Let’s face it; when it comes to allergy seasons, fall doesn’t get much attention when compared to spring. Yet, fall does have a number of challenges for allergy sufferers, and many people are affected each year. The main issue is that cooler temperatures tend to lower the efficiency of the human immune system. This means that the effectiveness of allergies is enhanced, leading to misery for allergy sufferers. In this article, we will explore this topic in more detail and show three ways that you can get cleaner air your HVAC system.
The Dangers of Fall Allergies
The biggest cause of fall allergies is ragweed, and those that suffer from many spring allergies will be affected by ragweed. Many people are unaware that ragweed can travel for hundreds of miles on the wind, so even if you don’t have it in your area, it should be a source of concern. The main symptoms of a ragweed reaction include sore eyes and lung irritation leading to coughing and breathing issues.
Another air pollutant that becomes more noticeable when temperatures are cooler is mold. As the temperature drops, the humid clouds are damper, and this creates ideal conditions for mold growth. When leaves fall from the trees and pile up on the ground, they hold water and restrict airflow, which can lead to mold growth around your home. If you have trees in and around your yard, it’s important to understand that they are a potential source of mold growth.
Fall allergies are at best, an annoyance, but they are a considerable source of discomfort for many people. But, you don’t need to suffer from the effects of severe allergies, and there are things that you can do to improve the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in your home.
- Invest in IAQ Technology
The best way to reduce the allergens that may be circulating in your home is to reduce the volume of harmful particulates. The most effective technology currently in use are air purification systems. These are an ideal way to improve IAQ for asthma sufferers and those prone to severe allergic reactions. All the air in your home will cycle through the air purifier, which catches and removes harmful particulates and pollutants. This type of system will work well all year round, and it’s especially helpful during spring or fall allergy seasons. In the past, air purification technology was beyond the reach of most people due to the initial purchasing and installation costs. But, if you haven’t looked into air purifiers for a while, you may be pleasantly surprised. Air purification systems are now affordable, and in many cases, they can be fitted to an existing HVAC system. If you’re interested in an air purifier for your home, get in touch with a local HVAC specialist and ask them about their latest deals.
- Essential HVAC Maintenance
There are three things that you can do to boost the efficiency of your HVAC system and improve your IAQ at the same time, they are:
- Clean Inside and Outside: As we mentioned earlier, the yard and other areas surrounding your home are a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. This can be combatted by raking up leaves and other debris and disposing of them responsibly. Inside the home, it’s important to vacuum regularly to remove dirt and dust that could exacerbate asthma and allergies. Cleaning may seem like a menial chore, but it can be very helpful because that debris can ultimately end up in your HVAC system. Once these particulates enter your home, they will circulate constantly, reducing the IAQ.
- Cleaning Ductwork: The treated air in many homes is distributed by a network of ducts. But, these areas are prone to collecting dirt, dust, and other debris that can promote the growth of mold and bacteria. Ductwork that’s in poor shape may have cracks and breaks that allow material to enter and treated air to escape. Sealing ducts with duct tape is a short term measure, and a professional repair or replacement is a better idea. A local HVAC specialist can carry out professional duct cleaning, and many people are surprised at the difference in IAQ when the cleaning is completed.
- Clean the Outdoor HVAC Unit: Most of us forget about our outdoor units at the end of a long summer, and they can quickly become covered in dust and dirt. Cleaning this away will help the HVAC system to work more efficiently and improve the IAQ. Checking and cleaning the outdoor unit is included as part of an annual HVAC system check up.
- Check, Change or Clean the Filters
A new or clear filter will do a better job of catching pollutants and particulates that may be circulating in your home. Many people forget about their filters, but they need to be clean and clean, or the HVAC system will not work efficiently. Experts recommend that the filters should be changed every month, but you may need to change them more frequently if you have pets. Changing filters is extremely easy; the full instructions are detailed in your owner’s manual. If you’ve misplaced your owner’s manual, check online for a free pdf and follow the instructions carefully. It’s important to use the correct type of filter, the serial number can be found on the rim of the filter, and you can purchase them in bulk to save money. If you install the wrong size filter, the air can pass around the sides, and it is next to useless. The primary purpose of the filters is to prevent contaminants from damaging sensitive components. If the filter is clogged, the equipment can be overworked, leading to a repair bill or even a system failure in extreme cases.
If anyone in your home suffers from allergies in fall or at any other time of the year, there is something that you can do about the problem. Contact your local HVAC specialist and ask them about regular maintenance and air purification systems.