How Your HVAC System Can Hurt or Help Your Spring Allergies
For some people, when spring allergies hit, THEY HIT HARD! We’re talking about sniffing, sneezing, sore throats, watery eyes, and a runny nose — all at once…for weeks on end.
Spring is one of the worst seasons for allergies — and that’s not a coincidence. Why? Because when plants and flowers bloom, they release pollens everywhere. For some unlucky people, those pollens cause a violent and sniffy allergic reaction.
While your HVAC system is capable of easing your spring allergies, more likely than not, it’s making them worse. Dig into why your HVAC system can be sabotaging how you feel — plus get the scoop on how to turn your HVAC system into an allergen-busting machine.
Your HVAC System and Spring Allergies
Since the pollens and allergens that make spring allergies so miserable are airborne, your HVAC unit can make them a lot worse or a lot better! Let’s break it down.
1) Change Your Filters Often
HVAC filters are designed to catch these exact types of particulates before they irritate you or damage your system.
To protect your HVAC equipment, it is very critical that you maintain a certain airflow over the unit to keep the efficiency high. In reality, no filter would be best for air flow. However, with no filter, the coils of the AC unit will become dirty, which will cause damage. The best thing to do for the units sake is to buy a cheap MERV 8 Pleated filter and change it often. Every 30 days. This will keep the unit running as efficiently as possible and still protect the coil from dirt build up.
Now if you are looking for something to deal with allergens, we will start by saying “Stay away from all 1” filters that are rated higher than a MERV 10”. To deal with allergies and asthma we need to increase the MERV rating to catch smaller partials, but that will require a thicker filter that is 4” or better. Using a filter like that usually requires some work to modify the ductwork to get this to happen. We can help you find the right filter to improve your home air quality.
2) Clear Plants and Debris away from Your Exterior AC Unit
Doing a little landscaping outside can actually improve your air quality inside. Keeping the unit clear will make the unit run better and more efficient. In turn, this will help the AC to run more efficiently and will help manage humidity levels inside the home, keeping a dryer climate in the summer.
3) Keep the Windows Closed until Pollen Season is Over
Most people already know to keep your bedroom windows closed when they sleep, but to reduce spring allergies, it’s best to keep all of your windows closed for the majority of the time. Because the vents of modern HVAC systems connect every room in your house, having the window open in one room introduces those pollens into EVERY room.
4) Check Your HVAC System for Mold Spores
This tip doesn’t directly relate to spring allergies, but to overall indoor air quality. Think about it like this: if your allergies are already bad, introducing mold spores into the equation can only make them worse.
While mold spores typically form on your system’s coils and drain pans, mold can appear on other parts as well. If you’ve had an HVAC system tuneup recently, you likely don’t have anything to worry about, but if it’s been awhile, you might want to bring us out to take a look.
5) Upgrade to The Aprilaire Whole House Air Cleaner
Your secret weapon against spring allergies and all other indoor air pollution is to consider one of the Aprilaire products that are on the market. Whole home air cleaners are a powerful filtration system that traps 98% of pollutants passing through your ducts.
How does that compare to a standard filter? We estimate the Aprilaire whole home air cleaner is up to 10x more effective at reducing airborne contaminants than its 1” counterpart.
If you’re ready to get aggressive against your spring allergies — and all other indoor air quality pollutants — this is the upgrade for you.
Schedule Spring HVAC Service — Ask About the Aprilaire Line of Filters
Call today to get your AC serviced and ready for another hot summer, and feel free to talk to our techs about your filtration options.
Vertex Mechanical is the one team that handles all things HVAC and air quality. We believe in building a relationship with each of our clients to meet the needs of all your heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, and indoor air quality needs.