How to Combat Fall Allergies
The beauty of autumn often goes unnoticed when fall allergies are in full swing. Indianapolis, Indiana brings colorful leaves, chill breezes, and plenty of spiced beverages – however, autumn also brings a slew of allergens. When homeowners want to experience fall without the allergies, HVAC systems come in handy. In more ways than you think, HVAC systems combat fall allergies so you experience all the beauty of the season without the sneezing.
Williams Comfort Air knows how to use your HVAC system to fight allergies. From IAQ information to how the system itself helps with fall allergies, our qualified HVAC technicians give homeowners all the information they need. Additionally, we cover some ways to combat allergies alongside the help your HVAC system provides.
IAQ Products for Fall Allergies
IAQ products benefit the home in multiple ways. For those who don’t know, IAQ means indoor air quality, which refers to the overall quality of the air inside your home. One job of the HVAC system is to make sure IAQ stays high so homeowners experience the cleanest air possible. This means air pollutants—including fall allergens—are filtered away.
Certain IAQ products help minimize allergens alongside the HVAC system. Here are some of the best products to eliminate your fall allergies.
- Air cleaners. Firstly, consider an air cleaner or purifier for your home. Like most items on this list, they come as either whole home or single room cleaners – as the name implies, the cleaner either works for the entire household or just one room. Air cleaners and purifiers improve IAQ because they remove miniscule dust and allergen particles from the air which helps reduce allergies. Some units sanitize the air rather than remove dust and dander. Others use negative ions or UV lamps to remove harmful particles in the air.
- Dehumidifiers. Some fall allergies come about because of the dampness associated with the season. Invest in a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air in your home. Excess moisture promotes the mold and mildew growth, so dehumidifiers are crucial. Their presence ensures mold and mildew growth stays minimal.
- High efficiency filters. All HVAC systems use filters to remove dust, dirt, pollen, and other allergens from the air before it circulates into your home. However, some filters work better than others. Look for replacement filters that have a MERV rating between 8 and 13 to filter more contaminants out of your air supply.
- UV air treatment. Like air purifiers, UV air treatments use UV technology to remove mold and mildew air pollutants. However, these air treatments go directly inside the system to get rid of these pollutants from the source. Because HVAC systems deal with condensation, they have the potential to grow mold and mildew. When this occurs, they circulate dirty air into the home. The UV air treatment keeps the air clean at the source.
- IAQ thermostat. Finally, an IAQ thermostat helps fight fall allergies by controlling your other IAQ products. Like a standard thermostat, these devices give you control over your HVAC system as well as air quality control equipment. In addition to what they do for your indoor air quality, they also save you money. They function on readings from the environment, so IAQ thermostats always know how much power to give to your other IAQ devices.
Use HVAC to Combat Fall Allergies
To use your HVAC system to combat fall allergies, there are a few tasks you need to complete. In order to properly care for the HVAC system—and ensure allergens are minimized—homeowners must regularly perform the following tasks.
- Change filters. Always change your filter . Some require a change once every three months, but it is good practice to check on the filter every few weeks to ensure it efficiently filters the air. Especially at season changes, be sure to check the filter and replace it if it collected a large quantity of dust, dander, or other pollutants. This keeps the air circulating in your home clean, which minimizes your fall allergies.
- Modify settings. Though easy to forget, modification of the settings for the HVAC must happen when the season changes. The settings you used in the summer do not translate to autumn weather. Pay extra attention to the humidity settings because mold and mildew thrive in the fall and contribute to fall allergies.
- Clean the system. Next, ensure no excess dirt, dust, pollen, or other allergens get into the system with regular wipe downs. Be sure to dust the fan, vents, and other crucial parts of the system to keep miniscule particles from entering the device.
- Clean around the system. Along with system cleans, be sure to keep the area around the system free of dirt and dust. Wipe down any area close to the system and sweep or vacuum the floor. This ensures no dust particles float near the HVAC system and get blown further into the home.
- Check for mold. Mold and mildew grow inside of an HVAC system with excess moisture. If mold and mildew are found, be sure to clean the system with warm, soapy water and make sure UV treatment concentrates on the area where the mold grew to reduce symptoms of fall allergies.
- Preventative maintenance. Lastly, schedule regular maintenance visits from a certified HVAC technician. These maintenance visits occur in the spring and fall to keep your HVAC system working at its best for as long as possible. Preventable problems—some of which require expensive repairs—are avoided with regularly scheduled maintenance. This helps fight fall allergies because your system always functions at its best.
Keep Fall Allergies Away
The HVAC system eliminates most fall allergies with the maintenance mentioned above. However, there are even more precautions homeowners take to reduce allergens. Below are additional steps homeowners take to reduce allergens in their home.
- Know the allergen. First and foremost, learn what allergens cause your allergies. In general, autumn sees a rise in hay fever, which is caused by ragweed. If you notice ragweed in excess near your home, this causes some if not all your allergy symptoms. Remove any ragweed on your property to reduce its impact on your home. Take allergy precautions while you perform the removal to lessen your symptoms during the process.
- Clean regularly. Regular cleaning reduces the overall dust, dirt, dander, and allergen population in the home. Make sure to clean all the rooms in your house at least once a week. Though detail cleans are not necessary, it’s good practice to at least dust and vacuum often. Also, avoid cleaners with harsh smells to further eliminate allergy irritants.
- Reduce strong scents. Along with smelly cleaner avoidance, try to limit the number of candles you burn, or the air sprays you use. Though many homeowners want their homes to smell like popular autumn scents, these products often trigger allergy symptoms.
- Wash bedding. Another way to reduce fall allergies relates to your bedding. Be sure to wash your comforter, sheets, and pillowcases in 130 degree water once a week. Though it seems excessive, this drastically eliminates the number of allergens you ingest on a daily basis. Keep bedding clean to avoid excess allergens.
- Keep windows closed. Next, try to keep your windows closed in the fall. Not only does this ensure no outdoor pollutants get in, it also keeps your high-quality air inside! With open windows, the air you have worked so hard to clean escapes into the outdoors and your fall allergies become worse. This cancels out all precautions you took to clean the air, so make sure those windows are shut tight.
- Pet dander. If you own pets, their dander floats through your home on a regular basis. To combat this, make sure to regularly take care of your pet’s grooming. For long haired animals, brush their fur as often as necessary to avoid stray hairs from collecting on the ground. Additionally, give animals baths with soap that keeps their skin moisturized to minimize how much skin dander they drop.
- Pest control. Additionally, minimize how many pests enter your home. To do this, stay on top of garbage removal. Bugs and other creepy crawlies are attracted to rotting food, so properly dispose of your trash to keep allergies at bay.
- Keep everything dry. Lastly, keep all of the cloth surfaces in your home dry. Whenever you spill a drink, clean it up as soon as possible. Additionally, make sure areas in warm, dark, and damp areas are wiped clean every week or so to eliminate the possibility of mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew pollutants are hard to eliminate once they’ve grown. Make sure they never get a chance to flourish in the first place.
Contact Us for More Help with Fall Allergies
William Comfort Air wants homeowners to feel comfortable in their homes when fall allergies become a large problem. Use IAQ products, proper HVAC maintenance, and the general tips provided above to keep your home free of allergens this autumn. Enjoy the season without the sneezes!
For more information on William Comfort Air, visit our website or call us today. We offer free service estimates. We also schedule your next maintenance visit right there on the phone. We hope to hear from you soon!