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An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies each year, and such persons may develop itchy eyes, congestion, and sneezing. In Fort Worth, TX, common contaminants found in indoor air include pollen, gases from cooking appliances, pet dander, and dust mites as well as irritants from smoke and insecticides. These allergies may worsen with time if homeowners don’t properly maintain their heating and air conditioning units. Not to worry though. Here are a few tips to use your heating and AC unit to alleviate allergies in your household.
Schedule a maintenance appointment
Some homeowners in Fort Worth, TX, are unaware that their heating and AC unit often requires regular maintenance from a professional. A faulty heating and AC unit may allow allergens to pass through the system, causing illnesses to you and your family. Poor maintenance may also lead to a system breakdown which is more costly to replace. This may leave you trapped in a world full of allergies and infections, considering you may spend most of your time in your house. Regular maintenance can often minimize the cases of allergies in your household. A technician may inspect the entire heating and AC unit, lubricate moving parts, and clean coils and blades when necessary.
You may also get an opportunity to replace faulty parts that were due to fail in the future. Your heating and AC filter unit is meant to trap allergens which may become airborne. With regular maintenance, your plumber may inform you when you need to replace or clean the filters. The heating and AC unit may also conceal mildew and mold which may end up in your indoor air during the air conditioning and heating cycles. Hidden mold can be easily detected and cleaned out by an HVAC professional.
A good way to handle this is by having a maintenance plan package with a heating and AC unit company. Some companies offer maintenance packages to assist in keeping your AC unit up to par throughout the changing seasons. These packages include tune-ups and cleaning procedures which will greatly reduce your home allergen build-up and keep you much healthier.
Maintain the right humidity in your home
When the level of humidity in your home is too high or too low, it may increase allergens and cause discomfort in your home. Mold tends to thrive in a moist environment, and once you inhale it, you may develop respiratory illnesses. This is especially prevalent during summer when the air holds more moisture. During the winter season, the humidity level may drop since cold air holds less water compared to warm air. However, the cold environment may lead to an increase in illnesses such as colds and flu, and viruses and germs may also thrive.
By adjusting the humidity in your home using a heating and AC unit, you can always be sure that the level of humidity is just right. You may consider an upgrade to whole-home solutions which will aid you to save a huge amount on energy costs, and you could also manage any other matter regarding air pollution in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor relative humidity (RH) should be kept below 60 percent, ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent, if possible.
Dust your vents
Homeowners may forget to dust their vents regularly as much as they dust their blinds, shelves, and cabinets. A dusty register or vent may negatively affect the air quality in your home, and you may eventually breathe in the dusty air. The registers and vents should take priority when dusting your home since the air circulated by your heating and AC unit passes through them. You may use a damp cloth to clean the vents and get rid of the dust particles. Alternatively, you could hire a plumber to do the work for you in case you’re unable to do it.
If there is too much dirt clogged in the vent, without the right tools, you wouldn’t be able to clean thoroughly apart from vacuuming at the opening of the register. Blockage in the vents and registers due to dust could exist without you even knowing it, so it’s wise to have a trustworthy heating and air conditioning contractor to occasionally inspect your vents.
Be on the lookout for mold
Mold thrives in a moist and humid environment and can enhance symptoms of asthma, allergies, and other respiratory conditions. In severe cases, it may cause serious illness or worse, death. The convenient way to keep your home at a constant humidity level is by getting a whole-house humidifier that operates using your existing ductwork. As a homeowner residing in Fort Worth, TX, you need to regularly inspect several areas in your heating and AC unit, for instance, the drain, evaporator coils, air handler, and ducts. While you may efficiently handle miniature mold spots on your own, you ought to leave significant problems to a professional mold remediation service provider.
Invest in a quality filter
A good way of improving the quality of air in your house is through your air filter. Ensuring that your air filter is of good quality is important in avoiding poor air quality in your home. A quality filter is capable of preventing microscopic particles that restrict allergies from invading your home. You need to understand how filters are rated to know which one is good for you. The measuring unit for heating and AC is Minimum Efficiency Recording Value (MERV) which ranges from 1 to 20.
A filter with a measurement of 1 MERV offers low air filtration and that with a score of 20 gives the maximum amount of particulate filtration available. If you have a basic air return filter, ensure you upgrade to a higher grade filter for more efficiency. A medium efficiency filter has a rating between 5 and 13 MERV and requires no other upgrades to your system. A high-efficiency filter’s rating is between 13 and 20 MERV. However, anything above that will take a toll on your system. Your unit will need to work harder to move air and it may not be able to compensate for the filtration burden.
Other upgrades that you can make to your heating and AC system include extended media, electrostatic, and ultraviolet filters. However, these upgrades need retrofitting of older AC systems since a filter upgrade is possible only with a new system. A professional can assist you to choose the best filtration system for your AC unit. It’s also recommendable to swap your air filters every three months, especially if you have pets and suffer from allergies.
Clean your indoor and outdoor unit
Your outside unit collects a great amount of debris and dust particles that can easily filtrate inside your home causing a lot of common allergy symptoms. The area around your air conditioner’s condenser unit should always be clear of anything that might obstruct airflow, up to four feet around its perimeter. Also, you should regularly clean your furnace and evaporator coil, and never place objects too close to the furnace or leave them leaning against it. To ensure that the air moving through the unit is as clean as possible, make sure you check out your outdoor unit and remove debris that may be around it. Keeping a clean heating and AC unit will also allow it to run efficiently. Debris and dust inside the home can also recirculate through your indoor unit, therefore, always strive to keep your entire home clean.
Regularly vacuum, dust, and sweep the area around your outdoor and indoor unit to prevent an accumulation of debris and dirt. By using a wet rag or microfiber dust cloth, clean the unit gently without knocking particles into the indoor air. Avoid using strong chemicals or detergents that may affect your system and cause more allergens. Ensure you steer away from using corrosive chemicals that may end up damaging the heating and AC unit, rendering it faulty. Additionally, research on how to go about cleaning the unit, or better still, you may get a professional to help you out.
The idea is to give your system room to breathe so your furnace and air conditioner can move air in and out of the system efficiently. Air that doesn’t move freely becomes stagnant and carries higher levels of allergens.
Monitor the air duct and replace if broken
The air duct is a common allergy trigger since it holds allergens like pollen and pet dander. Ductwork can develop cracks, possibly allowing significant moisture penetration. Allergens from the surrounding areas can find their way in through the openings and further contaminate your ducts. Poor air quality in your home can lead to a laundry list of nagging health issues. When your AC system blows air through ducts coated in dust, you could end up with allergens in your home. Ensure you clean your duct to improve air quality and consequently reduce allergy symptoms.
A heating and AC unit technician may assist you to repair or replace leaky or aging ducts in case they’re faulty. It’s crucial to undertake this task since your air conditioner and furnace will use these ducts to distribute heated or cooled air throughout your home. In case you have wooden floors, it’s vital to increase the number of times you check the air duct to two or three times a week.
Use UV lights
Ultraviolet lights are lighting components that are known to release light at a wavelength that’s deadly to bacteria. UV lights are harmful to smaller organisms and will help kill off bacteria that threaten to pollute your home’s air supply. They are an ideal way to prevent the growth of bacteria in your heating and AC unit. UV light acts as an air sterilizer by cleaning air moving through the system. It also acts as a coil sterilizer when it sits near the coils in the air handler by constantly running to keep mold and other contaminants at bay.
For homeowners in Fort Worth, TX, who are highly susceptible to illness, built-in UV lights offer complete sanitization. The UV lights may eradicate nearly all microscopic contaminants in the environment, improving the smell and feel of the air in your home. Depending on your home and personal needs, each UV light type has sterilizing benefits that may reduce maintenance activities and repair work. You may first sample a coil sterilizer and then install an air sterilizer after reviewing the results.
Install an air purifier
Air purifiers help in attacking allergens directly to ensure your home has purified air. If you are struggling with airborne contamination throughout your home, you may consider investing in a whole-house air purifier. It works hand in hand with the heating and AC unit to ensure that the air the system releases is clean enough. An air purifier may be worth the extra investment if you suffer from skin or respiratory allergies as a result of indoor air pollution. If your allergies are confined to particular rooms, you may also get a portable air purifier that you can carry around.
When it comes to purchasing an air purifier to combat allergies, keep in mind that devices can vary. You need to have in mind the air pollutants you’d like to filter out and the size of the room you’ll be using it in.
Call us now
One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth, TX, offers you affordable services for your Air Conditioning and Heating needs. We have Heating and Air Conditioning contractors who are skilled in handling multiple heating and air conditioning services, replacement, and repair. We specialize in design and air conditioner installation for new construction and indoor air quality solutions. Feel free to call us and request our services.