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How HVAC Care Can Help Your Fall Allergies

November 8, 2018

Dealing With Frustrating Allergies

Allergies occur when your body overreacts to a typically harmless foreign substance, causing symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. Allergic reactions are a commonly shared misery, with over 50 million Americans suffering each year, and are the sixth-leading chronic disease in the U.S., according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

In the San Diego area, indoor and outdoor allergy sensitivities can flare up any time of the year, though the culprits vary. Common types of seasonal allergies in San Diego and Southern California include:

  • Winter/Spring: Pollination from local trees including ash, cypress, mulberry, olive, oak, maple, and acacia
  • Spring/Summer: Grass varieties such as Bermuda, orchard, meadow fescue, ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and Timothy-grass
  • Fall/Winter: Weeds such as pigweed, sagebrush, goldenrod, marsh elder, and nettle

Despite the fact that allergy sufferers cannot change the course of nature, there are some environmental controls you can try that may improve your allergy symptoms this fall. One of the easiest and most effective remedies is to install and maintain the right HVAC system for you and your family, and this requires knowing a bit about filters and system maintenance.

Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting and fine-tuning your HVAC system for allergy relief:

HVAC Filters

Changing out HVAC filters once per month is a must during seasons when the system runs continuously, but you also need to be sure you’re using the right air filter for your system. The type of air filter you use will impact how many pollutants make it into the air of your home or workplace – and then circulate back into the air again.

Consider these four types of filters before deciding which one is right for your needs:

  • Flat panel filters. These are basic air filters that are not designed to improve air quality but intended to simply protect the HVAC unit.
  • Medium efficiency filters. A step up from basic flat-panels, these filters are pleated in design and therefore have more surface area to collect more particles from the air.
  • High-efficiency filters. A high-efficiency HVAC system filter can remove even smaller particles from the air, ensuring cleaner air for the people who breathe it in.
  • HEPA filters. Short for high-efficiency particulate air filters, HEPA filters are not generally used with older HVAC systems because of the strain on the system. If you are interested in using HEPA filters, contact an HVAC professional first to discuss your options.

HVAC Maintenance

Ensuring that mold and other allergens stay out of the air ducts is vital to avoiding allergy symptoms. Scheduling a duct inspection by an HVAC professional is recommended — he or she will look for mold growth and other allergen potential issues, both inside the ducts and near the HVAC unit. An HVAC professional can also offer tips on how to avoid future mold and other allergens.

If you suspect you have an issue with mold or another allergen and you can’t seem to find the source, always call an HVAC professional right away. However, don’t just be reactive: Having your HVAC unit inspected at least twice per year is an important part of keeping indoor air quality high and allergens low.

When the time comes to update your HVAC system, you might want to consider a system that mechanically pushes more outdoor air into your home – but this decision also depends on how severe your outdoor allergy sensitivities are. While outdoor air offers a fresh take on the air inside and can improve air quality and ventilation, thus aiding in asthma and allergy relief, only an HVAC professional can tell you if such a system would work in your home.

Understanding how indoor air quality impacts allergies is an important step in finding allergy relief. Rely on the HVAC professionals at Bob Jenson to keep you in the know when it comes to the reduction of allergy-causing agents in your home. We can also advise on the right air filter for you and show you how to properly change it.

About The Author

Bob Jenson

For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.

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