Managing Allergens for Better Indoor Air Quality
Atlanta’s air purity experts at Gagne Heating and Air offer tips to help allergy sufferers stop sniffling and improve their indoor air quality with air filters, purifiers, dehumidifiers and more
Allergies are annoying! Your nose runs, your eyes itch and water, and your head throbs uncontrollably. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, up to 30% of adults and 40% of children suffer from allergies.
What many allergy sufferers don’t know is that their heating and cooling system can play a role in the amount of allergens in their home or workplace. Central air systems work by recirculating the air in your home. If your indoor air quality is poor and ridden with allergens, your central air may be recirculating the very things that are causing you problems.
Here are a few ways to reduce the allergens in your home for a better indoor air quality:
Air filters are the first line of allergen defense as the air in your home or workplace circulates. If you are buying the generic air filter brand, you’re probably not receiving the maximum protection. When purchasing air filters, look for a high MERV value (between 8-10) as well as filters that specifically say “picks up allergens.” Also, remember to change your filter every few months.
Need help? Learn more about replacing your air filters here.
If your central air system isn’t purifying as much as you need it to, air purifiers may provide just the extra help you need. You can buy whole house purifiers or smaller units for individual rooms, but make sure you do your best to limit the amount of allergens in your home first.
Mold, dust, mildew, and mites all thrive in humidity. If the air inside is consistently humid, it could be negatively affecting you by housing allergens. Central air conditioning does dehumidify the air as it cools, but depending on the time of year and where you live, you may want to invest in a whole house dehumidifier or just small ones for specific rooms.
If your ductwork has cracks and leaks, it’s not only wasting energy by letting your conditioned air escape, but it’s also a source where allergens can get into your central air system. Have a local HVAC professional evaluate your system, and it may save both your allergies and your energy costs.
You can do a lot to limit the amount of allergens within your central air system, but keep in mind just how much dirt and allergens people bring in with them from outside. A few tips to reduce the allergens that you carry in are to leave your shoes at the entry way to your home, bathe your pets regularly, and wash your clothes and linens often. Also, just keeping a consistently clean household can help reduce allergens in the home.
It may take a combination of these things to help control the amount of allergens, but it’s worth the effort when you have great indoor air quality in your home or workplace.