You know all the most common sources of sinus allergies — pets, pollen, dust, mold, etc. — but there may be another source, one that you don’t know about, right inside your home: your air conditioning system.
Spring is just around the corner, and although Texans have grown accustomed to dealing with allergies year-round, we certainly encounter our share of sneeze-inducing tree pollens as well as other natural nose pollutants during the traditional “allergy season.”
At Radiant, your trusted local provider of everything from HVAC repair to water heater installation in Austin, TX, we want to make sure you don’t have to suffer from allergies this spring.
How Does an Air Conditioner Add to Allergy Issues?
One way to handle outdoor allergies is to spend more time indoors. As the weather heats up, that means shutting the windows and cranking up the air conditioning. But could your A/C actually add to your allergy issues?
The answer: absolutely.
The same pollen and other air particles causing you discomfort outside can get trapped in the filter of your air conditioner, then whoosh through the ducts and vents in your house. Mix this with existing dust particles or even pet dander, and you have the makings of some not-so-clean air entering your nostrils.
Symptoms of Poor IAQ
If you’re noticing the sudden onset of allergy symptoms, it may not be a coincidence — you might have poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Here are a few signs of poor IAQ:
- Sudden headaches and fatigue
- Trouble sleeping
- Musty or otherwise unpleasant odors in the home
- Heavy dust accumulation
- Allergy symptoms
Just one or two of these symptoms is no cause for alarm — after all, every home gets a little dustier than usual from time to time. However, if the symptoms increase or persist over a long period of time, that’s a sure sign that your indoor air quality is deteriorating and you need to take active steps to improve it.
Common Air Conditioner Pollutants
Indoor air pollution is caused by a myriad of sources.
Here are three common pollutants that can come directly from your air conditioning system:
- Dust that gets caught in dirty air filters.
- Humidity in the air that travels through the ductwork and can mimic the symptoms of allergies.
- Mold, usually the result of moisture in your AC ducts, that spreads and causes allergies and sinus irritation.
This will not only activate your allergies for the time being, but repeated exposure can actually cause them to worsen if left unaddressed.
Spring HVAC Cleaning Checklist
Just like your home needs to be cleaned thoroughly every year, there are several things you need to do to keep your indoor air quality as high as possible. The best way to improve the air inside your home is to give your house a good spring cleaning! Start with these four quick items:
- Steam clean the carpets
- Dust all the furniture
- Swiffer the wooden floors.
- Wipe down those ceiling fans as the blades are magnets for dust bunnies.
Additionally, it’s important to replace air filters around your home and professionally clean the filter inside your air conditioning unit. Get in the habit of changing your air filters every one to three months, depending on how often your AC runs. This is essential to making sure dust doesn’t build up. You can attempt to clean the internal A/C filter by yourself, but it never hurts to have a professional technician inspect the unit to assure it is 100% clean and running efficiently. Having a freshly cleaned and professionally checked air conditioner that’s in tip-top shape will minimize the effects of airborne allergens in your home this spring.
Next, have your ductwork inspected and/or cleaned every year on a routine basis. Finally, have the whole system checked for leaks that could cause excess humidity or mold to invade your space.
Radiant Plumbing is here to help fulfill all your air conditioning needs in preparation for the hot Texas summer while keeping your home as free of allergens as possible. We can handle everything you need, from seasonal maintenance to furnace replacement. We’re also here if you need an emergency plumber in Lakeway, TX, or the surrounding areas. Our experts are available around the clock. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!