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Spring 2014

Allergy Relief: How to Breathe Easier in Your Home

There are certain times of the year when it seems like those of us with allergies are just doomed to be miserable. As beautiful and comfortable as spring may be, it also brings on a deluge of allergens. This can really hinder your enjoyment of the season if you have allergic reactions to pollen and other substances that come with spring. All hope is not lost, though. There are plenty of allergy medicines on the market today that can help you go along your daily business. However, you don’t want to be constantly treating the symptoms, especially when you are at home. Attacking the root of the problem is a much more effective means of breathing easier in your house. Here are some ideas to help you reduce the effects of your allergy symptoms when at home.

First things first, a problem with seasonal allergies gives you great motivation for keeping up with housework. If you allow dust and dander to build up within your home, you can expect those pollutants to take a toll on your allergies. The longer you allow for these allergens to build up, the bigger the problem at hand. By maintaining a regular cleaning schedule, you can enjoy a more pleasant living environment while also keeping your home more presentable.

Another way to reduce the risk of aggravating allergy symptoms is to invest in a whole house air purifier. There is an air filter in your HVAC system, as you know, but the primary function of this air filter is to protect the inner components of your heating and cooling equipment. If you want to boost indoor air quality to alleviate your allergy symptoms, you may need a more efficient air filter or even an electronic air purifier. This is a very effective means by which to improve the quality of the air throughout your entire house so that you won’t suffer from severe allergy symptoms.

Also, while it may seem counterintuitive it is also important that your home be well ventilated if you want to maintain high indoor air quality. You may want to seal your home up to keep allergens out, but you also risk trapping allergens in your house by doing so, at which point they will just continuously make their way throughout your air distribution system. Plus, if you are running your heater or air conditioner, recycling that air over and over can lead to stale, low air quality. Proper ventilation is the key to comfortable living.

If you have any questions about the ways in which you can combat allergies by improving the quality of the air in your home, call an indoor air quality specialist. Some people are always going to have to medicate their allergies, especially if symptoms are severe. Supplementing such measures with these practices, however, is a great way to enjoy a cleaner, more healthful living environment. Give us a call today to get the products and services you need to breathe easier.

The Importance of Changing your Filters

Virtually all heating and cooling systems in your home involve some kind of filtration process. In many of your major units, such as the furnace or central AC units, it is crucial that your air filters remain free of excessive debris, dust and any other materials that may have found their way in. Indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks. When controlling or eliminating the pollutant source and clean outdoor air are not always possible, the next step is proper air filtration.

Your filters are made of various fibrous materials, from synthetic media to poly/cotton blends; and often produced with particular surface textures, such as pleats in order to maximize their effectiveness. They may be installed in the ductwork of a forced air conditioning system to clean the air in the entire house. Mechanical air filters are the most common in residential applications: they work by capturing them on filter materials. HEPA (high–efficiency particulate air) filters are popular for homeowners, but it’s important to balance indoor air filtration with energy–efficiency. The installation of an improper filter may unnecessarily cut down on the passage of your cooled air. Understanding the right air filter for your home system can be difficult, but your local air conditioning technician can help.

In considering the importance of air filtration, you may come across something called MERV, which is an acronym for "minimum efficiency reporting value." This scale rates the effectiveness of air filters, and allows for accurate assessment of home health and comfort, reducing costs and increased energy efficiency in all aspects of heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Higher MERV ratings correspond to a larger percentage of captured particles on each pass. . For example, an air filter with a MERV rating between 1 and 4, like those often found in window AC units, should be able to capture pollen, dust mites, sanding dust, and other particles. In high–end commercial applications, air filters with MERV 9–12 can capture bacteria, lead dust and milled flour.

Air filters are often the first step to ensuring your air conditioning system’s longevity. When air filters become clogged, they can cause your AC system to overwork itself. In these cases, the filter has become not so much a screen for capturing particles as an obstruction in its own right. Routine inspection, cleaning and replacement of your air filter should be part of every homeowner’s spring tune–up. Contact your local air conditioning professional today.



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