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10 Solutions for Alleviating Allergies Through Your HVAC

The fall allergy season is upon us. The high humidity and excess moisture from Harvey has left the Houston area with the perfect breeding ground for spores, mold and new growth to pollenate. For allergy sufferers, these triggers can seem inescapable. But they don’t have to be! Use these 10 simple solutions for your HVAC unit to alleviate allergies.

  1. Purchase High Quality Filters.

High quality HEPA filters are designed to block small particles, keeping your air cleaner. Filters are rated on the MERV system, ranging from 1 to 20. The higher the rating, the more capable the filter is of removing small particles that cause indoor allergens. Choose the filter with the highest rating that is compatible with your unit. Call one of our specialists at Universal to help you choose the best filter for your HVAC system.

  1. Clean around your indoor and outdoor unit.

Check both your indoor and outdoor unit to make sure nothing is blocking it. Clear away all debris, leaves, and grass clippings from your outdoor unit. Make sure no furniture or drapery is blocking the indoor unit and remove any dust. This will ensure proper airflow and prevent allergy causing particles from circulating in your home.

This is also a good time to inspect your unit. If you notice something unusual or debris that is hard to remove, call one of our HVAC professionals at Universal for an inspection.

  1. Schedule an HVAC Maintenance Appointment

With every passing year, your HVAC unit loses some of its efficiency. As your system’s efficiency decreases, it cannot adequately filter indoor allergy triggers. Routine maintenance to your HVAC unit will extend the systems life, save energy, and increase its efficiency at keeping indoor allergens at bay.

  1. Replace your air filter frequently.

Air filters should be replaced at least once every three months. If you have pets or are prone to allergy triggers then replace them every month. Frequently replacing your air filter extends your system’s lifespan and increases its effectiveness of filtering small allergy-causing particles.

  1. Check for mold.

High-humidity and excess moisture in our Houston climate is a breeding ground for mold. Check for signs of mold every few weeks on your ducts, condensation drain, evaporator coils, and the air handler. Mold on or around your HVAC unit could be ventilating the spores into your home, triggering allergies and even sickness. If you see signs of mold, call a professional as soon as possible.

  1. Dust Your Vents

Vents circulate all of the air in your home. Dust these first by using a damp rag to wipe them down or vacuum the dust off. Be sure to dust both the registers and return vents to prevent it from recirculating in your home.

  1. Check your air ducts.

Air ducts typically run in attics, crawlspaces, and basements. If your air ducts are faulty due to age or leaks they can suck the air from these spaces. That air is then pumped directly into your living areas, further spreading any allergenic compounds that are normally found in the dirtiest crevices of your home. If you discover a faulty air duct or a leak, call one of our professionals at Universal for inspection and repair.

  1. Use an air purifier.

Air purifiers can remove almost all allergens and pollutants, including viruses and bacteria, from your indoor air. These can be add-ons to your current HVAC system to improve air quality throughout your whole home. If an add-on is not an option, a less expensive, portable unit can be purchased for individual room use as well.

  1. Adjust your indoor humidity levels.

Mold and spores thrive in high-humidity environments like Houston. These can cause serious problems for allergy sufferers. Use a programmable thermostat to monitor your home’s temperature and humidity levels. The humidity inside your home should be between 30-50%.

  1. Use air conditioning or a dehumidifier.

Not only does air conditioning cool the air but it dehumidifies it as well. The air conditioning helps avoid the growth of mold and other moisture-related airborne toxins that can trigger allergies by lowering the humidity levels.

For cooler months when you want to give your air conditioner a break, a dehumidifier can be added on to your current HVAC unit to help dehumidify the air. Portable units are also available if an add-on to your HVAC system is not an option. Escape allergy season and make your home a safe haven from allergy triggers with these simple solutions and the help of Universal Home Experts. Call (713) 364-0226 today to make your home allergy free!