If you’re suffering from allergies this spring, it may be due to poor indoor air quality. Although the culprits outdoors and inside your home may be many, cleaning and servicing your heating and cooling system can help clear your air, helping you breathe easier.
The first line of attack for improving poor indoor air quality is to clean or change the air filter in your heating and cooling equipment. The filter traps particles that can harm your HVAC equipment, and if the filter becomes clogged with debris, eventually the particles will start blowing through the filter and throughout your home, or else settle on sensitive components in your heating and cooling equipment. Dust, dander and pollen are common irritating allergens, and with frequent filter changes or cleaning, you will lower the particulate load in your home.
The kind of filter you use for your HVAC system makes a difference, too. Filters carry MERV ratings, which stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. The scale runs from 1 to 16 for residential filters. Higher-rated filters remove smaller particles, but your system may work best with a MERV 9-13 filter, if higher-rated filters impede airflow. The best way to determine the maximum MERV rating for your system is to look at your owner’s manual or contact an HVAC technician who can determine the maximum value.
The second step in improving your air quality is to inspect your ducts or ask an HVAC contractor to look them over. When you have leaky ducts, the airflow inside the ducts brings small particles into the ductwork, which can irritate your allergies. In the same way, conditioned air can escape through the leaks. If you find leaks, patch them with metal tape or mastic rather than duct tape, which won’t maintain its seal for long.
The last step to improve poor indoor air quality is to have your HVAC system serviced once or twice a year. The technicians will thoroughly clean all parts, lowering the dust and particulate loads, and increasing the life of your system.
We at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning can help you alleviate your allergies with proper maintenance of your HVAC equipment. We’ve been serving the Fresno area for over 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about poor indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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