If you suffer from allergies every year, you know that they can cause uncomfortable symptoms that keep you from functioning normally. As an allergy sufferer, you’ve tried everything to reduce allergy symptoms from local honey to over-the-counter drugs.
But did you know that you can make your home a haven from allergens using your HVAC system? Read on to learn how your heating or cooling system can improve your quality of life during allergy season.
Types of Allergens
Before you can eliminate allergens in your home, you need to pinpoint what you are allergic to. Several types of allergens can enter your home, including the following substances.
Pollen derives from the cells of flowering plants-including trees, flowers, grasses and weeds. Many people suffer from hay fever, or pollen allergies. These seasonal allergies occur when plants flower in the spring and release pollen into the atmosphere around your home.
If you have a cat or dog allergy, you are actually allergic to the proteins present in their skin, dander, saliva or urine.
Many people don’t realize that their dust allergies occur because of the mites that thrive off of dust particles, not the dust itself. People with dust mite allergies react poorly to a mite’s waste which hides in bedding, couches, carpeting and other cloth-covered items.
This fungus thrives in damp and dark conditions. Your home may harbor hidden mold that causes your allergic reactions. It can hide in bathrooms, behind fridges, in air conditioners and in damp basements.
HVAC Tips to Reduce Allergy Symptoms
You spend many hours a day in your home, so it’s important to reduce the allergens present there. When you remove as many allergens as possible, your symptoms will decrease dramatically.
You can even use your HVAC system to block or eliminate allergens within your home. Because your air conditioner and furnace filter move air throughout your home, they serve as helpful allies to win the war between you and allergen-filled air.
Learn more about how you can benefit from your HVAC system below.
Monitor Air Filters
Your HVAC system uses removable air filters to clean the air that comes into your home. These filters act as your first defense against any pollen from outside. Filters also clean the air inside, filtering out pet dander, mold or dust mites.
You should change your air filters every month or so-but take time to change them more frequently during allergy season. If standard filters don’t seem to work well enough, you can buy high-efficiency particulate air filters to finely sift through your air. Or place cheesecloth over each air vent for a quick fix until your new air filters arrive.
Clean Air Ducts
When even new air filters don’t make you feel better, clean your air ducts. You may find years of built-up dust, animal droppings or mold in there. While it’s not proven that cleaner air ducts improve homeowners’ health, especially sensitive residents may benefit from a professional duct cleaning. Pristine air ducts also translate to energy savings.
Use Your HVAC System Often
You may feel tempted to turn off your AC during a cool summer or to nix the heater in a mild winter. But using your central air system regularly filters out dust and kills mold growth. Next time you consider turning on a fan instead of the air conditioning, remember that fans stir up dust in the air, and AC units remove it.
Your HVAC unit can help you fight, reduce and remove allergens in your home. Use the tips above to lower symptoms and feel better. Service your HVAC unit often with the help of a professional company for optimum efficiency and to avoid a mechanical breakdown.