Many homeowners think of things like replacing the filter in their HVAC system to reduce the spread of allergens throughout the home, but there are actually several different ways that the HVAC system can be used to reduce asthma and allergy symptoms.
Certainly the filter is the first line of defense against indoor air pollutants so it’s important to replace it regularly and buy a quality filter. The professionals at Diamond Heating and Cooling can recommend one based on your specific situation, but in general it’s recommended to look for one with a higher MERV rating. This rating will range from 1-20 with a higher number indicating a higher level of filtration. It’s also important to choose a high-efficiency filter that is designed to help reduce allergens. Most high-efficiency filters are rated from 14-16, and are designed to remove small particles from the air. The highest rated filters are HEPA filters which are rated from 17-20 however you’ll want to check with an HVAC technician though before installing a HEPA filter as they are only intended to be used on HVAC systems that can handle the additional stress that this type of filter will put on it.
Looking to do more than just change the filter? There are some accessory items that can be added to your HVAC system to further improve the indoor air quality. The most common first addition is an air purifier. A whole-home air purifier is highly recommended for anyone dealing with severe allergies or asthma. It is designed to improve the air in the entire home through purification and the use of a HEPA filter.
The next biggest cause of allergy symptoms is changes in humidity levels. Maintaining the ideal humidity level inside your home is often the next step that allergy and asthma suffers will take. A whole-home dehumidifier/humidifier can be added to your HVAC system to help achieve that ideal humidity level. The final, and most expensive, option is the addition of UV lamps. A UV lamp can be used with your HVAC system to help you go beyond just trapping allergens to actually killing bacteria, mold and other allergy triggers.
One final recommendation is to stay on top of regular HVAC maintenance visits. Having a technician thoroughly clean your HVAC system, as well as the ductwork, is the absolute best way to stay ahead of allergens. It’s generally recommended to have this done annually, and spring is usually the ideal time.