If you suffer from seasonal allergies, spring may not be your favorite season. Spring’s blooming flowers and trees are beautiful, but they can wreak havoc on your sinuses and leave you feeling horrible.
While you may spend more time indoors this spring to avoid allergy triggers, you cannot completely avoid allergens. Common irritants such as pollen, dust, mold, and animal dander can still make their way into your home and AC unit, contaminating your indoor air.
Here are five tips to reduce the airborne irritants inside your home and bring relief from spring allergies.
1. Check your air filters.
Air filters have a direct impact on the air quality in your home. Filters are measured by MERV ratings, or the minimum efficiency reporting system, with rankings from 1 to 20. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particles a filter can remove. For residential AC units, choose an air filter with a rating of 7-12 for optimal allergy relief. MERV 13 and above are typically used in industrial or commercial HVAC systems.
After you’ve chosen the right filter for your AC unit, make sure to change it regularly. Not only do dirty filters make your AC unit work harder, they can also grow mold and mildew, which can spread into your home’s air supply. Change your filters at least every 60 days during allergy season, or more frequently if you suffer from spring allergies.
2. Clean the outdoor unit.
Outdoor allergens such as pollen, mold spores, dust mites, and animal dander collect on your outside condenser unit. As the condenser pulls air into the system, it can also pull these allergens into your home. Clear away any debris such as branches and leaves that have accumulated around the unit, then spray it from top to bottom with a garden hose to wash away allergen particulates.
3. Dust your vents.
Take a look inside your registers and return vents – are they dusty and dirty? If so, your vents are helping spread dust throughout your home. Clean AC vents regularly to prevent dust and allergens from circulating into your home’s air supply. To clean vents, thoroughly vacuum up the dust then clean with a damp cloth to prevent particulates from floating into the air.
4. Groom your pets.
While pets bring a lot of joy into a home, they also bring a lot of hair and dander. Brushing and bathing pets regularly helps reduce the amount of pet allergens getting into the air filters and AC unit. During spring allergy season, grooming is especially important to reduce the spread of pollen and grass pets carry into your home. If possible, brush your pets outside to keep particulates away from indoor filters and ductwork.
5. Schedule preventive maintenance.
A spring preventive maintenance visit from your AC technician can set you on the right track for improved air quality in your home. During the visit, the tech will check and clean the evaporator coils, drain pan and condensate lines, areas where fungus or mildew can grow. They will also check for excess moisture in your ducts or vents, and make sure your air filters are clean.
Prepare for allergy season with DDI Southeast.
Our AC team is ready to help you find relief from your spring allergies. Call us today to set up your spring preventive maintenance visit, and breathe easier this allergy season.