When we think of allergies, most people thing of spring as being the prime season for sufferers, but Fall allergy sufferers know what it means to be coughing, sneezing and itching their way through the end of year season as well. When the grass starts drying up and the leaves start falling, allergy prone folks bring out the tissue box.
Here are a few tips that we recommend to clients at Action Air heating and air conditioning that may help ease you through the Fall season:
1. Keep the fan on your furnace set to the ON position at the thermostat year round. This will help filter the air, keeping it circulating continually through your filtration system on your furnace. Electric usage is minimal, and filtered air is much cleaner and fresher than non filtered air.
2. Speaking of filters, they need to be changed regularly. Depending on the lifestyle, the more people and pets, the more in and out traffic, smoking and cooking that goes on in the home, the more the filter will need changed.
3. The type of filter you have is just as important. All air filters are NOT the same, and having the right filter in place just might make a difference as to how well you feel during the allergy season. In general the higher the MERV rating, the better the filtration depending on the size of the particulates. If you are wondering what type of filter you should buy for allergies, review the options below.
- 1 inch disposable filter– These are the least efficient, should be changed every month, and catch only about 5-7% of the particles in the air
- Washable filters– These filters will catch about 7-15% of the particles in the air, should be washed every month, are easy to maintain and economical
- Pleated filters– Such as the Trion Air Bear, Space Guard or Honeywell should be changed every two to six months, can trap up to 80% of the particles in the air depending on the thickness of the pleats, the material of which it is made and the MERV rating.
- Electrostatic– Use no electricity, they generate their own small static charge to trap and hold particles. They can be high maintenance, and may restrict air flow. Trap up to 40% of particles in the air.
- Powered Air Screen– Such as Micro power guard uses low voltage electricity. 1 inch thick, will fit most any application. A good economical upgrade from a standard filter, traps up to 90% of particles in the air.
- HEPA– high efficiency, disposable and long-lasting, but expensive up front. Traps up to 95% of particles in the air.
- Ultraviolet Air Purifier– Such as the Healthy CLimate UV by Lennoxo uses light to eliminate environmental pollutants such as VOC gasses, viruses, germs and bacteria, and odors. UV is low maintenance, the bulbs last 1-3 years, and when combined with a high efficiency filter makes your indoor air as clean as possible.
As you can see there is a lot to think about when it comes to filtering the air in your home. Be sure to ask the technician next time he is at your home to do the maintenance on the furnace about which option is best for your situation.