Is my HVAC system making my allergies worse? That's the question many people ask in the spring and fall when they start using their heat and air conditioning more regularly. Whether your HVAC system is a friend or foe in the allergy battle depends on how well the system is maintained.
Dust, pollen and mold are the main offenders for people suffering with allergies. If they are already in the air, your HVAC system is just going to blow them around and keep you miserable unless you take some steps to break the cycle.
Step one: Using proper filters. Cheap air filters are designed to protect the equipment from being damaged by large large pieces of dirt and debris, not to keep you from sneezing. To get any health benefits from your filters, you have to make sure that you have the right kind. What you need are HEPA filters. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate AIr, and filters over 99 percent of particles from the air. Dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, dirt and everything else floating in the air is trapped in them before it gets to your lungs. This filters are assigned a MERV rating, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the MERV, the better the filter. Allergy sufferers generally need a MERV rating of at least 10 for the filter to be effective. The filters need to be changed at a minimum of every two months, more often if allergies are severe.
Step two: Clean your ducts. If your home has never had a duct cleaning or it's been a long time, buildup of dirt, dust and other irritants is inevitable. If your allergies are worsening, you have recently had work done on your home, you have had an infestation of insects or rodents or if you see visible mold around your ductwork, you really need to have them cleaned. Any cracks or holes in your ductwork that are discovered will also be repaired, which will improve the heating and cooling efficiency of your HVAC system.
If you are suffering from allergies, call the Gieler Company at 513-574-0025. We will come out and do an inspection of your ductwork, HVAC system and filters and design a solution to fit your needs.