Relieving AC-Caused Sinus Congestion

AC Sinus

The weather in Boise and the surrounding areas is heating up. For those who haven’t turned on the air conditioner yet, the 90+ degree weather this weekend might push that button. The cool air from the air conditioner is a sweet relief, but it can also wreak havoc on the sinuses for some people.

The first week the air conditioner is running, it might trigger runny noses or congestion. It is a common and natural reaction to the cold, dry air in the home. The cool air can trigger nervous system reflexes in the nose. These glands begin to produce mucus, causing either a runny or stuffed up nose.

The congestion should only be brief while the body is adjusting to the new temperature and humidity of the air-conditioned house. However, those who suffer from allergies might have a harder time adjusting.

If the air conditioner filter is clogged with pollen, mold spores, and other allergens, they could be getting released into the air and irritating the sinuses even further. Therefore, it is extremely important to check and replace the filter a minimum of every three months.

If the sinus congestion becomes too much too handle, try these tips:

  • Salt Water

Flushing out the nose and sinuses with lukewarm salt water can decrease sinus infections, or relieve symptoms related to the air conditioner. This can be done with a nasal spray, irrigation kit, or a neti pot.

  • Humidifier

Since the sinuses are reacting to the dry air, investing in a humidifier can help. The humidifier creates moisture in the room that can relieve sinus congestion. Humidity in the home should be kept between 30 and 50 percent for comfort.

  • Drink Water

While it sounds so simple, water is key to sinus health. To keep mucus flowing smoothly, drink enough water. During warmer days, people usually need more water than normal to stay hydrated.

When the filter on air conditioner is clean, it can reduce sinus issues and allergies. However, the temporary runny nose and congestion that comes from turning the AC on might be unavoidable. Just keep some tissues nearby for the time being and try the tips outlined above.

For any air conditioner or indoor air quality issues this summer, call the team at Diamond Heating and Cooling.

Cleaning Away Allergies and Asthma

Spring is on its way, which means allergies are too. However, two-thirds of allergy sufferers have probably been experiencing symptoms throughout fall and winter as well. With the windows closed and the house sealed off from fresh air during the colder months, irritants have been building up.

Airborne allergens don’t disappear when the weather is cold, they stick around in the house in the carpet, on surfaces, and more. One way to combat this is with a deep clean of the house.

  • Clean furnishings such as blinds and curtains, upholstery, throw pillows, and other items that don’t usually get washed or vacuumed as often. Dust and allergens can cling to their surfaces and get stirred up causing problems for allergy sufferers. Sheets, pillow cases and other bedding should be washed weekly in hot water. This can reduce the presence of dust and dust mite waste.
  • Vacuum carpet weekly to remove allergens that sit in the fibers. Also consider having the carpet professionally cleaned to remove everything trapped deep down inside.
  • Wipe down hard surfaces with soap and water such as walls, counters, tables, and other flooring as well. It’s easier to see when dust and other particles settle on these hard surfaces than soft surfaces.

After a thorough cleaning of the home, talk to the air experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling about their solution for allergies. To filter out sub-micronic particles from the air and increase Indoor Air Quality all year long, they recommend investing in a Micro Power Guard Air Cleaner.

It’s not just a filter, but an electronic polarized media air cleaner. The difference? It can filter out particles as small as .3 microns. This is important because 98% of airborne particles are invisible and below one micron in size. Normal filters can’t remove particles this small.

Avoid suffering from allergies all year long with the help of Diamond Heating and Cooling. Give them a call and experience the Diamond difference.

3 Tips for Cleaner Winter IAQ

house-plant

In winter, homes are sealed up as tight as possible to be energy-efficient and stay warm. However, this limits the amount of fresh air in the home, raising concentrations of both allergens and pollutants. For those who suffer from allergies or asthma, it could mean more breathing problems.

There are many ways to clean the air inside of the home to reduce allergies and asthma attacks. Here are a three tips:

  1. Living Plants

Plants produce oxygen, while cleaning and purifying the air. They are an inexpensive way to improve indoor air quality, while adding some beauty to the space as well. For homes with pets, they need to make sure those plants are pet-friendly. Here is a list of plants that are not toxic to pets:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Yucca
  • Bamboo
  • Snake Plants
  • Ferns

Sufficient air cleaning can be accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet in the home. Different plants filter certain elements out of the air, so getting a mix of plants will be most effective.

  1. Cleaning

Airborne allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and mold can be minimized with regular cleaning. Dust and vacuum so allergens cannot pile up on surfaces. Wiping down the walls is something homeowners might not think to do regularly, but walls and ceilings also attract things like pet dander or other pollutants.

  1. Change the Furnace Filter

The furnace filter needs to be changed regularly. However, if a normal filter isn’t doing the job, ask Diamond Heating and Cooling about the Micro Power Guard Air Cleaner. It isn’t just a filter. The Micro Power Guard Air Cleaner is an electric polarized media air cleaner that can filter out submicronic allergens, which make up 98% of airborne particles.

Winter doesn’t have to be a time for runny noses and sneezing. Keep the air clean with the tips above. Visit Diamond Heating and Cooling’s website to learn more about allergies solutions.

5 Signs the Furnace Filter Needs Changed

The furnace filter needs to be changed regularly to keep everything running smoothly. However, it can be difficult to remember the last time it was replaced. If this happens, keep an eye out for these five telltale signs the furnace filter needs to go:

  1. Overheating Unit

A common sign that the filter is overdue for a change is an overheated unit. If the unit begins to get too hot or is expelling hot air when it shouldn’t, the furnace filter is past it’s prime. If left to overheat for too long, the unit could start experiencing problems and possibly breakdown.

  1. Dust

Another sign is the accumulation of dust on surfaces in the home, especially near the vents. Clogged furnace filters have a harder time removing dust and pollutants from the air.

  1. Allergies

Homes with allergy and asthma sufferers might notice more symptoms if the filter is clogged. It’s important to maintain good indoor air quality in homes that experience allergies and asthma, so they might need to change their filter a little more often than others.

  1. Increased Electricity Bill

Has the energy bill gone up over time for no reason? Compare electricity bills over three months to see if that’s the case. If so, a dirty air filter might be the problem.

  1. White Sheet Test

Hang a white sheet 5 to 8 inches away from a vent for about an hour. The grayer the sheet becomes over this period, the dirtier the filter.

If all else fails, just take a look at the furnace filter. If it looks dirty, it is. Changing it a little early won’t hurt the HVAC system either. One method of remembering when the filter was last changed is to write the date on it when it is put in. This way there’s no guessing.

Cigarette Smoke Traveling through the HVAC System

In some apartment buildings, the HVAC system is linked together. That means what’s in one apartment can leak into the neighbor’s ducts and cause allergies or asthma. One of the things that can leak in is cigarette smoke if the neighbors smoke indoors.

Airborne second-hand smoke can be bothersome and cause health issues, but it isn’t the only thing to cause apartment dwellers concern. The dust that accumulates on surfaces is partially remnants of smoke that was hanging in the air. That means it is full of carcinogens and other dangers that are lingering on the surfaces.

One way to combat this is by dusting regularly. However, dust can linger in vents for a lot longer than it stays on surfaces. When the vents are in use, they can blow all of the dangerous dust around the apartment.

Here are some solutions to get rid of as much of the lingering smoke and dust as possible:

  1. Air Sanitizers

This will help remove the smell of cigarettes, but not the contaminants. There are a few options like chemical sanitizers, or natural ones like baking soda.

  1. Changing Filters

The air filter traps the cigarette smell and contaminants. Because of this, a dirty filter in the HVAC system can spread contaminants into the apartment when it is in use. Change the furnace filter often to combat this issue. It may have to be done more frequently than every three months.

  1. Clean

Like stated above, dusting can help eliminate some of the contaminants. Regular vacuuming will also help eliminate carcinogens and other dangers from the carpet. Lastly, get the ducts cleaned. Dust and contaminants can reside there and spread when the HVAC system is in use.

Keeping the apartment dust-free and changing the filters often can help to reduce the amount of smoke inhalation due to smoking neighbors. Since most apartment dwellers do not have access to the air filters and duct work, mention Diamond Heating and Cooling to your landlord and have them also ask about the Micro Power Guard Air Cleaner to better filter out contaminants.

5 Benefits of Regular Air Filter Changes

It’s time to start prepping the HVAC system for fall and winter, which means scheduling maintenance and changing out the filter. At the very least the filter needs to be changed every three months, but when the system is being used more often, it might be worth it to switch out the filter every month. There are five major benefits of changing out the air filter:

  1. Longer HVAC Lifespan

Dirty filters can cause a lot of damage in HVAC systems. This damage can shorten the lifespan of the system drastically. By regularly changing the air filter, everything works more efficiently, keeping the system working properly for a long time.

  1. Lower Energy Costs

A clean filter helps the HVAC system run smoothly. If the system doesn’t have to work harder, like it does with a dirty filter, it doesn’t use as much energy. This brings down household energy bills, helping homeowners to save money.

  1. Healthy Air Quality

When the air filter is clogged with dirt and dust, it can make allergies and asthma conditions flare up. A clean air filter can help reduce allergies and asthma attacks in the home. Also consider investing in the Micro Power Guard, which is an electronic polarized media air cleaner that gets rid of sub-micronic allergens.

  1. A Clean HVAC

Once the air filter gets clogged up, it can pollute the entire HVAC system. This can lead to more frequent and expensive repairs.

  1. Peace of Mind

Having a clean filter, efficiently-running system, and good indoor air quality gives homeowners peace of mind. It’s a quick step that has numerous benefits.

Annual fall HVAC maintenance with Diamond Heating and Cooling can help keep the system running smoothly and fix any minor issues. However, homeowners can do their part by regularly changing out the furnace filter to limit problems.

Fall Allergens

While most people suffer allergies in spring and summer, there are still allergy triggers for some in the fall. Many people with spring allergies are also allergic to the biggest fall trigger, ragweed. Although it starts releasing pollen in August, it can last well into the fall months.

Ragweed pollen can travel for hundreds of miles in the wind, affecting those who don’t have the weed anywhere near them. Because of this, it can be hard to get away from. Staying inside as much as possible during the peak pollenating times is often the best advice. However, without a good air filter, sometimes not even staying at home will help.

The professionals at Diamond Heating and Cooling are passionate about helping people deal with their allergies in Boise and the surrounding areas. They suggest trying the Micro Power Guard by Nature’s Home. It’s easily adapted to any furnace that has a spot for a one inch or larger filter.

More than just a filter, the Micro Power Guard is an electronic polarized media air cleaner. It filters out sub-micronic allergens as small as .3 microns. That makes a huge difference when 98 percent of airborne particles are invisible and below one micron in size. Most store-bought filters can’t filter out these smaller particles, leaving those with allergies still suffering.

If rag weed is a problem this fall, ask Diamond Heating and Cooling how they can help. Don’t suffer through another season, get rid of allergens indoors with the right air filter.