Is Your Home Triggering Allergies?

Few minor illnesses are as frustrating as respiratory allergies. Runny nose, watering eyes and wheezing, often accompanied by sinus issues and headaches, can make life miserable. While you cannot control the many outdoor triggers for allergies, you may find that you have some of your worst symptoms when you are at home. If you are experiencing respiratory allergy symptoms in your house, your home may be triggering your allergies.

Common Indoor Allergy Triggers

There are thousands of elements that can trigger allergies. Most people know the main triggers that will make them miserable. Beyond the pollen and outdoor allergens, there are many that can be confined inside your home. Some of the common indoor allergens include:

  • Pet hair and dander
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Fragrances
  • Cleaning chemicals

Reducing cleaners that have fragrances and cleaning more often can help reduce allergens in your home. But if you are still experiencing allergy symptoms in your home, it may be your HVAC and air filtering system that is the problem.

If you are noticing more allergy symptoms when you are at home, consider getting an air quality evaluation. Many HVAC companies can provide air testing to evaluate the quality of your indoor air or an inspection of your HVAC system. This can include checking humidity levels which can lead to mold production. Other problems can include an insufficient air filtering system or dirty air ducts. Often, your HVAC system is to blame for circulating contaminants in the air throughout your home. Updating your filtration or humidity control options can eliminate many air quality control problems and limit allergy triggers.

If your home is making your sick with allergy issues, it may be time to have your HVAC system serviced. This can help make your home healthier and relieve you of your allergy symptoms.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
3870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 340-129
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 475-9555

Pet Hair and HVAC Systems 101

Furry companions are commonplace in many homes. They become part of the family and can add joy to your life. They can also add extra hair and dander in your home, a problem when you have an HVAC system. If you have furry family members, it is important to know how their hair and dander are affecting your air quality and HVAC system.

Dogs and cats are notorious for shedding. Their hair is everywhere, on furniture, your clothing and your floors. In addition, their skin or dander is constantly flaking off, creating dust around your home. All this hair and dander floats and can be filtered through your HVAC air ducts and filters, causing havoc on your system.

Tips for HVAC and Pet Owners

If you have an HVAC system and pets, you need to be aware of how the hair and dander of your pets can impact your system. Filters can become clogged, and you may have less efficiency. Plus, your system will circulate the dander throughout the home, which can trigger allergies. Here are a few tips to protect your HVAC system from the pet hair and dander:

  • Brush pets regularly to remove excess hair
  • Bath dogs routinely to remove dander and dirt
  • Vacuum and dust your home 1-2 or more per week
  • Change your HVAC filter at least once per month
  • Use an air purifier to help collect hair and dander from the air

You can have your furry friends and an efficient HVAC system, you just need to minimize the amount of hair and dander that is released into the air and keep your filters changed. Talk to your local HVAC service about the best filters to use for homes with pet to get the efficient results.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
5950 Shiloh Road East
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 475-9555

How to Inspect Your Furnace or Air Conditioning Ducts

Do you have uneven heating or cooling in your home? If you have central air and heat with a duct system, you may have a blockage in your duct system. Many items can find their way into the ducts and cause a blockage. This can cut off air to one or more rooms in your home, causing uneven temperatures. It can also cost you more on your energy bill and put extra stress on your HVAC system. Here are some tips on how to inspect your ducts to find blockages.

  • Check air flow. Turn on your heat or air and check all the vents in your home for air flow. If any do not have air coming out, there may be a blockage in that duct. If low air is coming from all ducts, check your air filter – it could be clogged and need replacement.
  • Remove vents. If there are vents with low to no air, remove the vent cover. This is often where debris gets caught, pushed up against the vent cover. Clean away any debris and check the duct for any blockages as far as you can see using a flashlight.
  • Make sure valves are open. If the vent and filter are clean, but there still is no air going to certain rooms, make sure the valves for the duct are open. Most systems have valves in the ducts to close air flow to certain rooms.

If after your inspection, you are still having air flow issues, call your local HVAC service team. There is possibly a blockage in your ducts that may need to be cleared by a professional.

Posted on behalf of:
Western Aire Heating & Cooling
Marietta, GA 30066
(770) 505-7426

Air Filter Efficiency

Replacing the air filter on your HVAC system regularly is an excellent way to help keep your system working efficiently and maximizing its lifespan.  The primary purpose of the air filter is to protect the evaporator coil and other components from accumulating a layer of dust, dirt and debris.  A dirty coil cannot transfer heat efficiently which causes the system to work harder to heat and cool your home.  This translates into higher costs and more wear and tear on the system.  In addition to protecting your HVAC system, the air filter can help improve indoor air quality.  Replacing the air filter is an important part of any HVAC system maintenance program.

Air filters are available in different efficiency ratings called MERV which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value.  The higher the MERV, the better the filter is at catching smaller airborne particles.  The standard fiberglass air filters that are the original equipment on most HVAC systems typically have a MERV rating of about 1 to 4.  These fiberglass filters do a good job of capturing large dust particles and pet hair, but are not effective at collecting smaller particles, pollen, and other airborne contaminants.

High efficiency pleated filters have MERV ratings from 8 to 12 and can capture much smaller particles including mold spores, pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.   It is possible to have too much of a good thing with regard to MERV.  Air filters with a very high MERV will reduce airflow through your system and reduce system efficiency, especially when they are dirty.  They also clog very quickly and should be changed more frequently than standard air filters.

If you choose to go with a high efficiency filter, it may be a good idea to avoid the filters with the highest MERV rating unless you are certain that your system is designed to operate efficiently with the reduced air flow.  A pleated filter with a more modest efficiency rating will do a much better job of protecting your system and reducing airborne contaminates than standard fiberglass filters while having a minimal effect on air flow.