In recent years, indoor air quality (IAQ) has begun to receive a lot more well-deserved attention. But, for families with allergies, measuring IAQ is particularly important. Fortunately, your home’s HVAC system is there to help. With a few simple tasks, your HVAC system can work around the clock to keep your air clean.
1. Upgrade and Maintain Your Filters
Every HVAC system comes equipped with air filters, and keeping them clean is a must-do to avoid seasonal allergies and all airborne irritants. However, not all filters are created equal and it’s important you choose wisely in order to prevent dust and allergens from spreading throughout your home.
Pay attention to the MERV rating on an air filter when you purchase it. This number will tell you just how efficient the filter is at actually filtering tiny particles out of the air, trapping and preventing them from traveling through your system and into the air you breathe.
2. Schedule a Duct Cleaning
While you can clean and replace the filters of your HVAC system with ease, cleaning out the ducts themselves can be a bit more difficult. That’s why it’s best left to the professionals, who have a range of special tools to use in order to thoroughly clean your entire duct system and help remove any dust or allergens that could be building up inside.
When scheduling a duct cleaning, you can also ask for a preventative maintenance service. Routine maintenance will play a crucial role in keeping your system up and running at its best year-round, preventing expensive repairs and emergency breakdowns during allergy season and beyond.
3. Maintain Proper Humidity
Humidity is an important factor to consider for any household that suffers from allergies. Humidity can also affect indoor air quality and lead to irritation even if you don’t suffer from allergies, which is why it’s so important to measure and maintain proper humidity levels throughout the year.
Too much humidity, especially combined with heat, can create a breeding ground for bacteria. At the same time, dry air can further irritate breathing ways. Humidity levels of 30 percent to 50 percent are ideal. Use a humidifier or dehumidifier as needed to support your HVAC’s efforts.
4. Measure Your IAQ
Even with all your best efforts, you can’t know just how much a difference you’re making if you are not measuring your home’s IAQ. To do so, pick up a VOC sensor and place it in your home. Smart sensors are available that will allow you to monitor your home’s indoor air quality via an app and even give you advice on how to further increase the air quality.
There are many ways your home’s HVAC system can help support a clean, allergy-free home. With these tips, you can be well on your way to high indoor air quality and a comfortable environment for everyone, year-round.