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How to Fight Fall Allergies Indoors

Many Birmingham area residents suffer from allergy symptoms during the fall season – inside the home as well as outside. Fortunately, your HVAC system can be used to prevent fall allergies indoors when used with the right solutions. Our heating and cooling pros explain how to create a more comfortable indoor environment so your loved ones experience fewer fall allergy symptoms while at home.

1. Heating System Tune Up

The insides of your furnace or air handler can accumulate a buildup of dust, dirt and indoor allergens over time. These contaminants are brought into the equipment as air flows through the system, and the particles are able to fall out of suspension and settle inside on sensitive heating unit components. As air continues to cycle, these particles can be picked back up and moved back into the home, which increases the volume of allergens one is exposed to indoors.

A heating system tune up is standard service for your furnace or heat pump each fall, helping to improve the system’s performance and energy efficiency going into the winter months. One important component of an annual tune up is a thorough cleaning to remove matter that has built up inside equipment chambers. Beyond protection for the system, a tune up also helps prevent fall allergies through the removal of allergens that have settled inside the system.

2. High-Efficiency Filters and Regular Filter Maintenance

A home’s forced air heating system uses a filter to capture airborne contaminants when air cycles into the furnace or air handler. The main purpose of the filter is to keep these particles out to prevent component damage.

Not all furnace filters are equal, though, so you may not receive the level of protection you want with just any old filter. Filter efficiency is rated by MERV rating (minimum efficiency reporting value), and this rating shares how efficiently the filter is able to remove particles up to a certain size. Disposable filters for home HVAC systems range from MERV 1 to MERV 20 – the higher the rating number, the more efficient the filter.

MERV 1 to 4 filters are less than 20% effective for the removal of particles 0.3 to 10 microns in size. They offer minimal removal of high pollen counts, dust mites and other common indoor allergens. These are basic disposable filters which many homeowners use, but upgrading to a higher MERV filter helps your HVAC system remove more allergens to prevent fall seasonal allergies indoors. 

A high-efficiency filter is a powerful tool to use as you prevent fall allergies indoors. Use filters with a MERV rating of 8 and higher for better allergen and contaminant removal. MERV 13 filters offer 90% or better efficacy for the removal of particles 1.0 to 10 microns in size and up to 75% efficacy against particles 0.3 to 1.0 microns in size.

For filters to work efficiently, they must be replaced at regular intervals. The filter manufacturer will state how frequently replacement is recommended on the filter packaging, but you may find it necessary to change the filter in your home more often. Doing so can be especially helpful as you prevent fall allergies indoors, ensuring an efficient filter with plenty of surface area to trap allergens and contaminants is in use at all times.

3. Air Cleaners 

Consider adding an air cleaner to prevent fall allergies indoors with your heating and air conditioning system. Advanced filter media units offer high MERV ratings and thicker filters to efficiently capture allergens and airborne contaminants, up to 99% depending on the model! They are installed between the furnace and return duct so all incoming indoor air passes through the air cleaner before it moves into the furnace for heating.

Prevent Fall Allergies Indoors with Douglas Cooling & Heating

As you prevent fall allergies indoors, know you are not alone on this mission. The HVAC professionals of Douglas Service are ready to help you with the solutions and services your home needs to remove allergens this season. Request an estimate or schedule your maintenance tune up today!

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