Your air conditioning system is a critically important part of your home. It keeps you nice and cool in the summer and ensures that your family, pets and visitors are comfortable through the hot, sweltering months. Sometimes, air conditioning can even be essential for your health.
We tend to think of air conditioning as “clean” air too. But is it? Could we really be doing more harm than good with our AC? There are a few things that make our air conditioning, well, bad for us.
Dust mites are…well…bugs. And they live in your house. There’s really no way around it. They’re everywhere. However, take heart. They’ve been everywhere your whole life and they always will be. A functioning AC system can both help mitigate and spread them. The best thing we can do is do our best to mitigate them.
A house that is too dry or too wet can cause an increase in your allergies on either side of the spectrum. A dry house keeps dust in the air, leading you to sneeze and cough. A wetter house encourages mold and bacteria growth…leading you to sneeze and cough.
This doesn’t seem like a big deal but it is. Air leaks can cause air to bypass your filtration system, meaning that unfiltered air is circulating through your home.
More prevalent in wet climates, mold growth can be bad news for allergy sufferers and if your AC system isn’t cleaned properly, you can end up with moldy vents and a runny nose.
What To Do If Your Air Conditioning is Contributing to your Allergies
With a few easy fixes, your AC system can actually help alleviate your allergies.
1. Change your filter
We really can’t stress this enough. Changing your filter is absolutely the most important part of ensuring that your air is as clean and allergen free as possible. A clean filter also helps capture dust mites and other creepy crawlies. Not only that, but a fresh filter can increase the efficiency of your HVAC system by as much as 15%! That’s a huge cost savings.
2. Change your filter
So important it’s worth saying twice. There are a variety of options out there, from economy to HEPA. Pick the one that’s right for you, but change them, at the very least, every three months and more frequently if needed.
3. Clean your registers and returns
Mold, dust and dust mites can thrive in registers, returns and ducts that are not properly cleaned. You can get in there with a vacuum or call your local HVAC pro to assist you with cleaning out your vents.
4. Get a humidifier or dehumidifer
Keeping your home at the proper humidity level kills bacteria and keeps you more comfortable. Many systems can now be attached directly to your HVAC system.
5. Check your system for leaks
Duct tape is cheap and offers an easy fix to leaky ducts. Ensure that your ducts are airtight to keep air flowing through your filtration system.
How Have You Found Allergy Relief?
There are lots of ways to combat allergies, from growing the right indoor plants to pouring water through your nose with a Himalayan tea kettle, but the truth is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for allergies.