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Over 50 million people in the United States struggle with allergies, and over 50 percent say their allergies impact their quality of life.

Are you or someone in your family allergic to dust, mold, or pollen? If so, you can manage the symptoms of these conditions by properly maintaining your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system.

If you’re not sure where to get started, here are some practical steps you can take to ensure your HVAC unit keeps the air in your home clean and reduces allergy symptoms. 

Make the Most of Your Filter

Your HVAC unit’s filter is meant to catch debris like dust mites, pollen, dander, and other allergens. If you don’t clean or replace your filter regularly, it will become so loaded with debris that it no longer does its job. In fact, it could even make allergies worse.

Ideally, you’ll clean or replace the filter once every 2-3 months. If you’re shopping for a new filter, upgrade to a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. These filters remove more contaminants than others (up to 99.97 percent).

Look for filters with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating of at least 10 (although the closer you get to 20, the better).

Keep Ductwork Clear

Changing your air filter is one of the best ways to keep your air ducts clean — which further reduces the chances of dust, dirt, and other particles blowing through your home and triggering allergies.

Regularly dusting and vacuuming also helps to minimize the amount of dust that can be pulled into your ductwork. Vacuuming more frequently is especially helpful if you have pets that shed or track allergens from outside.

Every one to three years, schedule professional ductwork cleaning, too. This thorough cleaning allows you to get into areas you can’t reach yourself and further reduce allergen exposure.

Control Humidity

If your home is humid, you’re more likely to deal with mold growth. Mold can trigger allergies and other health issues for many people, including a stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, or skin rashes.  

Ideally, your home’s humidity level will not exceed 40 percent. Consider installing a dehumidifier to keep your humidity levels from climbing too high.

Reducing humidity will also help to reduce the risk of mold or mildew growing in your HVAC unit — which can cause mold spores to be blown throughout your home.

If you notice that your HVAC system is leaking, be sure to address the issue right away. Not only are leaks a sign of damage to your unit, but if they go unmanaged, they can also contribute to mold growth. 

Invest in Air Purification

If you or someone in your family is particularly allergy-prone, you may need to invest in additional air purification methods, such as air quality testing.

For example, consider installing an Indoor Air Quality (or IAQ) system. This system removes three types of contaminants from the air, stopping them from spreading or collecting in the ductwork.

The contaminants an IAQ system removes include:

  • Particles: Dander, dust, hair, pollen, etc.
  • Germs and infectious agents: Bacteria, viruses, etc.
  • Chemical gasses and odors: Formaldehyde, benzene, etc.

Many people who use IAQ systems notice their allergy symptoms improve. They also experience fewer colds and other illnesses.

Schedule Regular HVAC Maintenance

Regular HVAC maintenance — at least once per year — helps you keep your system clean and working correctly.

Routine maintenance addresses the moving parts of your HVAC system, as well as the coils and drain pans. Regularly cleaning these areas prevents particles from spreading through the ductwork and damaging the system.

Regular HVAC maintenance also alerts you to potential problems sooner, so you can handle them before they escalate and cause more serious (and more expensive) issues.

Reduce Allergies with HVAC Systems  

From changing the air filter to regularly scheduling HVAC maintenance, you can take many steps to reduce allergy symptoms and improve your and your loved ones’ quality of life.

Do you need to schedule HVAC maintenance or repairs? If so, our team at C&M Heating and Cooling is here for you. We’ve been serving clients in the Nashville area for over 40 years and are dedicated to providing excellent service. 

Contact us today to learn more about our HVAC services or schedule an appointment.