Allergy Proof Your HVAC System

Allergy Proof Your HVAC System

While we can’t control the allergens we come in contact with when we’re outdoors, but we can take steps to allergy proof our HVAC system for when we are indoors.

It’s a beautiful sunny spring day and It would be a perfect day if you didn’t have nasty allergies.  If you’re like 28% of Canadians, spring and fall can unleash a variety of symptoms including runny eyes and noses, sneezing and even wheezing.   While we can’t control the allergens we come in contact with when we’re outdoors, but we can take steps to allergy proof our HVAC system for when we are indoors.

What are the most common type of indoor allergens?  Dust mites, dander, pollen and cockroach droppings are the most common irritants.  Although your HVAC system should be filtering these out of the air, if it is not running efficiently, it may be blowing these throughout your home.

Clean air is important

One way we can do this is by cleaning and maintaining our HVAC system.  Here are 7 reasons why this is important even if you are not suffering from allergies.

Mold and Mildew can hide in y our HVAC System

If your HVAC has hidden condensation and moisture, it’s the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow in. Every time you turn on your heat or air conditioning, you blow these contaminants into the air.  An annual inspection, ductwork cleaning, and changing your filter can eliminate this risk.

Bacteria can invade your system

Like mold and mildew, other bacteria and microbes like dark damp environments.  Your HVAC unit provides the perfect environment for them.   Breathing in these fungi and microbes  can adversely affect your family’s health.  An easy fix is installing a UV light by the unit, which kills the problematic microbes.

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Check the level of humidity in your home

When you have your HVAC system inspected, the technician should also inspect the humidity level, which should be no higher than 40%. Humid air can cause mold, mildew and other allergens to multiply.

If necessary, you can install a dehumidifier to lower the humidity.  A ventilating whole house dehumidifier brings in filtered fresh air and removes humidity.  Devices with a fresh air intake will also push fresh outdoor air into your living space.

Dirty filters can make your allergies worse

HVAC filters are designed to keep debris from contaminating your air. You should replace your filter every 2 to 3 months. Make sure the filter fits into the housing properly.  Otherwise the air bypasses the filter and is not cleaned properly.

A couple of more efficient filter options are media filters and HEPA filters.  Media filters are larger than standard 1” filters, so the larger surface catches more particles. They only need to be replaced once or twice a year.  There are regular and carbon coated media filters which provide even better filtration.

The best type of filter is a HEPA filter.  Why are HEPA filters better?  They filter out 99.97 percent of contaminants!

How do you know which one to choose?  Filters have MERV ratings from 1 to 20 which rate the air quality.  Pick a filter with a MERV rating from 10 to 20 and you will breathe easier.

Open windows are not your friend

Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, opening a window can make your air quality worse.   You can run your AC unit for 20 minutes every so often to circulate fresh air inside your home.  Your air conditioner moves the stagnant air outside and brings in fresh outdoor air.  A second option is using an energy recovery ventilator.  This will both take air from your home, and bring in outdoor air.

Are your ducts leaking?

How do leaky ducts affect your air quality? The fan inside the indoor unit not only brings in air from your living space, it brings in air through the leaks.  These leaky ducts are often in unclean spaces like your attic or crawlspace.  Sealing the leaks will help prevent allergens from getting into your home.

Old HVAC systems may not be doing a great job for you

If it’s time for a new system, newer variable speed and two speed HVAC systems will provide cleaner air. They operate at a lower speed which helps remove the humidity which helps dust mites and other microbes grow.

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Why Choose Service From High Mark?

When you need service, you need it fixed fast and fixed properly.  High Mark offers quick, affordable service as soon as possible.  We are here for you!


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