Do you struggle with seasonal allergies? Does even the smallest amount of pet dander, dust mites, or other airborne contaminant trigger allergic reactions year-round? Do your allergy symptoms seem to follow you even inside your own house? Well, that might have more to do with your air conditioner system than you know. After all, your HVAC unit filters air throughout your entire house; when they collect dust, pet hair, and other allergens in the ductwork, that can then be redistributed through the air throughout your home.
However, if you take good care of your HVAC system and take advantage of all its benefits, it can actually help you reduce allergy symptoms in your family. This will include things like changing the air filters, keeping your ductwork clean, and using devices like air cleaners, air purifiers, and air scrubbers to prevent allergens from building up on every available surface.
If you want to get your HVAC on the right track to reduce allergens in your home before allergy season, give Lex Air Conditioning and Heating a call at 972-217-8955 today! Our skilled technicians can help you with everything from HVAC installation services to cleaning, maintenance, and second opinions on equipment in Carrollton, Fairview, Corinth, Arlington, Prosper, and all the surrounding areas in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.
Below, we’re going to take you through exactly how routine air conditioner maintenance can leave your home with fewer allergens and potentially reduce your allergic reactions.
How Can I Remove Allergens From My Home?
There are a lot of things you can do to reduce allergens in your home, and while a lot of them have to do with your air filtration system, there are also a few other things you can do to control indoor allergens. Some of the actions you can take to allergy-proof your home include:
Keep Surfaces Clean
It’s important to keep your home clean if you want to avoid indoor allergens. Tiny particles of dust and other allergens can build up on every surface of your home, creating a maelstrom of pollutants that allergy sufferers might react to. As such, you should use a vacuum cleaner or sweep and mop hardwood floors regularly. If you have carpet, a semi-regular steam cleaning would help.
If you have leather rather than upholstered furniture, wipe your furniture with a damp cloth regularly to rid it of any pollutants that might have gathered. Keep pet toys as clean as you can and stored away in certain areas of the house. On that note, if anyone in your house suffers from pet allergies, bathe and brush your pet regularly to avoid clumps of pet fur floating around.
Store shoes outside to avoid outdoor allergens coming in on the soles of your feet. Change clothes and shower when you come inside from outdoor activities to limit the buildup of dead skin cells on all your indoor surfaces and upholstered furniture. Consider acquiring washable curtains to make it easier to keep those clean. Wash dishes daily to keep food debris and food crumbs from gathering.
Keep Relative Humidity in Check
Relative humidity levels should be around 40% inside your home; not too humid, but not too dry either. If you allow humidity levels to climb too much, you will promote mold growth in damp places like your bathroom or kitchen. Mold spores and mold growth can cause severe allergies when breathed in regularly.
You should also check containers in damp environments regularly; moldy rubber seals in the attic can also cause allergy symptoms to flare up. Consider using plastic storage bins that mold won’t grow on.
Look into humidity control systems that can help you better balance the humidity levels in your home. If you live in a particularly dry environment, a whole-house humidifier within your HVAC system can help you balance the humidity in your home. If you live in a damp environment, a whole-house dehumidifier can do the same and also prevent mold growth.
Monitor Sources of Indoor Allergens
There are a variety of things in your home that might trap allergens. Things like stuffed animals will often collect pollutants and gather dust; as a result, wash stuffed animals weekly. Removing decorative throw pillows that aren’t able to be washed in hot water can also help.
If you have pets, bathe them regularly to reduce pet dander. Frequent use of wood-burning fireplaces could also be a source of allergy symptoms.
The presence of insects can also cause allergies. If you place an insect-proof lid on anything insects might be able to get into, it could help reduce allergens. Additionally, your clothes dryer probably traps more dust and other allergens than you realize. Clean its filter regularly.
Take Advantage of Air Filtration
Your HVAC unit, as well as a variety of products in addition to your air conditioners, can help you fight airborne allergens and improve indoor air quality in your home. Definitely keep your air filter changed; if your filter gets clogged up with dust mites and other pollutants, it has to work twice as hard to push clean air through your home. You could also consider upgrading your air filter from a standard filter to a High-Efficiency Particulate Air, or HEPA, filter. A true HEPA filter with a MERV rating of over ten will catch small particles and reduce allergens standard filters will miss.
What Products Remove Allergens from the Air?
If your cleaning methods just aren’t working and your family is still suffering from allergen exposure, it may be time to call in the big guns–add-ons and services for your HVAC and air filtration system.
There are a few different kinds of products that can help you with reducing allergens in your home. Here are some of the most standard:
Standard Media Air Filters
It’s important to keep your air filters clean if you want to reduce allergens in your home. Like we already mentioned, if your air filters are dirty, your HVAC will be working overtime, pushing through a layer of dust mites and other pollutants.
If you’re not sure how to change your air filters or what new air filters you might need, our HVAC maintenance plan includes filter changes. We can also tell you exactly what kind of filter you need and where to find it.
In addition to dust mites, pollen, dander, and other allergens floating around your home, there’s also a veritable smorgasbord of viruses and other minute particles that can give you far worse than a runny nose. That’s where UV air purifiers come in.
An ultraviolet light air purifier uses UV light to damage the DNA of bacteria and other tiny molecules that might make you sick. As pollen, dust, and viruses pass through your air purifier, contact with the UV light will damage their DNA just like extended contact with UV light damages our DNA. This will, ideally, leave these viruses unable to infect living matter.
Electronic Air Cleaners
Similarly, an electronic air cleaner uses electrically charged filters to attract and trap particles.
In an electronic air purifier, a prefilter catches larger particles like dust mites and dander. Then, filters with an electric charge attract smaller particles and keep them from recirculating in your home.
An air scrubber is similar to a whole-home air purifier in that it uses a filtration system to keep your home allergen-free. Air scrubbers use a variety of filters, as well as UV light, to create charged ions that bond to allergens as they float through your HVAC. These allergens become too large to continue floating. When your HVACs exhaust fan is turned on, it blows these larger particles through your vents and ducts, where they are caught by your filters.
At Lex Air, we are proud to offer Carrollton air scrubber installation service. Air Scrubbers by Aerus use ActivePure technology to significantly reduce indoor allergens.
What Services Remove Allergens from the Air?
In addition to products, there are also regular services that can help keep your home allergen-free.
Routine HVAC System Maintenance
Your HVAC system is meant to keep clean air moving through your home. By keeping it in tip top shape, you’re giving yourself the best chance to keep allergens out of your home. Routine maintenance includes filter changes as well as annual cooling and heating tune-ups. These regular checks and tune-ups help clear away any dust or debris that might gather in your AC unit and recirculate into your home.
If you’re struggling with an excess of allergens in the home, you may need an experienced technician’s opinion on how to proceed. Lex Air also offers an affordable maintenance plan that can help. Members of our plan receive priority service and scheduling, as well as discounts on certain parts and services.
Your air ducts are the veins through which your HVAC system moves air through your home. If they become clogged with dirt and grime, you’re going to see an excess of pollutants blowing through your vents. Obtaining our regular Carrollton duct cleaning services can help keep these airways free and clear.
Like we mentioned earlier, when it comes to allergens and allergies, humidity matters. If your home is too humid, it will grow mold. If your house is too dry, you may not have allergies, but you’ll still be pretty miserable. Depending on your circumstances, you can add either a humidifier or a dehumidifier to your HVAC system in order to adjust the relative humidity in your home accordingly.
Call the Top Carrollton Indoor Air Quality Experts at Lex Air Conditioning and Heating Today
If you experience allergy symptoms that leave you feeling miserable every year and you need some help eliminating allergens, call the North Texas air conditioning experts at Lex Air at 972-217-8955. We can help you allergy-proof your home with a variety of products, services, and advice, as well as improve your indoor air quality and help you discover where exactly airborne allergens are coming from inside your home. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment, or send us a message here.