Suffering from hay fever or other allergies can be a miserable experience. If you’re like most allergy sufferers, you’re probably looking for anything that can help you overcome the itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, and chest congestion. One solution that most people often overlook is upgrading their HVAC system. Your home’s heating and cooling system generally works to circulate air throughout your residence. However, it can spread pollen, dust mites, and other allergens through the air as well. There are a number of potential indoor air quality solutions that could assist your HVAC system in warding off your allergic reactions instead of contributing to them. Here are some useful suggestions.
Whole-Home Air Filtration Systems
A whole-home air filtration system is generally the best choice for allergy sufferers or anyone who is concerned about their home’s air quality. These systems contain an extremely efficient air filter that works in conjunction with your HVAC system to clean the air inside your home. This means that as long as your air conditioning, heating, or blower fan is running, the filtration system is constantly working to purify your air and trap airborne allergens and pollutants.
The Lennox Pure Air is one of the best air filtration systems available. This system uses a hospital-grade MERV 16 air filter that offers the highest level of filtration other than that of a true HEPA filter. This filter can capture 99% of larger airborne particles and up to 90% of even the smallest particles. Not only does it fight against pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and dust mites, but it can also reduce the concentration of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other harmful chemicals.
One other huge advantage of this system is that it can filter out smoke. All of the wildfires California continues to experience can make it extremely difficult to breathe during the summer. It is almost impossible to prevent some of that smoke from filtering into the house, and this can drastically lower your indoor air quality. However, this isn’t an issue if your home has a filtration system. The equipment will also eliminate all of those smoke particles from the air.
The unit’s filter itself removes most allergens and other airborne particles, but this is only the first step in the process. After passing through the filter, the air is then subjected to strong UV lights and an ionization process that kills or breaks down bacteria, viruses, and chemicals and even eliminates odors from the air. Best of all, it does all of this while using only a minimal amount of electricity. This makes the Lennox Pure Air system one of the most energy-efficient and effective indoor air quality solutions available. At Environmental Heating & Air Solutions, we’re proud to be a Lennox Premier Dealer. We can offer you this system, and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about it.
Air Ventilation Systems
Newer homes are built to be far more energy efficient than older homes. Specifically, they are designed and built in a way that minimizes air leaks to prevent energy waste. While this is a great thing for the environment and your utility costs, it can also lead to issues with poor indoor air quality.
Older buildings usually have enough leaks to allow fresh air inside the structure and stale, contaminated air to escape. However, this isn’t the case with most new homes, which means the only way you can really replenish your supply of fresh air is to open your windows and doors. This obviously isn’t a good solution for allergy sufferers since it also allows pollen and other allergens to get inside the living space.
A better solution is to install a mechanical ventilation system in your home. These systems work to constantly circulate stale air outside the house and bring fresh air in without requiring you to open doors or windows. Of course, the ventilation system may allow in trace amounts of pollen, but most have a filter to minimize this issue. If you suffer from severe allergies you may want to consider this in addition to a whole-home filtration system.
By constantly circulating fresh, clean air in from outside, ventilation systems are one of the best ways to ensure you’re not breathing stale, contaminated air. They can also work to overcome issues with excessive indoor humidity, which is also due to lack of sufficient air circulation.
Over time, your home’s ductwork can accumulate dust, pollen, and other allergens that can spread throughout the house every time your HVAC system runs. Having your ductwork professionally cleaned is the best way to tackle this issue and instantly improve your home’s air quality. Dirty ductwork can also reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems and potentially damage your HVAC equipment. For this reason, it is something everyone should consider. In fact, most HVAC experts recommend that all homeowners have their ducts cleaned at least once every three to five years.
Air Filter Upgrades
The main purpose of your HVAC air filter is to prevent dust and other particles from causing damage to your heating and cooling equipment. Upgrading to a more efficient filter with a higher MERV rating can help improve your air quality. The most basic air filters can really only trap dust and other larger particles, which means they are mostly ineffective against pollen and other allergens.
However, using a higher-rated filter like a MERV 10 or MERV 12 can provide additional protection against these allergens and other smaller airborne particles. Most residential systems should be strong enough to use up to a MERV 12 filter, but if you’re in doubt, ask a professional.
Indoor Air Quality Testing
Pollen and other allergens aren’t the only air quality issues you need to worry about. Most homes are also filled with many other potentially harmful contaminants and pollutants like gasoline fumes, formaldehyde, and volatile organic compounds. In fact, the EPA estimates that the air inside a home is on average around two to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. The only way to know how polluted your indoor air is and what specific issues you’re dealing with is to have your air quality professionally tested.
This is a service our technicians can perform for you. They’ll come in and conduct a free 30-minute analysis of the air in your home and advise you of remedies if necessary.
Professional Solutions and Services
If you are concerned about the air quality inside your home, our crew at Environmental Heating & Air Solutions has the knowledge and experience to help. In fact, we’ve assisted Northern California residents in overcoming their air quality issues for more than 10 years. Our expert HVAC technicians specialize in air quality testing and can recommend numerous solutions to rectify any air quality problems you’re facing. We have locations in Benicia and Roseville, and we offer a full range of heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services, including installation, repair inspection, and maintenance. We also provide plumbing services, water heater repair and installation, water purification systems, and leak detection. You can count on us for your home insulation or automation needs as well.
If you have any questions or you’d like to have your home’s air quality tested, give us a call today.