Can you believe that more than 17 million adults and 7 million children in the US have asthma—and more than 50 million have allergies? Symptoms of allergy and asthma include runny nose; sneezing; throat clearing; cough; stuffy nose; watery eyes; itchy ears, throat and/or nose, just to name a few, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (Source.)
But what if you could take steps to lessen some of these symptoms or your allergies in general?
Your heating and cooling system works to protect you from allergens and pollutants—not just during allergy season, but year-round in your home.
Indoor allergy triggers can include:
- Dust mites
- Pollen (which is actually present year-round)
- Animals such as cats or dogs (or even being in an area where they were)
- Molds and other fungus
- Cockroaches (but also other bugs)
- Waste particles
- Pet dander
- Nearby construction or combustion
- Dead skin flakes
- Burning candles or incense
Surprising sources of indoor air pollutants also include certain paints, upholstered furniture, new carpet, certain electronics, and certain glues and adhesives. When any of these allergen particles or “invaders” come into contact with us (in particular our eyes, nose, mouth, or airways) is what makes an allergic reaction occur. The average person today spends as much as 90 percent of our time indoors, so the air quality is important, whether or not you noticeably suffer from allergies!
Your Heating & Cooling System Helps Combat Allergens in the Air
Recall that your home comfort system is made up your thermostat, a furnace, an air conditioner or heat pump, and an indoor air quality system.
The thermostat truly is the “command center” for your heating and cooling system because it signals the direction for your system to take. By signaling direction, it also impacts the power and usage of your system. Whenever the air in your home reaches your furnace cabinet, it then passes through a filter, air cleaner, or other air quality system. The air will also move through a heat exchanger and then your heated air is blown back into ducts, and the rooms of your house.
Understanding Your HVAC: Your Air Delivery System
Even when it gets warmer, your furnace is still working—sure it might not be heating rooms but it’s delivering air throughout the home. When your thermostat senses the temperature is too warm your air conditioner compressor will be activated. This pumps refrigerant through a loop of piping that runs between the outside air conditioning unit and your indoor cooling coil.
Heat is extracted from the indoor air when refrigerant passes through your cooling coil. In simple terms, your blower then sends that conditioned air throughout your home..
Stay As Healthy As Possible: Managing Your Allergies
Filters were built into HVAC systems to keep the moving parts of the furnace free of dust and debris, but they are also the key component to improving the quality of the air that flows through your home.
Changing your air filter regularly is one of the top ways to find relief from allergens (and allergies!) in your home.
Air filters regularly and consistently eliminate mold, pollen, spores and other contaminants throughout your home. Good air filters keep your home cleaner and they keep the actual air itself cleaner and fresher! Polluted air also can contain chemicals that age the skin—so that’s just one more reason to do your best to keep your air clean and pure.
Make sure you are regularly cleaning your home. Whether it be vacuuming so that you can get rid of pet hair, or getting the cobwebs cleaned, routine cleaning is critical to combat allergens in the air. Mold that builds up in our showers or other areas is also something to work to eliminate and get rid of. If you have extreme allergies and no fan in your bathroom, look into the possibility of getting a fan which can help reduce this mold build-up over time.
Next, if you aren’t already, consider washing your bedding at least once a week in hot water to also get rid of potential allergens, pollen, dust, dust mites, and pet dander. At the very least, this can help you have a more comfortable home. Even though it can be tempting this time of year, avoid opening the windows or opening your doors for an extended period of time. Doing so brings in a great deal of potential allergens into your home. Yes, your system is working to get rid of those particles, but keeping the house shut as much as possible will greatly reduce the amount in your home to begin with.
Call the Experts at Greater Comfort
Not all air filters are created equally! Modern air filters come in a wide variety of materials, systems and quality. Your experts at Greater Comfort can help you select the best one for your family’s needs. We can also help you learn how to change your filter and give you recommendations on which filter would be best for your household. Give the experts at Greater Comfort a call today at 859-491-4915 for all your AC needs.