Ahhh, it's fall allergy season and the pollen is flying. If you are one of the many people miserable with fall allergies, the good news is your HVAC system can help. While technically your HVAC system is designed to trap and catch dust and not necessarily allergens, a few small changes and your HVAC can help you breathe easier.
1. First, make sure you schedule your twice yearly regular maintenance. Keeping your HVAC system operating as efficiently as possible is key.
2. Dust your vents and registers regularly. If you see dust, you could be breathing dust and making allergies worse.
3. Remove debris from around the outside unit and make sure you dust and clean around the indoor unit on a regular basis. The less dust and grime around, the less the chance it can be pulled into the air you breathe.
4. Buy a better quality air filter. Look for a filter with a MERV (minimum efficiency recording value) rating of at least 8, though they go up to a rating of 20. The higher the number, the smaller the particles it can capture and remove from your air.
5. If your system is compatible with HEPA filters, choose a HEPA filter instead. For allergies, a HEPA filter rated between 17-20 is best. HEPA filters are made from glass fibers instead of paper so, it's important to make sure your system is compatible before you install a HEPA filter or you'll put significant stress on your HVAC system that could lead to a breakdown.
6. Change your air filter regularly. Ideally, it's best to change your filter bi-monthly. If you have pets, changing your filter monthly will give you the best chance at allergy relief.
7. Watch the humidity level. High humidity tends to make allergy symptoms worse. High humidity can also cause mold and mildew to grow on your air filter, making your allergy problems into a more serious indoor air quality issue.
While your HVAC system isn't exactly designed to be an allergen reducer, there are things you can do to get it to help you in the fight against allergies. These 7 tips help you reduce allergies using your HVAC system and its maintenance.