Air quality in the Fresno area can be negatively impacted by oak, birch and weed pollen, and by airborne allergens originating in the Central Valley’s agricultural areas. With our almost year-round warm weather and bright sunshine, though, indoor dust and dander levels can still be extreme when irritant levels outside are minimal. Happily, you don’t have to let fall allergies in Fresno get you down.
Understanding Allergies. What we call allergies are an overreaction of the immune system, your body’s way of defending itself against viruses and bacteria. When an unusually sensitive immune system treats harmless substances – such as animal dander and dust mites – as though they were harmful, it provokes a response we call an allergic reaction.
Impact. Up to 40 million Americans suffer from constant or seasonal allergies, effecting all ages, races and genders equally. Asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis (stuffy, itchy eyes, nose and throat, nasal congestion and sneezing) are among the most common. The common cold doesn’t cause that scratchy feeling in the throat and eyes, and while cold symptoms usually run seven to 10 days, allergic reactions often disappear as soon as exposure to the allergen ceases.
Causes. Some allergic reactions are stimulated by very common, harmless substances including mold, grass and tree pollen, animal dander and dust mites. In some people, typically nonirritant foods and drugs also trigger allergic reactions. In the case of fall allergies, allergic rhinitis – hay fever – can be particularly bad.
Responses. Filtration of your indoor air is the first, best response to indoor allergies. The right type of air filter in your forced-air heating or cooling system can help trap pollen, interrupting the passage of particles in circulating air, reducing the amount that reach your living space.
Different densities of filter material trap different contaminants, but most are comparable by using their MERV rating, meaning minimum efficiency reporting value. This is a numeric scale, and filters with MERV ratings of between 7 and 13 are almost as effective as true HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters at removing troublesome particulates from your indoor air, while being cheaper and easier to install and use. Please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning to learn more about your options.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).