How to Alleviate Allergies with Your HVAC Unit

alleviate allergies

If you have allergies, going outside can trigger a number of uncomfortable symptoms. Your home is supposed to be a reprieve from the dust and pollution of the outdoors. Unfortunately, indoor air quality can be just as poor as outside air quality. Here are a few ways to help alleviate allergies in your home with the help of your indoor heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

Common Home Allergens

Indoor air pollution is usually higher than that of the outdoors. There are a number of dirt and debris sources inside the home that can antagonize and worsen allergy symptoms. Some of the most common pollutants include:

  • Pet dander from any four-legged friends within the home.
  • Microscopic insects called dust mites feed on human skin flakes, but their waste and shell debris is particularly allergenic.
  • Mold grows easily in damp areas of the home. The spores it releases can be spread through the ventilation system and cause serious health issues when inhaled.
  • Pollen from indoor plants, as well as neighboring trees or bushes, can enter your home through windows or open doors.
  • Smoke from cigarettes is one of the most poisonous indoor pollutants, but also the easiest to control. If you do smoke, try to take the habit outside.
  • HVAC Filtration

    Your HVAC system’s filters help minimize the concentration of your home’s indoor air pollutants. Some are built into the system, but all should be regularly maintained or replaced. The effectiveness of a filter is measured using MERVs: minimum efficiency recording value. The MERV scale goes from 1 to 20, with 20 being the best level of filtration. Different varieties of filters have different MERV values.

    • Flat panel filters are designed to prevent unwanted particles from entering your home’s furnace. They generally have a MERV of 1 to 4.
    • Medium efficiency filters have a pleated surface, creating more surface area to catch particles, and a MERV ranging from 5 to 13.
    • High-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filters are designed for high-end modern HVAC systems. Their MERV score commonly falls in the 17 to 20 range.
    • Duct Sealing

      Another source of allergens in your home could be the air ducts themselves. A home’s internal ventilation and ductwork commonly runs through attics, crawlspaces and basements. If the ducts within your home are faulty due to age or leaks, they can suck in air from these spaces. The air is then pumped directly into your living areas, further spreading any allergenic compounds that are normally found in the dirtiest crevices of your home.

      If you notice substantial dust and debris in your home, one solution is to have your ductwork professionally sealed. Sealing the ductwork prevents dirty air from being sucked into your HVAC system and further increases its overall efficiency, improving your health and saving you money.

      Arizona Comfort Specialists

      Western States Home Services is dedicated to making your home comfortable, no matter the season. With more than 50 years of experience in the HVAC industry, we employ only the best technicians and offer a number of services to keep your HVAC system working perfectly. Contact us today for a free estimate or to learn more about Aeroseal duct sealing technology!
      alleviate allergies infographic