If you have allergies, the outdoors can be a minefield of allergens that trigger sneezing, sniffles and congestion. Unfortunately, it can be just as bad indoors, but with the right HVAC maintenance, you can minimize the chance of spending your summer in misery.
One often overlooked maintenance item is duct cleaning. Air systems recirculate most of the air in the house and even if you keep on top of your filter replacement, unwanted particles can remain in your ductwork and make you ill.
Some of these allergens include:
Dust mites are microscopic arachnids that are nearly invisible to the naked eye. They are responsible for allergy symptoms like sneezing, congestion and coughing. Asthma is also connected to the unwanted presence of these tiny creatures. It’s not the mites themselves that cause the symptoms, but their excretions. They consume dead skin cells and flourish in moist conditions. Reducing the amount of dust in your ductwork will lower the population of dust mites and minimize your exposure to them.
Pets shed dead skin cells just like we do. This is known as pet dander and because of its small, sometimes microscopic size, it remains suspended in the air and accumulates in ductwork. If you have a pet allergy that won’t clear up. Even with extra cleaning and high efficiency filtration, cleaning your ducts might be the answer.
If you think you’re safe from pollen while indoors, think again. Pollen enters homes through open windows and doors, pets that play outside and our own clothes, hair and shoes. Particularly during spring and early summer, these allergens are almost everywhere, including your ductwork.
Viruses and bacteria
While viruses aren’t considered allergies, nothing is worse than having allergy symptoms and another illness at the same time. Viruses and bacteria can accumulate and circulate throughout your home via ductwork that isn’t clean. Dirty ducts are also ideal breeding grounds for microbes, increasing your family’s exposure.
Keeping your ductwork clean
You can do ongoing maintenance of grilles and portions of your ductwork using a vacuum cleaner but at some point, you need more. A professional has the equipment and expertise to remove long-accumulated dust and allergens from your home’s air system. Depending on your sensitivity, you may need to have your ducts cleaned more often but cleaning between heating and cooling seasons is recommended.
If you are concerned about how your home’s ductwork is affecting your allergies (and your overall health), give us a call and we can help you breathe better.
If you’re concerned about your allergies and need to optimize your HVAC system, we can help you assess and make modifications so you can breathe easy!