Spring can be a pretty miserable experience if you’re an allergy sufferer. Between the sneezing, sniffling, watery eyes, and scratchy throat, seasonal allergies triggered by pollen, grasses, and a host of other natural allergens can do a number on your physical well-being. Springtime allergens aren’t just limited to the great outdoors — indoor allergens like dust and pet dander can also trigger your allergies.
Your HVAC system can be a valuable ally in the fight against springtime allergies. In addition to regulating indoor temperatures, your heating and cooling equipment is also tasked with managing indoor air quality. Here’s how you can put your HVAC system to good use in fighting both indoor and outdoor allergens.
Upgrade to a High-Quality Air Filter
As your HVAC system draws air from inside your home, it’s also drawing allergens and other airborne pollutants. Your HVAC air filter serves as the first line of defense against these allergens. Unfortunately, most HVAC systems come equipped with fiberglass air filters that offer only rudimentary protection against dust and debris and little protection against smaller allergen particles.
Air filters made from pleated paper offer your HVAC system better protection against allergens. These filters trap a broad range of airborne particles that would pass through fiberglass filters. Upgrade to a pleated air filter with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) between 8 and 13, as these filters are most effective at reducing indoor allergens without adversely impacting HVAC performance.
Don’t forget to change your air filter at the proper intervals. You should change your air filter on a monthly basis to maintain the best possible indoor air quality for your home.
Run Your HVAC Fan for Circulation
Your HVAC system can only remove allergens from your home’s indoor air when the indoor blower fan is actively working. The blower fan plays an integral role in your HVAC system by pulling indoor air into the unit and pushing conditioned air out through the ductwork. More importantly, the blower fan also pulls air through the filter — giving your HVAC system an opportunity to remove dust, debris, and harmful allergens from indoor air.
You don’t have to use your heat or air conditioning just to benefit from HVAC fan circulation. All you have to do is toggle your HVAC system to “fan” mode on your thermostat. This setting essentially forces your blower fan to run constantly. The resulting air circulation can help remove harmful allergens from the indoor air, with slightly increased noise and energy use being the only noticeable drawbacks.
If you plan on upgrading your HVAC system in the near future, consider having a variable-speed blower fan motor installed. Variable-speed fans are capable of running at much lower speeds than a typical blower fan, allowing for quieter operation with less noise.
Keep Up With Preventative Maintenance
A well-maintained HVAC system is absolutely essential for keeping springtime allergies at bay. The only way to have a well-maintained HVAC system is to have it serviced on a regular basis. Regularly scheduled maintenance ensures that your HVAC system remains in peak condition throughout the year.
Preventative maintenance also gives your HVAC contractor a chance to spot and correct minor issues before they turn into major problems that require costly repairs. Most importantly, preventative maintenance also ensures that your HVAC system can effectively tackle both indoor and outdoor allergies, saving your senses plenty of grief throughout the spring and beyond.
Consider your HVAC system as a valuable secret weapon in the fight against springtime allergies. For more allergy prevention tips or to schedule HVAC services, contact our professional team at Reid’s AC & Heat today.