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The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports there were 67 million adults and 14 million children dealing with seasonal allergies in 2021. That’s seasonal allergies. Over 20 million more have other allergies to things like foods, contact allergies, insect bites and stings, or animal dander. Allergies may be mild, but some can be dangerous and trigger reactions like asthma attacks.

When you or someone with your home has allergies, clean air within the home is essential. How do you keep the air within your home clean to lower allergens that trigger allergies? An AC installation is one of the best ways to ensure clean air, but it’s not the only thing you need to do.

Maintain Ideal Humidity Levels

A home’s interior humidity should be between 30% and 50%. If your AC is falling short, talk to an AC technician to find out why. It could be the sign of an older system that needs replacement or you could have duct issues that need attention.

Have a weather station or temperature gauge that monitors internal humidity levels. Some have alerts or alarms that let you know if the humidity is too low or too high. If it’s high, you might benefit from an additional dehumidifier in more humid rooms like the kitchen or bathroom.

Keep Outdoor Air Outside Where It Belongs

Older homes can be drafty and let outside air in through poorly sealed doors and windows. Inadequate insulation is also a problem. Improve the insulation in your attic as a DIY project or hire a professional AC technician who specializes in attic insulation. 

If you choose a qualified contractor, Florida Power & Light Company offers an instant rebate of $220 on attic insulation. There are also federal tax credits of up to $1,200 available.

Any ducts that have cracks, holes, or split seams can increase the allergens within your home. The air you think is leaving the house exits those holes and cracks and comes right back into your home. It’s a waste of energy as your AC system works harder, and it also adds to the humidity and allergens inside.

Invest in an Air Purifier

A central AC helps cool the air and remove excess humidity. Its filter will capture pollen, dust, and dander, but it won’t purify the air without the addition of UV lighting or ionization. It’s perfectly fine to buy one or more air purifiers to help clean the air. You can purchase quality models for well under $100 that get high ratings and clean the air effectively.

Consider having air purifiers in bedrooms and main living areas. As many do a great job blowing the clean, filtered air back out into the room, you might find the air without your home circulates more, which helps decrease your AC’s energy consumption. Swap out floor fans for air purifiers and gain the benefit of cleaner air.

Clean Your Home Regularly

Create a regular cleaning schedule for household members to follow. If you have pets, you should sweep hardwood floors of pet hair every day or two. Wipe surfaces of dust and dander once a week, vacuum carpets a couple of times a week, and shake out pet bedding outside a couple of days a week.

Consider purchasing pet bedding that has a waterproof cover that you can wipe clean. If that’s not ideal, look for pet bed covers you can remove and hand wash or run through a laundry cycle.

Make sure your cleaning tasks include the vents and registers. Pet hair may collect on the grates, so use an upholstery brush to clean them off each week.

Improve Your Ventilation

If you have a stove and cook often, consider a ventilation system that moves the cooking fumes to the outside. Most homes have over-the-stove microwaves or hoods that blow the air around. An exhaust fan will draw it from the kitchen and out of the house. You also want exhaust fans in all bathrooms to remove excess humidity.

When it’s nice outside, opening a window to allow fresh air in is a good idea. This will depend on what triggers your allergies. If you’re allergic to pine pollen, opening a window at the height of pollen season will do more harm than good.

Have Your AC System Cleaned and Inspected Each Year

Schedule yearly HVAC cleanings to keep your system working perfectly. There are things you need to do to prolong your system’s life, such as regular air filter changes and keeping the coils clean, but a professional cleaning and inspection can capture hidden issues.

The other benefit of professional AC cleaning and inspection is you’ll learn if your system is sized properly. If you have an AC that’s more powerful than you need, the air may not circulate enough to ensure allergens are kept to a minimum.

If you have a lot of pets or a dustier home, consider changing your air filter every month. It will cost more, but it’s worth it if you’re able to avoid severe allergy symptoms.

AC Installations That Benefit People With Allergies

Even with proper care, your central AC won’t last forever. Most Southern Florida systems make it to 10 or 15 years. With a system that’s nearing its end of life, it’s a good time to talk about a new AC system. There are things you can add to or do for your new AC system that help alleviate allergies. 

Make sure to arrange a duct cleaning and inspection before installing a new system, if it isn’t already included in the installation procedure. Duct cleaning or restoration helps get your ducts into clean, problem-free order if they have damage, cracks, or mold and mildew.

Air conditioning is a process that involves humidity. While the goals are to avoid issues, sometimes a system that’s not working as effectively as it could will develop mildew growth within the ducts. That’s going to make anyone with mildew or mold allergies miserable.

HEPA filters are a must as they’ll catch pollen, dust, mold and mildew spores, and pet dander. When you work with an HVAC specialist, make sure you ask about the highest filter you can use within the AC system. You want to capture as many allergens as possible without straining your system with airflow that’s too restrictive.

Ask All Year Cooling about UV light treatment solutions. A system sits within your ducts to kill bacteria, mold spores, and viruses. As the air passes through the UV lighting, the same UV rays that damage skin cells kill these airborne contaminants and mold and mildew growth. That’s important when you’re dealing with allergies.

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