Some of us never get a break from allergies. Just as our allergies to grass pollen subside in the summer, fall arrives, and we find ourselves sniffling, coughing, sneezing, and wheezing at a new round of pollen, possibly from trees or fall-blooming flowers. While we can’t do much about allergens like pollen while we’re outside, there are some things you can do while you’re inside, including enlisting the help of your HVAC system.
Continue reading for tips on how to use your HVAC system to control your fall allergies.
Replace the Air Filter
If you don’t change the air filter frequently, it won’t capture as many airborne particulates. HVAC systems require adequate air flow not only to condition the air but also to remove particulates from the filtering system.
Make Use of a High-Quality Air Filter
A low-cost fiberglass filter is not dense enough to capture the smaller pollen particles that may be circulating in your home and causing allergic reactions. Your best defense is a dense, pleated filter rated 8-12 on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) scale.
Consider Purchasing An Air Cleaner
There are several types of air cleaners, and the one you choose will be determined by the type of allergen you want to control. If pollen is a problem allergen for you, you should consider installing an electrostatic filter in your HVAC system. These filters are more expensive than disposable filters because they are permanent, but they last a long time. They function by attracting particles that have an electrostatic charge. They do need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
If your allergies are severe, you should consider purchasing an air cleaner with a true HEPA (high efficiency particulate air filter). A HEPA filter will not work in your HVAC system unless it has been modified to allow for this ultra-dense type of filtration. The air flow would be slowed, causing the HVAC system to not properly cool or heat.