As spring continues, a couple of things come to mind. Yes, summer is coming, but before the temperatures start climbing towards the triple digits here in Arizona, comes allergy season. Don’t head to the local pharmacy to pick up your tissues and anti-drowsiness meds just yet. Let’s quickly talk about how to improve the indoor air quality for your living and working spaces and how important it is to do so as soon as possible.
Why Does Allergy Season Happen Anyway?
Allergies are worsened for most people during the fluctuating seasons. Approximately 36 million people in the United States have claimed to be affected by seasonal allergies. That’s a lot! Allergies can be caused by the simple changing of temperature and humidity. They are also caused by the increased growth of flowers, weeds, blooming trees, and mold.
Allergy season lasts mainly from February through the early summer. Even though the weather is gorgeous in Arizona this time of year, some of us will unfortunately be left to hide indoors in order to escape the seasonal allergy triggers. We’re here to answer your questions and help you make sure your indoor environment is the healthiest it can be.
1. When Was The Last Time You Checked Your Air Filters?
Air filters have always been important, but especially now more than ever while we are living through a pandemic. An air filter is exactly what it sounds like; it filters the air coming in, out, and through your home or business. How? An air filter works by capturing contaminants before they enter the air ducts. Picture a sand-sifter, with the grains of sand being clean air particles and larger rocks and dirt being, well, dirty air particles. The sifter stops the larger “contaminants” from going through, just as an air filter would. As you can tell, these are crucial to maintaining healthy air.
Healthy air is essential to a healthy lifestyle, so it is very important to have an air filter on hand. You will know if it’s working properly because:
● Your allergy symptoms have dissipated. If you are one of the millions of people who deal with seasonal allergies, an air filter can help tremendously and should help clear some of those symptoms.
● Your filter should look dirty. If so, that means it’s catching the dirty air particles. If your filter appears to be clean (and it’s been in there a while), that’s a strong sign that something might not be working properly.
If your filter is NOT dirty, don’t panic just yet. Make sure it is properly inserted in the vent. If it’s too small for the vent, the air could potentially be going around the filter, meaning it is not filtering air properly. Also, check to be sure it’s installed correctly. If the filter is not placed in the right direction, the air will not be filtered. If you think there’s a chance that your filter is not installed properly, please contact us so we can help you.
2. Air Duct Cleaning
Cleaning out air ducts is also extremely important. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association advises cleaning air ducts every three to five years. Of course, this can fluctuate depending on where you live and an individual’s specific allergy concerns. Dirt particles can get caught in the ducts and soil the air entering your home or business. This is just as crucial to cleaning and replacing your filters.
3. Clean Your Space Regularly
This is something everyone can do to make a huge difference. Just the simple act of wiping off surfaces, vacuuming, and increasing ventilation can improve the quality of your indoor air. Using high-quality home cleaning products that aren’t harmful to the environment, vacuuming regularly to suck up the dust particles and dead skin cells that hide in your carpet fibers, and using fans are easy, low-cost ways to keep your space clean.
When selecting cleaning products for your home and office, it’s important to know that a lot of the artificial fragrances used to make the products “smell good” can be harmful to your environment. Artificial fragrances are known to be linked to major health concerns. Make sure you read labels when purchasing and are choosing products with ingredients you trust (and can pronounce)!
4. Prevent Growth of Mold and Mildew
For homes or businesses in humid areas, the growth of mold and mildew can decrease your air quality indefinitely. The presence of mold or mildew can make one extremely sick and this is why doing your part to make sure these do not grow inside your space is extremely important. To prevent mold and mildew, keep your home or business very clean and dry. Use green cleaning products, as products with artificial odors can be the biggest sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Also, in Arizona, the winter months tend to be more humid, so this is the perfect time for you to check in and make sure your home or business is getting refreshed with clean, dry air as frequently as possible.
5. Keep Smoke Outside as Often as You Can
Particles from cigarettes, vaping products, and even (in certain parts of the country) smoke from forest or brush fires can clog up your venting system, leaving your home or business at extreme risk for unhealthy air. Cigarette smoke alone contains over 4,000 different toxins and chemicals. Toxins are also emitted from vape products and can linger in the air. When it comes to wildfires, the best way to keep this smoke outside is to eliminate open doors and windows during the season as well as continually replacing your air filters.
When All Else Fails, You Know Who To Call
Here at Larson Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on being the most devoted, energetic, and compassionate air conditioning experts in The Valley. Let’s keep each other safe and healthy this allergy season. If you have any questions on ways to improve your indoor air quality or if you believe your air ducts need to be cleaned, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 480-428-0600.