert AC installation and repair services in addition to maintenance services, which can improve the health and efficiency of your HVAC system. Call us today to schedule your appointment.

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