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airborne mold allergensIndoor air pollutants like pollen, dust and mold spores can be irritating to breathe and may make conditions like asthma or allergies worse. With a few simple steps, however, you can control indoor allergy issues in your Southwest Florida home and make it far more comfortable.

Change Air Filters Regularly

The air filter in your air conditioner is primarily designed to protect the system from harm, but it also helps improve indoor air quality. Check the filter monthly and replace it as necessary. Consider upgrading to a filter with a higher MERV rating for better air filtration, or replace your standard filter with an electrostatic or HEPA version to catch even more particles.

Keep Your HVAC System Maintained

Your air conditioning system should be inspected and maintained by an HVAC professional at least yearly, performing basic tasks like cleaning the coils, checking refrigerant levels and lubricating moving parts. For better control of indoor allergy issues, consider having your air ducts cleaned at the same time to remove accumulations of dust, pollen and other particles.

Clean Your Home Often

Household dust can trap many irritating particles, including mold spores and pollen. Minimize your indoor allergy issues by vacuuming your home often using a machine with a HEPA filter, and by dusting regularly with moist or electrostatic cloths. Remove as much clutter from your home as possible to minimize the locations where dust can collect, and use hypoallergenic bedding that is cleaned often to minimize allergens.

Maintain Healthy Humidity

Houses that are humid will be more likely to have mold or mildew problems, and high humidity also supports the growth of pests like dust mites. To minimize the amount of allergens in your home, keep humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. A dehumidifier can help reduce humidity during the summer, and will also make your home feel cooler. When the air is relatively dry, a humidifier can be used to increase humidity.

For other tips to reduce indoor allergy issues, talk to our air quality experts at Conditioned Air. We serve the Southwest Florida region, including Naples and Sarasota.

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ductless air conditionerThanks to their simple installation process, ductless air conditioning systems are a popular way to add air conditioning to a home that lacks it, or to a new addition. With their unique designs and lack of energy-wasting ductwork, they are also extremely efficient. Here is how ductless air conditioning systems save energy and reduce your cooling costs.

Lack of Air Ducts

Typical central air conditioning systems use a series of independent air ducts to distribute the cooled air to each room. Even the most efficiently designed, well-insulated ducts will allow the conditioned air to warm slightly before it reaches its destination. As ductwork ages, it loses even more efficiency, with joints that leak conditioned air and insulation that becomes less effective or deteriorates over time. In the average air conditioning system, 30 to 40 percent of the energy used for cooling is wasted as air travels through the ductwork and either warms up or leaks out.

Ductless air conditioning systems feature an interior air handler consisting of an evaporator coil, fan and air filter, which is mounted directly in the room that requires cooling. Mounted outside, the other half features a condenser and compressor in one enclosure, and the two halves are connected through a small opening in the wall that carries the refrigerant lines, electrical cables and other components. By eliminating the ductwork, ductless air conditioners use 30 to 40 percent less energy than a traditional air conditioning system.

Optional Zoning

With ductless air conditioning systems, one or more air handlers can be added to a single compressor unit, with one air handler in each room that requires a cooling system. The temperature can be adjusted independently at each air handler, allowing some rooms to be cooler than others, or enabling you to completely shut off the cooling system in an unoccupied room. Compared to cooling systems with a single zone, this can save a significant amount of energy.

To learn more about how ductless air conditioning systems save energy, talk to our cooling experts at Conditioned Air. We serve Southwest Florida, including Ft. Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Sarasota & Bradenton.

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mimi split air conditionerConventional air conditioning systems waste up to 40 percent of the energy they use through losses in the air duct system. By eliminating ducts, mini split air conditioners offer a more efficient alternative that’s easy to install in existing homes, new homes or additions. If you’re considering mini split air conditioners for your home, here are a few things you should know beforehand.

Installation Requirements

Mini split air conditioners are installed in two sections, an outdoor condenser unit and one or more interior air handlers that can be wall- or ceiling-mounted. The two halves are connected by refrigerant lines and electrical cables through a 4- to 6-inch opening, allowing a flexible installation in nearly any room with very little construction required. There are no ducts or vents to add, and the cool air is delivered directly where it’s needed.

Energy Efficiency

Because mini split systems eliminate the ductwork, they’re typically 30 to 40 percent more efficient than standard systems, resulting in significantly lower cooling costs.

Price

Mini split systems tend to cost up to 30 percent more than traditional air conditioning solutions, though the higher initial price can easily be earned back through long-term energy savings. They are also one of the most cost-effective ways to add cooling to an addition or to a home without air ducts, such as those heated by electric, hot water or steam systems.

Optional Zoning

Mini split air conditioners are available as single-zone systems, with a condenser unit and a single air handler, or as multiple-zone systems, with a condenser unit and several interior air handlers. With a multiple-zone system, an entire house can be cooled, with each zone having independent temperature controls. Cooling costs can then be reduced by keeping some areas at higher temperatures than frequently used rooms.

To learn more about mini split air conditioners, talk to our HVAC professionals at Conditioned Air, serving Southwest Florida.