Living in East Tennessee, we understand what it means to deal with poor air quality.
According to a 2019 report from the American Lung Association, the Knoxville area was ranked as the 25th worst city in the country for annual air pollution. Many factors contribute to this, including topography, weather, and pollution, but how does this poor air quality outside affect the air quality inside your home? Start with your HVAC system.
Allergens end up inside our homes in ways you have probably never noticed or realized. Your HVAC system is designed to neutralize these harmful pollutants and work as an ally in your quest for cleaner air. However, you’ll need to make sure your HVAC unit is operating properly in order to get the best result from your heating and cooling system.
Use these ten simple ways to start using your HVAC to remove allergens from your home.
- Buy a high-quality filter
This is step one to cleaner indoor air in your home.
Your air filter is your first line of defense against allergens that drift their way into your living room, so invest in one that traps even the tiniest of particles. An air filter’s effectiveness is measured using a rating system called Minimum Efficiency Recording Value, or MERV. MERVs range from one to twenty, with the higher numbers offering the highest level of filtration. When purchasing air filters, go with a high-efficiency filter that traps allergens at a high rate with a MERV level rated between 14 and 16.
While HEPA filters have a higher rating between 17 and 20, these types of filters should be used for systems that have been updated or designed to use HEPA filters.
- Keep your air filter clean
No matter what type of air filter you choose or how much you spend on it, it’s not going to work if you don’t clean and/or replace it regularly.
Dirty filters force your HVAC system to work harder to circulate air while spreading air filter dust, dirt, pollen, and other allergens throughout your home and ductwork. That’s why it’s critical for you to change your filter every three months. Think of it as changing with the seasons. When the weather changes, change your filter.
- Step-up your air filtration system
Ready to take your air filtration to the next level?
Also known as air purifiers or ionizers, electronic air filters can be incorporated into your HVAC system to boost its ability to rid you home of air-borne pollutants. Like a second barrier to your HVAC airways, these electronically charged filters attract and trap smaller particles as they pass through your HVAC system.
- Keep humidity levels in check
East Tennesseans know all about humidity. While we’ve been spared the sweltering heat of the Deep South, the Knoxville area sees a high amount of rainfall throughout the year causing very high humidity levels.
In your home, high humidity means mold and mildew growth that makes an allergy sufferer’s symptoms unbearable. Use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity in your home around 40 percent. But don’t take away too much air moisture. Air that’s too dry makes it easier for particles to stay airborne.
- Clean your air ducts
If you could see the filth built up in your ductwork after years of use, you wouldn’t need to be convinced of this tip.
Have your ducts cleaned regularly by a professional to rid your HVAC of dust, dander, hair, insects, and other debris.
- Kill allergens with the latest technology
In the middle of a pandemic, we’ve all got germ killing on our minds these days. Special UV lights are now available to work in conjunction with your HVAC system to sterilize both the system’s coil and air to kill mold and bacteria.
This technology is expensive but can be very effective in improving air quality.
- Clean outdoor unit
Your outdoor unit is… well… outdoors. Therefore, it’s exposed to rain, snow, wind, dirt, pollen, animal attacks, and any other part of nature you try to keep out of your home. However, this machinery is pulling air into your home, so what is adhered to the outside of the unit has a chance of coming inside.
To help prevent this, regularly wipe down the outer surface of your HVAC unit with a damp cloth.
- Seal out allergens and pollutants
Similar to tip #7, you want to keep the outdoor air quality from becoming your indoor air quality when it comes to your home. That’s why you want to keep your home tightly sealed to prevent allergens from sneaking in by sealing gaps and holes with caulk, spray foam, and weather stripping.
- Keep surfaces clean/check for mold
This may seem like a no brainer, but this is a simple way to reduce allergens and improve the air quality in your home. Regular cleaning can reduce the buildup of dust, pollen, dander, mold spores and other irritants, as well as give you a chance to check for mold growth in areas you may not normally notice.
- Schedule regular HVAC maintenance
Your HVAC system has several moving parts to keep your heating and air conditioning working properly 365 days a year. With regular maintenance from one of our experienced technicians, we’ll ensure every part of your HVAC is working to get you the results you need for your daily life. This is also a great way to prolong the life of your system.
Reduce Indoor Allergens with an HVAC Company in East Tennessee
Don’t settle for poor indoor air quality in your own home. We know the most effective strategies to get you results so you can breathe easier.
City Heating and Air Conditioning is a trusted HVAC company in East Tennessee that has been providing quality HVAC services for over 50 years. We can provide a thorough inspection of the HVAC system in your home or office and perform air testing to determine your indoor air quality. Our experienced HVAC specialists can update your ventilation system and recommend effective ways to reduce the number of allergens in your home. We can also help you with your regular HVAC maintenance and any repairs you need for your system. Ready to improve the air quality of your home or office? Reach out to us today at 865-938-1005 or online to schedule a consultation!