Did You Know Your HVAC System Can Help You Keep Allergies Away?

Warming weather means spring allergies are on the way. At this time of year, airborne pollen released by outdoor plants is the main culprit. A surge of microscopic pollen particulates can enter any house every time exterior doors are opened. 

Your HVAC system can be a helpful ally in combating air quality issues like spring allergies if all components are functioning properly. If not, they may actually contribute to the problem. Here’s how to keep your system on your side.

Change the Air Filter

Replace the filter every month. Don’t rely on visual inspection. Pollen grains are too small to see with the naked eye, so even a filter that doesn’t appear dusty or dirty may be contaminated.

Choose a filter rated to remove airborne particulates as small as pollen. For most residential applications, this means a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of at least 8, ranging up to 12. High-efficiency HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters rated above 12 offer even greater allergy protection, but these filters typically require ductwork alterations for residential installation.

Inspect Ductwork

A duct inspection by a qualified HVAC contractor can reveal two issues potentially related to airborne allergies:

1. Duct leakage. Air leakage from supply ducts costs you money, as cooled or heated air is lost. Leaks in return ducts, however, may suck contaminated air from unconditioned zones into ducts, increasing the levels of airborne allergens in the HVAC system. Your contractor can offer options for repairing leaks and sealing ducts.

2. Dirty ducts. High levels of airborne contaminants caused by poor filtration and/or leakage may accumulate inside ducts, forming a continuous reservoir of particulates including pollen, which continuously circulates into living spaces. Professional duct cleaning can remove contamination.

Control Humidity

The humidity-reduction function of your central A/C helps inhibit mold spores, dust mites, and other airborne allergens. If indoor humidity exceeds 60% when the A/C is running, contact your HVAC contractor for a service call and an inspection.

To ensure your HVAC system is doing its part to reduce spring allergies, contact the experts at Paitson Bros. Since 1922, we’ve been safeguarding household air quality in all seasons.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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