Living with summer allergies isn't fun, but you can take steps to make your home an allergy-free oasis. By managing your AC system correctly, it's possible to stay cool and comfortable without any allergy woes
1. Clean the AC System Annually
Dust, pollen, and mold in the AC air handler and the duct system will constantly circulate through the home, causing allergy sufferers discomfort. Make an annual system cleaning a regular part of your yearly AC maintenance visit. Your AC tech will clean out the air handler, which is the inside part of the unit. This is also a good time to have the ducts professionally cleaned to remove mold and allergens that have settled inside.
2. Upgrade Your Filtration
HEPA filters are designed with very small pores so that nearly every bit of debris, including even the smallest allergens, are filtered from the air. Most modern AC units can operate fine on a HEPA filter, but it's important to check first or the unit may overheat due to the reduced airflow through the smaller pores. Also, HEPA filters need to be changed more frequently since the smaller pores cause them to clog more frequently.
3. Install a Whole House Dehumidifier
Mold is a major allergen for many people, and moist air in the air ducts creates the perfect conditions for mold growth in the AC unit and ducts. Instead of constantly cleaning and battling the mold, install a whole house dehumidifier if you live in a damp or humid climate. The dehumidifier will remove the excess moisture from the air, which in turn will reduce the likelihood of mold growth inside your AC unit.
4. Maintain the Exterior Unit
The exterior unit can be the part of the AC system most prone to allergen buildup since it is outside and exposed to a lot more dust and pollen. The residue from these allergens can enter into the system and get transported throughout the entire house. Your AC tech should clean the unit thoroughly during annual maintenance, but additional monthly cleanings may also be necessary to reduce allergens. Fortunately, the outer housing is easy to remove, and then you can use a shop vac to clean out any debris that collects inside.
5. Vacuum Your Vents
Although a professional is needed to clean out the allergens that collect deep inside the vents, you can reduce how quickly the allergens buildup with some basic housekeeping. When you vacuum your home each week, take a moment to remove the vent covers and vacuum out the vents with the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner. This will help reduce the amount of dust and allergens that settle in the ducts.
Contact an HVAC system service for more assistance with reducing indoor AC-related allergies.