Allergy Season: How HVAC Maintenance Can Help

allergy season

Many people suffer from itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose in the spring and fall. 1 That’s why these times of year are called “allergy season.” Plants release pollens in the spring and fall. People who are allergic to pollens may experience more symptoms during these times of year. You might think you can escape the pollens that cause allergies by staying in the house, but sometimes the indoor air quality (IAQ) is worse. Properly maintaining a home and/or building’s HVAC system can help improve IAQ and allergy symptoms. 2

What Are Seasonal Allergies?

Globally, between 10 and 30 percent of people suffer from seasonal allergies. Allergies are your immune system’s reaction to a foreign substance or food that other people are not bothered by. Allergies can irritate your skin, digestive system, or sinuses. 3

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What Are Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies?

People typically react to allergens, the substances that cause allergies, as soon as they come in contact with them. The symptoms of seasonal allergies are similar to those of a cold.

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy Nose
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Postnasal Drip
  • Sinus Pressure
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Itchy Ears
  • Hoarseness
  • Headaches

How Can HVAC Maintenance Help with Allergies?

Maintaining a home or building’s HVAC system can help reduce or eliminate the quantity of pollen and other biological contaminants, such as mold and dust mites, in the air. These allergens thrive in warm, moist environments. A clean and properly working HVAC system can control indoor temperature and humidity and prevent the growth of biological contaminants. 4 Adequate ventilation and air distribution is also important for bringing in fresh, outdoor air and filtering out pollutants in the indoor air. 5

HVAC Maintenance Tips

  • Check for Mold: Moisture can collect on cooling coils, humidifiers, condensate pans, air ducts, the return-air plenum, and cooling tours. Check these areas and remove any moisture, mold, or debris.
  • Clean Components: Cleaning the parts of cooling and heating systems, such as the heat exchangers, fans, and cooling coils, can improve efficiency. When HVAC systems are performing at their best, they can provide optimal air conditioning and ventilation. Keeping components clean can also extend their operating life and reduce energy use. 6
  • Change Air Filters: HVAC air filters play an important role in maintaining air quality and energy efficiency. Making sure an HVAC system’s filters are clean can reduce energy usage by 5 to 15 percent. They should be replaced every month.

If the HVAC system is old and maintenance cannot address mold or efficiency problems, it may be time to upgrade or replace the HVAC system.

Keeping Customers Healthy and Happy

Customer satisfaction is an important part of the success of any business. Home and business owners rely on HVAC technicians for comfortable indoor climates. This means keeping the temperature right and preventing contaminants like pollen or mold from triggering seasonal allergies. Regular maintenance can help a technician achieve both tasks.

Additional Sources:

1 – http://www.livescience.com/46015-hay-fever.html
2 – https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/biological-pollutants-impact-indoor-air-quality
3 – http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/home/ovc-20270181
4 – https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/biological-pollutants-impact-indoor-air-quality
5 – https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/introduction-indoor-air-quality
6 – https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/should-you-have-air-ducts-your-home-cleaned