Even in fall and winter, you may deal with annoying allergies from weed pollens, mold, pet dander, pest droppings or dust. These allergens can accumulate in your HVAC system during the summer and spread through all of your Juno Beach, Florida, home when you turn on your heater in fall or winter. And it can lead to poor indoor air quality.
Fall is pollen season for many types of weeds, and mold often grows on the wet leaves that sit in your yard or on your roof. Also, people spend more time inside when the weather is cool. This can make health problems like asthma, sinus trouble, eye irritation, skin rashes,and fatigue worse. Fortunately, there are many solutions available to increase your indoor air quality, including air purifiers, ventilators, UV lamps and humidifiers.
Air purifiers, also called air cleaners, use air filters to remove allergens from your home. These filters are similar to the air filters inside heating and air conditioning systems, but they have higher Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values. This means that an air purifier can catch contaminants that the air filter in your HVAC system misses.
Some models can even filter viruses and bacteria from your home’s air. A good air purifier will reduce your allergy symptoms, helping you keep dust and dirt out of your home.
You can contact an HVAC professional to have a whole home air purifier installed in your ductwork or use a smaller, less-costly portable model. Some models will remind you when it’s time for a new filter.
Since energy efficient homes have lots of insulation, they often have poor ventilation. This means that not much fresh air comes into your home, and the air inside your house might be more polluted than the air outside.
A mechanical ventilation system, also called an Energy Recovery Ventilator, removes stale indoor air and replaces it with cleaner air. They have heat exchangers like heat pumps and work the same way to conserve energy while getting rid of pollutants. That way, your utility bills will be lower than if you open your windows or doors for ventilation.
Ventilators have their own air filters, so you won’t have to worry about outdoor pollutants coming into your home. Using a ventilator is more effective than using an air purifier to get rid of humid air and Volatile Organic Compounds. These chemicals evaporate at room temperature. They’re common in paints, cleaners and air fresheners. They often cause many of the same symptoms as allergens and are suspected to cause more serious problems, including cancer.
UV lamps, also called ultraviolet lamps or UV air purifiers, can kill dust mites, mold, bacteria and viruses. They won’t eliminate the allergens from these dead organisms, but they can keep them from reproducing and worsening the problem. They may even help prevent you from getting colds and other illnesses.
You can install a UV light in your HVAC system’s indoor coil or outdoor air handler. More expensive air sterilization lights that fit into your ductwork are also available.
All these types of UV lamps will keep organisms from growing in your HVAC system’s ductwork or evaporator coil. They produce UV-C light that damages the genetic structure of small lifeforms. The earth’s atmosphere typically filters out this type of UV light. You should clean your UV lamp with isopropyl alcohol once per month and replace it once per year.
Using your heater in fall and winter makes the air inside your home drier, causing many of the same symptoms as allergies, such as dry eyes, dry skin, and irritated sinuses. It can also cause annoying static shocks and cracks in wooden floors, doors, and furniture. A humidifier increases the moisture in your home’s air to keep you more comfortable. It also makes the air feel warmer, letting you save energy on heating.
Mechanical Air Conditioning Corp. has more than 40 years of HVAC experience. Call us anytime at 561-899-4587 for assistance with installation, maintenance, and repair of a variety of indoor air quality equipment.
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