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As summer rolls on in Southwest Florida area and both the temperature and humidity rise, many people will be spending the majority of time indoors comforted by air conditioning. This can present problems for those with allergies, as indoor allergy issues will become more prevalent. There are, however, several steps that you can take to successfully cope with indoor allergy issues during the summer.

indoor allergy issuesKeep Doors and Windows Closed

When pollen counts are high, it’s best to keep your windows and doors closed and use the air conditioning as much as possible to avoid unnecessary allergens. This is especially true in the early morning hours — from about 5:00 to 10:00 a.m. — when pollen counts tend to be the highest.

Avoid Bringing Allergens Inside

When you do work outside during the summer, such as mowing the lawn or cleaning the yard, pollen, dust and other allergens can easily hitch a ride indoors on your clothing. To avoid adding extra allergens to your indoor air, change your clothes and take a shower after the job is finished and wash your work clothes often.

Clean Often

Minimize the accumulation of allergens by vacuuming and dusting often, using a vacuum with a HEPA filter and either moist or electrostatic cloths. Install hypoallergenic sheets, pillowcases and mattress covers in each bedroom, and wash them at least once a week. Reduce clutter throughout your home and reduce the number of surfaces that can collect dust and allergens.

Keep Your HVAC System Maintained

Have your HVAC system professionally inspected and cleaned twice a year to prevent system problems and reduce dust accumulation. Check the air filters monthly and replace them as necessary, and upgrade to filters with higher MERV ratings for better air filtration. Consider installing a whole-home air cleaner or ventilation system to improve indoor air quality and to reduce the amount of allergens and dust in your home.

For more suggestions about coping with summer indoor allergy issues, talk to our air quality experts at Conditioned Air. We have been serving the Southwest Florida region since 1962 including Naples, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch.

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air conditioner troubleshootingAir conditioning problems can be inconvenient and uncomfortable even on mild days in Southwest Florida, but in many cases, the cause may be simple, such as airflow problems from a dirty filter or a compressor that overheats on an especially hot day. Before calling a professional, there are a few air conditioner troubleshooting tips that you should try first, possibly saving valuable time and money.

Check for Power

When the air conditioner will not turn on, make sure that the thermostat is set correctly and that it has power, replacing the batteries if necessary. If the thermostat is working, check for tripped breakers, and reset them, even if they are not tripped. This will often reset the control systems or safety systems. If the compressor has an overheat safety switch, reset it, as well.

Check for Airflow Problems

Poor cooling performance or frozen coils could be the result of airflow problems. Check for a dirty air filter and replace it if necessary. Check all vents and ducts for obstructions, such as furniture or curtains that block the vents, or items that have fallen into floor ducts. If the problem remains, check the evaporator and blower fan for dust or dirt accumulations, and carefully clean them with the power off.

Clean the Condenser

Poor cooling performance can also be caused by a dirty condenser outside. Make sure the area around the condenser is free of debris, such as tall grass or lawn furniture. Check the condenser coil for debris, such as leaves and grass, and clean it with a garden hose, if necessary. Make sure the fan spins freely and operates properly.

Clean the Condensate Drain

If you notice water leaking from the air conditioner or it will not turn on, make sure the condensate drain is clean. Some systems will shut down automatically if the drain is clogged. Use a shop vacuum or a thin wire to remove dirt and algae from the drain line.

For more air conditioner troubleshooting tips, talk to our professionals at Conditioned Air today. We have been serving homeowners throughout Southwest Florida since 1962.

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In areas of high humidity, such as Southwest Florida, controlling the amount of moisture in the air is as critical to your comfort as controlling the temperature. In many areas, air conditioning alone is enough to maintain comfortable humidity levels. But in more humid areas, or in homes with poor ventilation, additional dehumidification may be necessary.

dehumidificationHow Humidity Affects ComfortIn the summer, a hot day with low humidity feels much cooler than a similar day with high humidity. This is because the humid air prevents sweat from evaporating, interfering with your body’s natural cooling system and leaving your skin feeling sticky and uncomfortable. High humidity can also make it harder to breathe for those with allergies, asthma or other respiratory illnesses, and it can encourage the growth and reproduction of bacteria, mold, mildew, dust mites and other irritants. By maintaining healthy humidity levels of 50 percent or lower, you can make your home much more comfortable and avoid moisture-related problems.

How to Improve Dehumidification

Any home with a properly-sized, well-maintained air conditioning system and decent ventilation should be able to control humidity sufficiently in all but the most humid areas. If a home lacks proper ventilation, however, moisture from cooking, bathing, washing dishes, and fuel-burning appliances can accumulate, increasing humidity levels. Likewise, an air conditioner that’s oversized and doesn’t run long enough to properly dehumidify will leave moisture in the air; and if vents are blocked, the air filter is dirty or there are other maintenance problems, it may make the problem worse.

To improve dehumidification, make sure your home is properly ventilated, that your air conditioner is sized correctly, and that it is professionally maintained annually. If you live in an excessively humid area or still have moisture problems, then you may want to consider installing a whole-home dehumidification system to supplement your air conditioner.

To learn more about dehumidification systems and how they can improve your comfort, talk to our experts at Conditioned Air. Our team can help solve your humidity problems throughout the Southwest Florida area, including Naples, Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch and Ft. Myers.