May is Asthma Awareness Month, and a month when allergy sufferers can be very uncomfortable. Indoor air quality is important to those who are allergic to dust, pollen, pet dander and other respiratory ailments. Homeowners who keep up with routine HVAC maintenance can control air quality.
- Ducts: The EPA suggests cleaning HVAC ducts if there is substantial mold growth visible inside ducts, if there’s an infestation of insects or rodents, or if there is visible dust and debris coming out of them. A simple and effective maintenance task related to ducts is inspecting air registers. This can be done every three months when furnace and air conditioning filters are changed. Look at the registers to see if there is moisture, excess dust, dirt or any other abnormalities. Remove the registers and look inside the opening with a flashlight to see if there are any indications of problems further down in the ducts.
- Controlling humidity: The EPA recommends 30 to 50 percent relative humidity level in homes. Controlling humidity reduces or eliminates the growth of biological indoor air contaminants such as molds, mildews, bacteria and dust mites, which can irritate allergies. All areas of a home should be kept in a clean, dry condition, including basements, attics, corners, closets and crawl spaces. Exhaust fans, whole house humidifiers and dehumidifiers and attic ventilation systems help keep humidity levels stable.
- Filters: The American Lung Association claims that HVAC filter maintenance is key to keeping indoor air particles at healthy levels. Know your furnace manufacturer’s instructions for filter maintenance and use the highest efficiency filter for your model. Change filters at least every three months during operation, and check them before turning on and off for the season. Keep a system maintenance log and write in the dates you change filters to keep your filter changes consistent.
For more expert advice about HVAC tips to improve air quality and alleviate allergy symptoms and other issues related to home comfort, contact the pros at Russell’s Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving the Hampton Roads area since 1977.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC tips and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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