In the spring and summer, when many plants and trees bloom, the sun is up. During this time of year, the wind causes pollen and other air pollutants to fly around so quickly, which in turn causes allergy reactions in many people. You’ll probably choose to keep the windows closed and switch on your air conditioner if you fear seasonal allergies. Wondering if pollen can enter your air conditioning system? We compiled pertinent data for you!
With blocked filters, an air conditioner can undoubtedly let in pollen. To clean the air that flows in our homes, air conditioners are provided with filters; nevertheless, over time, dirt and pollutants collect on the surface of these filters. Therefore, they need to be cleaned frequently to make sure that the air we breathe contains few to no allergen-causing particles.
When air conditioners receive routine maintenance, they function effectively. In order to provide us with the right climate and relief within our houses, manufacturers design ACs with cutting-edge technology to filter out air contaminants. Unwanted air contaminants, however, may enter our interior space if filtering is weakened. Stay tuned to learn more about protecting your home against pollen, pollution, and other foreign objects!
What Causes Allergies From Pollen?
Pollen is an extremely tiny powder that comes from plants and trees and is a type of allergy. It is in charge of fertilizing other members of the same species of plant. Pollen is transported by sources like the wind, birds, insects, and other pollinators. Pollen grains can enter our bodies through the nose and eyes after being dispersed by the wind.
Environmental allergens such as dust mites, mold, and pet dander can enter a building through an air conditioner in addition to pollen. When these airborne pollutants enter the home, air conditioners can circulate them and keep them suspended in the air for hours.
Why Do Allergies Worsen While The Air Conditioner Is On?
If the HVAC system is not regularly maintained, it loses its ability to effectively filter out allergens. Therefore, a dirty AC may contain allergens and further aggravate seasonal allergies. Therefore, one thing to consider when family members begin experiencing frequent sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, or runny noses is the state of your AC.
A vicious cycle of allergic reactions starts when various materials (such as pollen, pet danders, dust, and mold spores) build up in your air conditioner, especially on its filters. Attacks of asthma or breathing difficulties are the worst. Sometimes it’s best to turn off the air conditioning.
How Frequently Should An AC Filter Be Changed?
You should swap out your filters every two to three months, depending on a number of variables like your home’s location, whether or not it has pets, and the weather outdoors. Filters should be changed at least every 60 days in homes with pets, those in dry areas, and those with smoky, dirty air.
If there are individuals living in the home who have allergies or other respiratory issues, you might want to change the filters every 20 to 45 days. Families with numerous fuzzy pets are advised to wait the same number of days.
While filters are primarily made to protect the delicate parts of your air conditioner, you do have the option to install the right kinds of filters to help your respiratory health.
HVAC Filter Types
The function and optimum performance of the HVAC system might be hampered by the accumulation of dangerous airborne particles on filters. Aside from the potential health risks, unclean filters make the system work harder, which drives up your energy costs.
Know what kind of filters you need to have to prevent respiratory issues and additional costs to your electric bill:
HEPA filters, which stand for “high-efficiency particulate air,” offer the highest trustworthy degree of defense against airborne particles. The United States Environmental Protection Agency claims that this mechanical filter has the potential to remove more than 99% of bacteria, mold, pollen, and dust.
It falls between 17 and 20 on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) scale. 0.3 microns is the smallest particle it can catch, thus. MERV ratings assess a filter’s capacity to prevent airborne pollutants from entering the system.
Cleanable And Reusable Air Filters
HEPA filters cannot be washed, however washable or reusable air filters can be easily cleaned without the use of chemicals. Its low MERV rating ranges from one to four. However, a specific version of it has been designed to trap 94% of dust and other allergens.
They produce static electricity to positively charge dust and molds, which is why they are also referred to as electrostatic air filters. These impurities then adhere to the filter media, and the cleaner air that results begins to circulate within the home.
Fiberglass Filters With Flat Panels
The most popular and affordable filter with an extremely low MERV rating is this one. It is reinforced by a metal grating and is constructed of layers of fiberglass. Because it can only capture less than 25% of the airborne particles, it allows for the maximum airflow but provides absolutely no effective filtering.
Be aware that filters with higher MERV ratings are better at removing tiny particles but can only provide lower airflow levels.
Filter With Pleated Media
Pleated media filters, which are built from layers of cotton, paper, or polyester folded into pleats, have MERV values between 6 and 8 and are trustworthy air purifiers. A pleated media filter performs well at catching airborne particles, including hair from people and dogs, and is stronger and more effective than fiberglass filters.
Contrary to fiberglass filters, pleated filters successfully blend effective filtration with optimum airflow. Additionally, by preventing clogs in the HVAC system, this type of filter can assist reduce repair problems and costs.
How To Maintain Clean Indoor Air
If anyone in your family suffers from asthma or another respiratory condition, the air inside your home may also be contaminated and dangerous to their health. Dust, filth, or gases that stay in the air inside of buildings and could be harmful to human health when inhaled are referred to as indoor air pollutants.
Safe indoor air cannot be ensured by air conditioning alone. Here are some recommendations to improve the air inside:
Maintain The Air Conditioner
We’ve mostly concentrated on the significance of routinely cleaning and replacing air filters in the earlier sections of this piece. This time, we’ll show you how to clean your air conditioner. Be sure to turn the device off first!
Get The Cleaning Supplies Ready:
- hot water
- mild cleaner
- fabric for wiping
- a nylon-bristle brush with a fin comb
- gloved in leather
Remove The Filter
Sanitizing the filters should come first. Take the front panel off your air conditioner, then remove the filters. Use a vacuum to get rid of the accumulated dust and debris. After that, wash it thoroughly in warm water that has been diluted with a light detergent. Set it aside so that it can fully dry.
Grille And Exterior Cleaning
Clean the grille and exterior of your AC with warm, soapy water before working on its interior components. Aim for the openings where the air escapes. Let them air dry outside.
Condenser Coils Should Be Cleaned
Use a screwdriver to remove the protective grilles (side and top panels) so you can reach the coils when cleaning windows and portable units. Take out the filth using a gentle brush or towel. To prevent cuts, put on a pair of leather gloves. Use a fin comb to straighten bent cooling fins if you notice any.
If there is a lot of dirt accumulation on the fins, spray a foam cleaning on them and brush them.
Clean Out The Drip Tray
To clean off the dirt and debris that gathered on the tray, use a vacuum or cloth. Lastly, check to see if anything is obstructing the unit’s drain. To ensure that water exits from your AC smoothly, make sure it is not clogged.
Get Your Air Ducts Clean
Over time, air ducts can accumulate contaminants, which can drastically lower the quality of the air moving through your home. Have a professional clean it completely.
Airborne particles can be easily trapped in carpets due to their tangled and rough texture. Regularly clean your carpet, especially rugs. Dust mites and pet dander can be effectively removed from carpet by using a HEPA vacuum cleaner.
Activate The Kitchen Vents
When you turn on the stove to cook, nitrogen dioxide is released. According to the EPA, this gas can exacerbate asthma when inhaled at high doses. Open the windows in your kitchen or switch on the vents to avoid this.
No matter how abrasive the outside environment is, a well functioning HVAC system provides the optimum and comfortable climate inside your home. Of course, in order to enjoy these advantages, the system and indoor air must be cleaned frequently and thoroughly to remove pollen and other allergies.