How to Combat Fall Allergies
Many people enjoy autumn, but others have to deal with fall allergies. Louisville, Kentucky has wonderful autumns, but when the fall allergens come around, homeowners have trouble enjoying the season. Homeowners across Louisville experience allergies, but many don’t know how HVAC systems help fight their symptoms.
Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling has all the information you need to combat fall allergies with the help of your HVAC system. Our qualified technicians collected all the most useful information about HVAC and allergies for homeowners. We cover IAQ products, how HVAC helps the air quality, and how to reduce fall allergy symptoms in addition to what the HVAC system does.
Fall Allergies & IAQ Products
IAQ products improve the quality of air in your home through multiple means. IAQ, or indoor air quality, refers to how clean the air is inside your home. When IAQ reaches high levels, the air in the home is clean and free of most allergens and other particles. The HVAC system does this on its own, but IAQ products help the system when these miniscule particles increase.
Fall allergies don’t stand a chance against your HVAC system and IAQ products combined. These are some of the most effective products to increase the air quality in your home.
- UV air purification. UV air treatments use UV technology to remove mold and mildew from the air. These air purifiers go inside the HVAC system to get rid of the mold and mildew. HVAC systems deal with moisture on a regular basis, which opens them up to mold and mildew growth. When these substances grow, the pollutants circulate back through your home. However, UV treatments kill the harmful particles and help clear the mold to reduce fall allergies.
- Air cleaners and purifiers. Secondly, air cleaners and purifiers remove allergens from your home and improve the indoor air quality through miniscule particle removal. Because they remove dust, dirt, and other allergens from the air, the IAQ increases. Some air purifiers use negative ions or UV lamps to sanitize the air rather than collect dust and dirt. They make sure the mold and mildew pollutants—which are not collected by air cleaners—are removed, which improves the symptoms of your allergies. Along with the filtration already present in the HVAC system, miniscule particles are reduced to practically nothing with the help of an air cleaner.
- Dehumidifiers. A dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air in your home. Dehumidifiers ensures the wet conditions associated with autumn don’t impact the IAQ in your home. Mold and mildew grow best in damp areas, so a dehumidifier ensures this growth stays minimal.
- IAQ thermostat. An IAQ thermostat combats fall allergies because it controls all of your other IAQ products. Standard thermostats control the HVAC system, but IAQ thermostats include controls for IAQ products. In addition to what they do for your indoor air quality systems, they also save you money. They use environmental readings, so IAQ thermostats always know how much usage to give to your other IAQ devices.
- Quality filters. Air filters are key components in an HVAC system. They remove dust, dirt, pollen, and other allergens from the air before it circulates into your home. However, high-quality filters go above and beyond other types of filters because they remove more and smaller particles from the air. Look for replacement filters with a MERV 8-13 rating.
Fight Fall Allergies with HVAC
HVAC systems fight fall allergies on their own, but homeowners need to maintain their systems to keep them working at their best. In order to properly care for the HVAC system—and ensure allergens are minimized—homeowners must regularly perform the following tasks.
- Check for mold and mildew. Mold and mildew grow in HVAC systems because units collect condensation in their heating and cooling processes. With UV air treatments, growth significantly decreases. However, for homes without UV treatments, the chance of growth is high. Check for mold and mildew in your system. Warm, soapy water takes care of most mold and mildew. After cleaning, keep the area cool and dry to prevent additional growth.
- Clean the HVAC system. Regular cleaning to the entire system ensures no excess dirt, dust, pollen, or other allergens get into key components of the unit. Be sure to dust the fans, vents, and other crucial parts of the system to keep miniscule particles from entering the unit. If they do get in, they blow right back out when you turn the system on, which impacts your fall allergies.
- Change air filters. It’s good practice to change air filters at the frequency recommended by the manufacturer, which is every month to about once a year depending on your filter. Some filters only need changed once every three months, but they still need to be checked every few weeks. When seasons change, dust collects in excess, which fills the filter faster. Overused filters don’t efficiently stop bad air from circulating through the home. This decreases IAQ and increases allergies.
- Modify HVAC settings. HVAC settings must be modified to fit the current season. Because summer and fall experience different kinds of weather and temperature related problems, the HVAC needs to properly account for those changes. Increase dehumidification settings to eliminate moisture and turn up the temperature to account for the colder weather.
- Clean surrounding area. Clean the areas surrounding the system to reduce fall allergies. Sweep or vacuum the floor to keep dust and dirt from entering the system. Additionally, wipe down where the system resides to reduce dust. This ensures no dust particles float near the HVAC system and circulate back into the space.
- Maintenance visits. Finally, regular service visits from a certified HVAC technician are essential for the health of your system. Maintenance must happen in the fall to keep the system working at its best. Preventable problems are taken care of during these visits, which keeps avoidable repairs and replacements to a minimum. Allergies are reduced when the system works correctly all year round.
Other Ways to Fight Fall Allergies
HVAC systems and IAQ products help reduce fall allergies, but other precautions decrease symptoms further. Alongside an HVAC system, these tips eliminate the symptoms of your allergies and help maintain the overall health of your HVAC system and IAQ products.
- Regularly clean. Clean your home to reduce the overall amount of dust, dirt, dander, and allergens in the air. Filtered air works best when dirt and dust are eliminated on household surfaces. Once a week, clean all the rooms in your home. Detail cleaning is not essential, but at least dust and vacuum to reduce the number of particles and allergens to reduce fall allergies. Also, wipe shoes on doormats before walking through your home to eliminate excess outdoor allergens.
- Clean bedding. Reduce allergen consumption while you sleep by washing your comforter, pillowcases, and sheets once a week. Be sure to use hot water. This kills any allergens and removes excess dust and dirt. Wash bedding once a week to radically eradicate the number of allergens you consume on a daily basis.
- Avoid candles and air sprays. Next, limit how many scents you use throughout your home. Strong-smelling candles and air sprays trigger the symptoms of fall allergies. Reduce your use of these products as much as possible to lessen symptoms like sneezing and coughing.
- Understand the allergen. Fall allergies are usually caused by large quantities of ragweed. Ragweed causes hay fever, which gives homeowners symptoms like sneezing, coughing, fatigue, and more. Remove ragweed from your property to reduce its effects on your IAQ. Take proper allergy precautions when handling ragweed.
- Keep surfaces dry. Cloth surfaces like couches and carpet hold moisture, which promotes mold and mildew growth. Keep them dry to avoid the development of mold and mildew. Damp, dark, and warm areas must be wiped clean every week to keep them dry to avoid mold- and mildew-induced fall allergies.
- Control pests. Pests carry their own allergens, which contributes to the overall air quality in your home. Stay on top of garbage removal to ensure no pests like cockroaches, bed bugs, or mice enter your home. Additionally, the smell of trash often irritates allergy symptoms, so properly remove garbage often for better air quality overall.
- Close windows. Keep windows closed to ensure outdoor pollutants stay outside. Plus, open windows allow your clean air to leave the home. Fall allergies get worse when outdoor air enters the home, so keep windows shut tight to reduce symptoms. If windows do not shut completely, use cushion stoppers to eliminate drafts.
- Pet dander. Pet dander floats through the air and reduces the air quality. Allergies are triggered by these particles, so groom pets often and use moisturizing shampoo when bathing them. This reduces the amount of skin dander they distribute through the home. For shedding pets like cats and some dogs, brush their hair frequently to decrease the amount of hair in your home.
Contacts Us For Fall Allergies and HVAC
Fall allergies are taken care of with HVAC systems and IAQ products. Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling helps homeowners combat their allergies with HVAC maintenance checks. Our trained HVAC technicians have the expertise needed to ensure the long-term health of your system.
Jarboe’s does more than HVAC maintenance. Give us a call today to learn more about our services. We offer free service estimates and we schedule your next maintenance check on the phone. We look forward to hearing from you!