For some folks, summer means a four-month stretch of nice weather, family barbecues, and pool and beach visits. For others, summer is a time of ceaseless agony thanks to various pollen and plant allergies.
During these months (which are aptly referred to as “allergy season”), pollen levels skyrocket, and those who suffer from such allergies retreat into what they think is the safety of the Great Indoors.
What they don’t know is inside can prove just as miserable for allergy sufferers as outside.
Thankfully, HVAC systems (Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning systems) work well for helping those whom allergy season torments relentlessly find relief. A well-working HVAC system will also run efficiently, thus saving you energy and money.
Below are some helpful tips for utilizing your HVAC system to allergy-proof your home this summer:
Replace Your Furnace and Air Filters Prior to Allergy Season
You might think that nothing in your home gathers dust like those Precious Moments figures that belonged to your Great Aunt Mabel, but that likely isn’t the case. Most likely it’s your furnace and air filters that collect the most dust.
But dust isn’t the only thing that floats about in your home. Other undesirable particles include pollen and other allergens that hitch a ride inside on your clothes.
Prior to the start of allergy season, check the filters throughout your home. If they need to be changed, change them with a filter that has a rating of Merv 8 or higher. These filters catch more unwanted particles than those with a lower rating.
If your filters aren’t ready to be changed just yet, keep checking. And even if they are ready and you do change them, keep checking back. There is a higher volume of allergens floating around during allergy season, so it may be necessary to change your filters more frequently during this time than you do during the rest of the year.
Check For Moisture
Mildew isn’t just a common allergy irritant; it’s also a potentially damaging presence in your home. It’s a type of fungus that grows in dark, damp places, and generally, the things on which it grows must be thrown away. If left unattended, mildew can spread and even potentially threaten your health.
To protect your health and home from mildew damage (not to mention your nasal cavities from allergy irritation), regularly check your HVAC system, furnaces, and other common areas of moisture residue and clean as necessary. If you notice one area has particular trouble with gathering moisture, try running a dehumidifier in that area. Continued problems may require inspection by a specialist.
Clean and Maintenance Your HVAC System
Many HVAC systems contain inside and outside components. As such, you should pay extra close attention to those components, especially the outside ones.
If you notice a build-up of leaves, dirt, mowed grass, or other potentially allergy-inducing element, sweep it away or otherwise remove it. The same goes for your system’s inside components. Keep an eye on them to ensure dust doesn’t build up in or around them.
Also: take note when the quality of air inside your home does not seem to improve no matter how much you clean your HVAC system. Poor air quality could indicate an issue with the system, such as a loose piece or a leak.
If you suspect your system of having an issue that goes beyond general cleaning and maintenance, be sure to call a specialist to have your system checked out. You may need to have your system repaired or replaced.
Schedule An Appointment With an HVAC System Specialist
Regardless of whether or not your system shows signs of problems that require professional care, it is a good idea to have a routine inspection done at the beginning of every seasonal shift. This helps to avoid getting stuck with a broken system while the amount of allergens floating around is at its height.
Make sure that the person who is inspecting your HVAC system is a qualified technician from a reputable repair firm who can properly check your heat pumps, water heaters, and air conditioning for problems.
During your system’s inspection, the technician should do the following:
- Make sure your system is set on the correct cooling charge;
- Double-check your thermostat and confirm that it is working;
- Check all electrical cords and connections;
- Tighten any loose connections;
- Measure the flow of air in your heaters’ evaporating coils;
- Double-check all fan belts and motor oil to ensure they are in good, working condition; and
- Lubricate all moving parts to prevent wear and breaking.
During the inspection, the technician will be able to identify any problems that your system is having. In many cases, these problems are small and can be dealt with on the spot: removing mold from heat pumps, changing any filters you may have missed, etc..
They will also be able to tell if your system needs a major repair or total replacement, which is why it is imperative to have inspections done at least a month (preferably more than a month) prior to the start of allergy season.
Don’t Have an HVAC System? Install One
Although it may be tempting to forego installing air conditioning, heat pumps, and the like, especially if you prefer to live au naturel or are looking to save money, having an HVAC system in your home can drastically help relieve any allergies that you suffer from.
Air conditioners, central air, and other air conditioning systems help keep the inside cool without inviting allergens inside. Thus it’s strongly recommended that you install an HVAC system if you don’t have one.
Need an HVAC System Installation, Maintenance, or Repair? Give Us A Call!
At Masters, we make it a point to help customers who are shopping for an affordable replacement for their old HVAC systems. We’d love to give you a hand with all of your HVAC system, air conditioning, furnace, and heating needs!
Give us a free service call at (317) 528-9777. Additionally, you can reach out to us via our contact form. We’ll be more than happy to check out your HVAC system!