Asthma is a difficult condition to manage, especially because so many triggers can cause an attack. When you spend a lot of time indoors—like during Arizona’s long, hot summers—your home’s HVAC system can exacerbate your symptoms. Consider these six tips to optimize your HVAC system to reduce your asthma symptoms.
Maintain Your Furnace Filter
The simplest thing you can do to keep allergy symptoms at bay is to change your furnace filter regularly. The purpose of this filter is to remove pollutants from the air, many of which are asthma triggers.
When left unattended, those particles accumulate, impeding the passage of air through the system. The volume of air passing through the filter is reduced by restricted airflow, resulting in more particles in the air.
Furthermore, clogged air filters can lead to system leaks, either around the filter or in the ductwork. As a result of the leaks, unfiltered air is circulated, aggravating your asthma symptoms. (Read more on how dust and dirt affect your HVAC system here.)
The frequency with which you must change the filter is determined by the air quality in your home. Most filters will last at least a month before needing to be replaced, with some lasting even longer.
However, if you have asthma, you should change your filters more often than the manufacturer suggests. Additionally, consider checking your filter weekly and vacuuming off any surface dust. This allows the filter to keep sucking up as many particles as possible from the flowing air.
Also note that is replacing your filter with a much higher MERV-rated filter, such as a HEPA filter, isn’t always a great idea. The higher the rating, the finer the holes are, requiring a stronger draw to bring air through them. Installing a filter that’s too fine may impede airflow through your system to the point of choking its efficiency and damaging your system.
Remember to Clean Your Ducts
Ductwork is renowned for gathering pollen, dust, and insect debris, among other airborne toxins. As your system functions, the
air passing through it sweeps up small particles from the ducts and returns them to the atmosphere.
Contaminants end up in your ducts from three sources. The most obvious way is through the vents’ openings. If you try to put anything in place to prevent this, you can inadvertently impede the airflow from the vents.
Some particles pass through your air filter as well. Most bigger particles are caught by your filter before they can enter your HVAC system. Smaller particles, on the other hand, go right through and eventually aggregate, with some lingering in your ducts.
In addition, any gaps in your system can allow unfiltered air to enter your system. As a result, more impurities will make their way into your ducts.
Your ducts may need to be cleaned every three to five years, depending on the severity of the asthma. If someone has particularly sensitive triggers, you should clean them more frequently.
Cleaning your ducts is best left to professionals—it’s easy to damage the ductwork if you don’t have the right equipment and training to clean them properly. The team at Martin Air for is here for all of your HVAC needs in the Phoenix area!
Keep up with HVAC Routine Maintenance
Heating and cooling maintenance should be done regularly to keep asthma triggers to a minimum. Servicing your heating system in the fall and your air conditioner in the spring is a good plan.
Having an HVAC technician perform your cleaning is a great place to start when trying to minimize asthma symptoms. Internal components such as the furnace burner, heat exchanger, evaporator coil, and circulating fan will be the focus of the technician’s attention, as contaminants that may become substantial triggers collect in these regions.
A Martin Air expert will not only clean the system, but will also ensure that it is running properly, including circulating the proper amount of air. The circulating fan motor may not spin as swiftly if it has a problem or is nearing the end of its service life—this not only affects the efficiency of the device, but also reduces the amount of air that passes through your filter.
Manage Your Humidity Levels
One of the most essential indoor variables for reducing asthmatic triggers is humidity. The ideal indoor humidity, according to the EPA, is between 30 and 50 percent relative humidity. Asthma symptoms can be exacerbated by being on either side of this range.
When the humidity is too low, your respiratory tract becomes easily inflamed, adding to asthma inflammation. Low humidity also causes airborne particles to dry out, making them lighter and allowing them to linger in the air for longer.
Excessively high humidity, on the other hand, encourages organic particles to thrive in your home. As they expand, more particles are released into the air, increasing the number of asthma triggers you will face.
Because Arizona is so dry, adding humidity to your house is a must for the majority of the year. Room vaporizers are a great option for managing the effects of dry air.
Good ventilation is essential for reducing certain airborne triggers, such as VOCs and other compounds. Even if you use special cleaning products, some of these chemicals are released into the air by your carpets, furniture, paint, and even linens.
Effective ventilation is one of the most useful strategies to minimize the concentration of various irritants. Ventilation fans in the bathroom and kitchen are a part of the solution. However, you might want to think about additional air quality boosters.
Purification Options To Consider
Incorporating air filtration systems can be quite helpful when combatting allergies, including air scrubbers and UV light purifiers. There are scores of great options, both for individual rooms and your entire system.
Small improvements to your HVAC system can make asthma management easier. Determining which choice is best for your home is a science that air quality experts have mastered. Working with a competent and knowledgeable professional will ensure that you aren’t wasting money and are getting the ideal solutions for your situation.
Call Martin Air for help with your indoor air quality in the Phoenix area! We’ve got you covered for indoor air quality solutions, HVAC installation, maintenance, and repairs. Reach out today to set up an appointment with one of our professionals!