Got Allergies? Your HVAC System Can Help

Achoo! Did you know more than 50 million Americans have allergies? That makes allergies the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S., racking up $18 billion annually.[1]Spring is in full swing, which means flowers are in bloom and seasonal allergies are taking hold. If you or your family members suffers from seasonal allergies, your HVAC can play a major role in reducing the amount of allergens in your home.
So, what are allergens? Allergens are any antigen (substance) that cause a reaction from the immune system. Common allergens include pollen, pet dander, mold and dust. These allergens travel through the air you breathe and can settle on surfaces. While they don’t pay rent, they live in your home and cause allergic reactions like sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes.
How to reduce allergens in your home[2]
It isn’t a lost cause. With proper HVAC maintenance, existing and potential allergens can be removed from invading your indoor air. Take your allergy medicine, but don’t forget about your spring HVAC maintenance. Regular maintenance has a lot of benefits, and a spring appointment with an MTB professional can help reduce the amount of allergens in your home and make sure your HVAC system doesn’t have any dust or blockages.
Furnace filters are another major factor in your indoor air quality. You should replace your filters every three months, and choose filters that are at least a MERV 8 rating — this level protects against indoor allergens.
Make sure there isn’t any debris around your units, both indoors and out. Your outdoor AC unit pulls in air surrounding the unit to circulate inside. If there are dust and debris around the unit, they won’t stay outside. They will be a part of your breathing air. This goes for your indoor unit, too. Clean and vacuum around your indoor unit to prevent allergens from recirculating.
Keep an eye out for mold. It loves environments that are humid and moist, so be mindful of your ducts, evaporator coils, condensate drip pan and drain, and the air handler. Mold spores can worsen your allergies, but they can also lead to sickness, and in the most extreme cases, death. Don’t leave mold unchecked. And remember, the removal of larger amounts should be handled by a professional.
Dust, dust, dust. To prevent allergens, don’t only dust your home, dust your registers and return vents since they circulate the air throughout your home from your HVAC system. Take a damp or treated rag and clean these vents in every room. A damp rag will ensure that your cleaning doesn’t kick up dust mites that can affect your allergies.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with MTB, contact us.
[1] Allergies via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
[2] 5 Simple Ways to Reduce Allergens in Your Home This Spring via HVAC.com