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If you or a family member suffer from allergies, sometimes the air inside your home can be worse than the outdoor air. There are a few simple ways, however, that you can improve your home’s air quality and reduce or eliminate many indoor allergy issues.

indoor allergy issuesCommon Sources of Symptoms

Household dust, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, insect droppings and pollen can all be triggers for allergy symptoms, and they can even affect those without allergies. When present in high enough concentrations, these irritants can cause sneezing, coughing, wheezing, congestion, sore throat and watery or itchy eyes, among other problems, and the symptoms can be difficult to treat.

Reducing Indoor Allergy Issues

One of the best ways to minimize the presence of allergens in your home is to keep your HVAC system in good condition. It should be inspected at least twice a year, before the heating and cooling seasons, to make sure that it is clean and running properly, and that all routine maintenance, like changing the air filter and cleaning the coils, has been performed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. You should also consider having the ducts cleaned every few years, to remove dust and allergen accumulations, and you should replace the air filter yourself every few months to improve indoor air quality. For better filtration, upgrade to an air filter featuring a greater MERV rating, or consider installing a HEPA filter.

Other things you can do to reduce allergy issues include vacuuming regularly with a machine that uses a HEPA filter and dusting often with moist cloths or electrostatic wipes. Try to minimize clutter and store unused items in sealed containers or bags, especially soft materials like clothes and bedding, to reduce dust accumulation. Install hypoallergenic mattress covers, sheets and pillowcases in all the bedrooms, and wash the bedding at least once a week. Consider installing an air cleaner to help remove allergens and to improve indoor air quality further.

For more information about reducing indoor allergy issues, talk to our HVAC experts at Conditioned Air. We have been serving the Southwest Florida area since 1962.

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Summer may seem like it’s a long time away, but it’s never too early to think about summer air conditioner maintenance. By scheduling your summer air conditioner maintenance visit now, you can make sure that your system is completely ready for the hot and humid weather of Southwest Florida. You’ll also avoid your HVAC contractor’s busy season which is often during the early summer when people discover that their air conditioners are not working as expected.

summer air conditioner maintenanceWhy Routine Maintenance is Critical

Routine maintenance extends the life of your air conditioning system by eliminating unnecessary causes of major system problems, such as a compressor that overheats and fails due to dust accumulation on the evaporator coil. By performing regular maintenance and correcting small problems that could cause major failures, you not only extend the life of the system, you also ensure that it continues to run efficiently, reducing energy usage, lowering your utility bills and protecting your system’s remaining manufacturer warranty.

What is Done During the Maintenance Visit

The HVAC technician will inspect your system thoroughly, checking for problems such as dirty coils, refrigeration leaks and electrical problems. The technician will then perform routine maintenance, which typically includes cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils, checking refrigerant levels, cleaning the blower fan, adjusting the blower motor belt, lubricating the blower motor and pulleys, changing the air filter and inspecting the electrical system. If any problems are found, the technician will recommend possible solutions and perform any repairs that you have agreed to.

What You Can Do Between Visits

There are also several things that you can do between service visits to keep your system running properly. This includes checking your air filter regularly—about once a month—and replacing it when it becomes dirty. You should also keep the supply and return vents free of obstructions, such as furniture or curtains, and keep the area around the condenser coil clean and free of debris.

For more information about summer air conditioner maintenance, talk to our cooling experts at Conditioned Air.

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In southwestern Florida, the mild weather of spring is often the best time for outdoor activities—before the oppressive heat and humidity of summer makes air conditioning necessary. But if you have allergies, spring weather brings allergens and marks the start of several months of suffering. To make yourself more comfortable during the spring, there are several things you can do around the house to minimize the effects of springtime allergies.

springtime allergiesReplace the Air Filter Often

The air filter in your HVAC system helps to remove pollen and other allergens from the air, and it should be changed at least every three months. During spring, it is a good idea to replace it at the beginning of the season and check it monthly thereafter, replacing it as necessary. Consider upgrading to filters with a higher MERV rating to remove more allergens, or consider installing a HEPA or electrostatic filter for even better overall filtration. It is also beneficial to have your HVAC system serviced, during which the evaporator coil, the air handler and other components will be cleaned, minimizing the amount of dust and allergens in the air.

Use Proper Ventilation

When the weather is mild, it is tempting to open the windows and let fresh air in. If you have springtime allergies, though, this invites pollen and other allergens into your home. To reduce your allergy symptoms, consider using the air conditioner more often, which filters and cools the air, or consider installing a whole-home ventilation system, which supplies plenty of fresh air while also filtering it to remove allergens.

Minimize Dust

Vacuum your home often using a machine that features a HEPA filter to minimize dust and allergens, and dust at least weekly using moist cloths or electrostatic wipes. Minimize clutter—especially in the bedrooms, closets and living areas—to reduce the amount of surface area that collects dust, and store items that you do not use often in sealed bags or containers to minimize dust accumulation.

To learn more about preventing springtime allergies, talk to our air quality experts at Conditioned Air, serving the Southwest Florida region.