The cliché goes that the “home is where the heart is.” That may be true, but the home is also where some unwelcome guests tend to make an appearance. No, we’re not talking about your annoying relatives who show up at the most inconvenient times. We’re talking about dust mites, mold and pet dander. Seasonal allergies put a damper on your favorite outdoor activities—don’t let them invade your indoor activities as well.
A quality air filtration system benefits not only those with seasonal allergies, but those with asthma as well. Air filters in central heating and air conditioning units help remove indoor pollutants. Here are three ways air filters can improve the quality of indoor air:
1. Air filters help prevent indoor air pollution.
Did you know that indoor air can be even more polluted than the air outside? An air filtration center helps clean indoor air, which is vital if someone in your family has asthma or another lung disease. The American Lung Association provides extensive information on some of the most common sources of indoor air pollution and additional tips on how to prevent them. A good air filtration system is a part of that strategy.
Often, outside air pollution has an impact on your inside air, and you may need a different type of filter depending upon the climate of your region. Not sure of your climate? The U.S. Department of Energy provides handy resources to help you.
2. Air filters trap many allergens—meaning that that these substances never enter your living space.
An allergen is any substance that causes an allergic reaction. The most common indoor allergens are dust mites, mold and pet dander. A mechanical air filter forces air through a mesh that traps these allergens, meaning they never enter your living space.
There are different types of filters of varying quality. The best mechanical filters are HEPA filters (High-Energy Particulate Air) and ULPA (Ultra-Low Penetration Air) filters. While these filters aren’t fitted into a furnace, they can be attached to them. A heating and air conditioning professional can help you determine what type of filter is right for your system.
3. Air filters can save you money.
An efficient filter is a clean filter. Change your filter every 3 months or more often during winter and summer. While a dirty filter will clog air flow and waste energy, a clean filter will keep dust from building up within your heating / air conditioning system. This prevents expensive repairs or maintenance work. The best practice is to have a heating and air conditioning professional evaluate your system twice a year to be sure it’s in peak condition.
While there’s no question air filtration systems can improve the quality of indoor air, there are also some additional steps you can take to help your family breathe easier:
- Be sure all kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans vent to the outside.
- Reduce clutter in your home, which collects dust.
- If you have a carpet, be sure to clean and vacuum it regularly. Some vacuums come with HEPA filters, which adds another layer of defense against allergens.
- If you’ve been outside during pollen season, be sure to dust off your clothes and change clothes after you enter the house. Pollen clings to clothing and is often too heavy to be removed by traditional air filters. Changing clothes after being outside prevents you from spreading these allergens around your home.
- Keep humidity under control. Reducing moisture reduces the chance of developing mold and attracting dust mites.
- If you have an indoor/ outdoor pet, be sure to clean its coat by gently using a damp cloth. This will help prevent them from spreading pollen and allergens that have hitched a ride inside on their fur.
Outdoor pollution may get all the press, but indoor pollution can be just as damaging to your family’s health, particularly if your loved ones suffer from seasonal allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems. A heating and air condition professional can provide the best possible information on what type of air filtration center will provide the biggest benefit to your family.
Betcha didn’t know that!