11 Nov How Your HVAC System Can Help With Your Allergies
Many of us face the discomfort of allergy sniffles and sneezes, whether only seasonally or year round. But many homeowners are unaware that the allergen and air pollution levels can actually be 2-5 times higher inside the home than outside the home. Often allergies can worsen in many homes during fall and the beginning of winter with more frequent colds and flu, dripping noses, and coughs and sneezes. This is because as the weather starts to cool, we start turning on the furnace or the heating system for the first time in months, stirring up the dust, debris and particulate that has collected in the vents over the last few months. While outside sources of allergens such as pollen and environmental pollution shouldn’t be ignored, if you’re concerned about indoor allergens like dust, dust mites, pet dander, mold, cockroach droppings, trapped dirt and more, HVAC duct cleaning might help to clear the air and ease your sniffles.
Common Indoor Allergens
Asthma and allergies are some of the most common respiratory problems in developed countries, simply because we spend so much time indoors in the presence of a buildup of indoor allergens. These allergens tend to collect within air conditioning and heating systems and HVAC vents as many of these allergens are airborne. Airborne particles are easily carried through the air collection vents during periods of high allergen concentration and when the vents are not in use. This can mean that your HVAC vents become a storehouse of indoor allergens which get released as soon as you turn the heating on when the weather starts to cool down. Common indoor allergens include-
- Dust Mites
- Animal Dander
- Grass and Plant Pollen that has collected indoors
- Cockroach Feces
- Chemicals, from household cleaning products, etc.
Duct cleaning that is completed before you turn on your HVAC system after a long break is the ideal solution to remove these airborne indoor allergens and help ease allergy symptoms for you and your family as the weather gets cooler. Your local HVAC technician can visit your home to clean out your ducts and remove any settled particulates and allergens, to ensure you are breathing safer, cleaner air when using your furnace. Be sure to call your technician for HVAC service before the busy season starts in order to get your ducts cleaned before you use your system for the first time. If you turn the system on for a particularly cold day before cleaning is conducted, the allergens will be distributed throughout your home, reducing the effectiveness of duct cleaning later on.
Ensuring your HVAC filters are clean is a good way to reduce circulating allergens in your HVAC system. Filter cleaning or changing is usually performed as part of routine HVAC maintenance.
When it comes to balancing the humidity in your home, it’s often a battle between keeping the air dry enough to reduce the growth of fungi, mold and bacteria, but also keeping enough moisture in the air to prevent your nasal passages drying out, worsening allergy symptoms and causing nosebleeds. Your HVAC professional can advise the best way to balance humidity in your particular home and environment, and advise recommended humidifiers if the air in your home is too dry.
Routine, scheduled HVAC maintenance can be one of the most useful ways to combat allergens in the home, as regular duct cleaning, filter replacements and HVAC service can help you keep allergen levels under control in your HVAC system from season to season.
Contact your local HVAC professional to learn more about how routine maintenance can help to not only keep you HVAC system in good shape, but also keep your indoor air cleaner, healthier and safer for your family.