More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, which are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the country, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The early spring months are particularly known for triggering seasonal allergies, which can include allergies to mold and tree pollen such as oak, red cedar, birch, ass, and cypress. States with some of the worst allergen counts include Texas, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Seasonal allergy symptoms can include itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, headaches, sneezing, postnasal drip, fatigue and even a temporary loss of smell or taste. Many individuals with seasonal allergies have experienced these symptoms since childhood, but for others, allergy symptoms develop in adulthood. While not typically dangerous, they can be uncomfortable and prevent individuals from fully enjoying or participating in daily life activities.
For allergy sufferers, cleaning and maintaining your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can go a long way in reducing the symptoms of allergies. Spring is the perfect time to ensure your HVAC system is cleaned and working as efficiently as possible. Here are seven tips for keeping your HVAC system running smoothly during allergy season.
- Clean air vents and floor registers. Over time, dirt, debris, pet hair and more can build up inside these vents and affect the quality of the air you breathe. Use a vacuum and a cleaning rag with mild soapy water to get those vents and registers squeaky clean.
- Change filters. HVAC filters should be replaced about every 90 days to keep the heat and air conditioning system working well. During allergy season, they can be replaced every month. Make sure you are using filters with a high Maximum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating.
- Clean your exterior AC unit. During the fall and winter months, leaves and sticks and other debris can build up in and around your exterior unit. To clean the condenser, you will need to turn off power to the unit and carefully vacuum around the fins. You should also ensure the grass and vegetation is trimmed around the unit.
- Check vents and air intakes. If there is furniture or other objects blocking your HVAC vents or intakes, it may not function properly. Check each input and output to make sure they are clear and free from obstructions.
- Deep clean your ducts. Hiring professionals to deep clean your air ducts will remove more mold, dirt and bacteria from the inner workings of your system than you will be able to eradicate on your own.
- Supplement with an air purifier. HVAC systems and filters do a good job of filtering debris and bacteria out of the air. However, if you tend to experience symptoms of seasonal allergies, you may want to invest in an air purifier to further improve indoor air quality.
- Look out for HVAC repair red flags. If you notice high humidity in your home, a bad odor that won’t go away, slow airflow, or consistent noise coming from your system, your HVAC system might be in need of professional servicing or repair.
Life Balance Technologies helps hospitals and other companies easily analyze air quality conditions and effectively manage their HVAC systems. By streamlining the process for compliance, auditing, and reporting, we help reduce costs and save lives.