If you rely on a forced-air HVAC system, you may run into situations where allergy sufferers in your home experience distress when it's running. Forced-air systems distribute the conditioned air through the blower and then the ducts, creating ample opportunities for airborne irritants to circulate through your rooms. You can reduce allergic reactions created by your HVAC system by:
1. Cleaning or changing the air filter. All forced-air systems have filters that incoming air must go through to remove particulates of varying sizes. When the filters get dirty, they lose their effectiveness and particles may be blown through, increasing the airborne load in your home. By replacing filters before they're clogged, you reduce potential irritants (and ease the strain on your HVAC system).
You can also install more effective filters in your heating and cooling system. Filters carry ratings that describe the minimum size of particles that they trap, called MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value). Higher values indicate that the filter traps smaller particles. Before choosing denser filters, you need to consult your owner's manual for your blower to discover the maximum MERV value to use in your HVAC system. If your manual doesn't specify, contact an HVAC specialist. Too dense a filter creates too much resistance, which can harm your blower and lower system efficiency.
2. Leaking ducts. Leaks can form in the ducts, and the joints between the ducts can loosen, both of which contribute to dust and allergens. Air blowing through ducts can create a force that can pick up dust that's settled in hidden spaces, and blow it into your rooms. Leaky ducts also add substantially to HVAC bills.
3. Neglected System Maintenance. Even if you keep your filters clean and the ducts are sealed, particles can still be deposited inside your heating and cooling equipment. Dirt on parts such as the heat exchanger or evaporator coils not only lowers indoor air quality, it also reduces the life of these expensive parts.
Joe Behr Plumbing & Heating has been serving Lexington and the Mid-Ohio area since 1965. Contact us to identify the right air filters for your HVAC system and to request service to keep your indoor air as clean as possible.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC systems and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area.