HVAC and IAQ Tips for Spring Allergies | Allergy Awareness Month
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is the level of healthiness of the air you breathe inside your home. Clean air and clean lungs keep the flare ups at bay. There are things you can do to ensure that your indoor air quality is not contributing to respiratory issues.
Asthma Statistics in the U.S.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), ten people die every day from asthma. There are reportedly 24.5 million people in this country have asthma; 6 million under the age of 18.
More than 50 million Americans have an allergy. People suffer from a wide array of allergies, from pollen to foods and so on.
There are many types of allergies that people can have, and more and more people are reporting issues with allergies. As the rates increase, we need to be educated about how to stay healthy during allergy season.
National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Every year this is recognized by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Take the time this year to complete a deep spring cleaning, paying special attention to asthma, allergies, and other possible respiratory triggers caused by poor IAQ.
How to Reduce Asthma and Allergies at Home
1. Eliminate “Triggers”
Known “triggers” for asthma and allergies include dust mites, smoke, pet dander, pests, and pollen. Ensure that your windows and doors are properly sealed to keep outdoor pollution from entering your home and lungs.
A well-sealed home will also keep energy costs down. Keeping your home clean, ventilated, and the air conditioner maintained and cleaned are key ways to tackle your respiratory issues when indoors.
2. Manage Dust Mites
Dust mites can be found in all sorts of household items and all around! They live in your carpets, mattresses and pillows and even furniture.
Wash your sheets in hot water, air out your mattress monthly, and vacuum often. Keep your lungs clear and air clean by preventing dust mites from multiplying.
3. Eliminate Mold and Mildew
The presence of mold and mildew can cause life threatening respiratory issues. The microscopic spores that get released into the air can cause severe reactions, cold and flu-like symptoms, as well as strong, noxious odor.
If there is mildew present, then there is excess moisture. Speak with a professional HVAC technician about how to keep your home at healthy humidity levels, between 30 and 50 percent.
Pacific Heating and Cooling offers dehumidification services for just this purpose. Mildew poses fewer health risks than mold, but remediation solutions are necessary. Mold is toxic and must be immediately addresses. If you catch mold in its early stages, you can probably clean it yourself. If it has spread and is causing respiratory issues, contact a professional.
4. Replace (or Clean) the Air Filter
Changing the air filter in your air conditioner is an important maintenance job that should be frequently performed by the homeowner. Every 30 days, check the air conditioner filter to see if it needs to be cleaned or replaced.
Dirt and debris that gets stuck in the filter will impede airflow and eventually make its way into the internal components of the HVAC system. It is important that air passes through easily so airflow is not compromised.
Ensure your air filters are clean and make sure you have plenty of replacements on hand . Upgrade your air filters to more efficient options with a high MERV rating. The MERV rating can be found on the label and should be at least 7. If, however, you are considering a MERV rating above 13, contact a professional first to make sure the HVAC system can accommodate the larger, thicker filter.
5. Tune-Up & Breathe Easy!
Scheduling a professional cleaning and tune-up for your home comfort system is as important as ensuring your vehicle is serviced at least once a year. Otherwise, a similar result will follow—higher fuel cost, diminished performance, and more frequent breakdowns.
Never forget another HVAC tune-up again by signing up for THE CLUB.
The hotter it gets outside, the busier your local HVAC technician will become. Summer will be here soon enough, and it will be one of the hottest summers on record. Make sure your air conditioner is ready. Learn some DIY AC Maintenance you can use to supplement the professional one.
This May during Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, take the time to learn small ways you can make a big impact on the health of your indoor air quality. It will greatly benefit the health of your home and family. If anyone in your home suffers from asthma or allergies, which is likely, then these tips are critical to short and long-term respiratory health and comfort.
When you’re in your home, you shouldn’t have to worry about the same “triggers” that are everywhere outdoors. Implement these tips for cleaner indoor air this allergy season, and don’t forget to call up Pacific Heating and Cooling for your AC tune-up and indoor air quality consultation.