Asthma and allergy sufferers have a hard time in the spring due to pollen and other airborne irritants. Pet hair, dust, dander, smoke and pollen can wreck havoc on people with breathing difficulties. Here are a few tips for keeping the air inside your home cleaner and fresher. Not only is this good for people with allergies but it helps prolong the life of your cooling system.
Your cooling system works hard to keep the indoor temperature of your home nice and comfortable in the summer. Along with cooling, it also controls humidity and cleans the air. The unit’s blower system circulates the air passing it through the filter that traps a lot of the dust and microscopic germs that float in the air. Some of the household irritants that your air filter catches are:
- Cigarette Smoke
- Pet Hair
- VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
Change Air Filters regularly
The most important thing you can do to improve the indoor air quality is to change your air filters monthly. The filters can be purchased at any hardware or home improvement store for around $2 to $3 each. High-efficiency filters cost a little more but many people prefer them over the standard filters. These filters have a higher MERV rating and are good for at least 3 months.
Vacuum Rugs and Carpets Daily
Vacuuming carpets and rugs on a daily basis will also help keep airborne irritants at bay. Bagless vacuum cleaners with a HEPA filter work the best but any type of vacuum will work for picking up pet hair and debris.
Vacuum Your Air Conditioner
Vacuuming the coils, inside and around the base of your cooling system will remove a lot of dust particles that cause wear and tear on your motor and blower system. Vacuum the vents and registers too as well as the area where the air filter sits. Regular cleaning helps keep your cooling system running in good shape and lengthens the life of the system.
Maintaining a healthy moisture balance inside is essential for staying healthy. During summer it is good to have less moisture inside, around a 30% average. Your AC works to remove excess humidity when it’s hot but there may be times when you need a higher moisture level to keep down the dust. If your skin is dry or cracking then you may need to increase the humidity levels a little.
Get Your Ducts Cleaned
If your cooling system’s vents and ducts haven’t been cleaned in a while there could be all kinds of dirt, grime and germs hiding in your duct system. Mold spores, bacteria and allergens circulate through the air until they are caught by the air filters but the dirt that is in the ducts is too deep to be sucked out by the blowers kicking on. Periodically it is a good idea to have your ducts cleaned and inspected for leaks.
Electronic Air Cleaners
An electronic air cleaner can remove up to 99.98% of airborne allergens, making it 100 times more effective than a 1” filter. Air cleaners have just one job to do and they do it well. Using an air cleaner along with some of these other suggestions will help keep the air inside your home clean and breathable.