How Your HVAC Impacts Your Allergies

It’s the time of year many of us here in Colorado love most. Warm days. Sunshine in abundance. Everything is in bloom.

It’s also time for your allergies to kick in. As you head out to bike, hike, and take in all the Rocky Mountains have to offer, it also brings sneezing, sniffling, wheezing, red eyes, and a stuffy head. Does allergy season seem to be getting longer?

Whether you’ve suffered from allergy symptoms for years, or it’s been getting worse these past few years, beautiful weather can be bittersweet at best. You love getting outdoors, but no matter if you’re inside or out, you just can’t seem to escape thy symptoms.

How Your HVAC Impacts Your AllergiesOne of the biggest triggers of allergies is pollen. Pollen is especially bad in the springtime as everything bursts into life. You can see it in the air. Of course, that’s not the only time pollen is in the air. Plants rely on many different sources to spread pollen, from the wind to carry it away, to bees capturing it and spreading it from plant to plant. It can travel for miles. It’s everywhere:

  • Roses
  • Hanging baskets
  • Trees like elm, maple, and oak
  • Fescue
  • Grass

On and on it goes, impacting everything around you.

As pollen floats through the air, it doesn’t stay outside of your home. Pollen can travel for miles. It can land on your pets, attach itself to your shoes, take a ride on your jacket, float in through your windows, and make its way inside your home. Once there, it settles everywhere, including your ductwork. When the air conditioner turns on, air movement begins. It picks up pollen and carries it to every room in your home.

And triggers your allergies all over again.

Your first reaction might be to stay inside when triggers are at a high. But if the triggers exist in your home, there’s no escaping the symptoms. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your HVAC system, and ensure it’s in good shape for the season.

To improve your indoor air quality, you can:

  • Regularly replace the air filter in your HVAC system. This captures dust, pollen, dander, and other contaminants that can move freely throughout your home.
  • Keep dust at bay. Dust regularly, including the shelves, corners, and other spots that aren’t on your regular rotation. If you see a higher dust level, it could be pointing to a problem with your HVAC system.
  • Keep your doors and windows closed on the highest pollen days. This helps keep pollen outside rather than allowing it to gather inside your home.
  • Wear a mask while vacuuming or dusting. If your symptoms are exceptionally bad, this can help reduce trigger points while the pollen is disturbed during your cleaning routine.

Remember, it’s not your air conditioner’s job to pull out impurities – it relies on the air filter for that. It can only work as well as the condition of the air filter.

When was the last time you changed out your air filter? Is it a high quality, HEPA filter designed to remove particulates like pollen, dander, and mold spores? Make the change, and you might just see the difference in the way you feel.

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