How To Use Your Air Conditioner To Tackle Springtime Allergies

If you're one of the 50 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies, then chances are you're not quite ready to welcome spring with open arms. But it's not just outdoor allergens like pollen that can make you miserable; indoor allergens, including pet dander, dust mites, and various compounds found in common cleaning products, can also trigger your allergy symptoms.

Your air conditioner can do more than just keep your home cool and comfortable: it can also play a major role in curbing seasonal allergies. Read on to learn how you can use your air conditioner to reduce allergens in your indoor air.

Upgrade Your Air Filter and Change It Regularly

When it comes to stopping allergies in their tracks, your A/C air filter is one of the most important tools at your disposal. Although the basic fiberglass air filters found in most A/C systems do a decent job of blocking dust and debris, they're usually not up to the task of filtering out allergens.

Pleated air filters, on the other hand, can capture microscopic particles as small as a single micron. Swapping your fiberglass air filter for a pleated air filter rated between MERV 8 and MERV 13 can significantly reduce your exposure to allergens.

Of course, you'll need to change your air filter on a monthly basis to avoid buildup that could introduce more allergens into your home.

Use the A/C Fan to Circulate Indoor Air

Your brand-new air filter won't be of much use if there's no air passing through it. Allowing your air conditioner's fan to run continuously, even when your home's not being cooled, also allows your indoor air to be filtered. Using your A/C fan also promotes good indoor air circulation throughout your home.

Some A/C systems are even equipped with variable-speed blower motors that offer a low-speed mode for indoor air circulation. These motors turn the fan at a speed low enough for continuous circulation without generating excess noise.

Watch Out for Mold Growth

Mold not only triggers allergy symptoms, but it can also contribute to more serious illnesses. Mold typically thrives in moist, humid environments. Unfortunately, the interior of your A/C unit is usually dark, damp, and humid - three conditions that mold spores absolutely love.

A thorough bi-monthly inspection of your A/C system can help prevent mold from flourishing inside the unit. It's also a good idea to drain, clean, and disinfect the condensate drip pan and drain lines on a regular basis. Keeping your home's humidity under 50 percent can also help keep mold growth at bay.

For more information, contact professionals like Peterson Heating & Cooling.