Generally speaking, there are a lot of us that believe that allergies are caused primarily by pollen and pet dander. As a result, why do people who live and work in cities continue to suffer, despite the fact that pollen-producing plants and furry critters are in much shorter supply than in the suburbs?
Many people believe that poor indoor air quality is the cause of their problems (IAQ). An AC maintenance service can assist in reducing contaminants and allergens in indoor air, allowing you to breathe more comfortably.
Talking About Indoor Air Quality, Allergies, and Air Conditioning Maintenance
It doesn’t matter if you aren’t familiar with the pollution statistics; seeing the brown haze hanging over the city gives you a good indication of the quality of the air you are breathing outside. However, it may come as a surprise that the air quality inside buildings in Southeast Houston is frequently far worse than the air outside. Poor air conditioning maintenance is one of the primary reasons for this, and is in fact one of the most significant contributing factors. It’s true: According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, poor maintenance of HVAC systems is one of the leading causes of poor indoor air quality.
Consider this: your HVAC system filters a lot of the air that you breathe inside your home or office. A good HVAC system is intended to provide what is known as return air or makeup air to your space, which essentially means that they will be bringing in fresh outdoor air into your home. As a result, all of these pollutants are entering the home or business environment and remaining there. AC contaminants can become trapped in your equipment and ductwork and accumulate over time when you fail to perform regular maintenance. When poor air conditioning maintenance results in moisture problems, the situation becomes even worse. Add insult to injury by encouraging the growth of potentially harmful mold, mildew, bacteria, and viruses in your home or business. This stuff isn’t just minor – it can be quite dangerous to your short AND long term health.
Having a better understanding of where your allergy symptoms are coming from is quite critical. It’s important to remember that we’re not just talking about sniffling and sneezing here. There are many different symptoms associated with poor indoor air quality, which include the following:
- Headaches or migraines
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Nausea or dizziness
- Rashes or blemishes on the skin
There are three ways that regular AC maintenance can help alleviate symptoms.
Investing in a regular preventative maintenance program for your HVAC system helps to remove dirt and pollutants from your system as well as the air you breathe. Here’s how it’s done:
1. Accessing the filters (and choosing the right ones)
When was the last time you had your air conditioning filter changed? Did you even realize you had an air conditioning filter? If you have an air-cooled system (which frankly almost every building in Southeast Houston does), then yes, you have one. Its purpose is to prevent dust and grime from clogging up the equipment and causing undue wear.
However, if your air filter is not changed on a regular basis (the frequency depends on your system, where you are located and its usage), it will eventually become blocked, and the grime will end up in your equipment, ductwork, and indoor air.
Preventative air conditioning maintenance involves the cleaning or replacement of the filters in your air conditioning system, depending on the type of filters that are currently in use in your system.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you have allergies, you can use a special type of filter that will filter out even more allergens from your environment.
2. Controlling the humidity
Remember that sediment clogs are not the only source of water accumulation and mold growth, as previously stated. In the event that your air conditioning system is not performing as well as it should in terms of removing humidity from the air, you may find mold growing in unexpected places throughout your home, including damp spots where you will never notice it. Certainly, any black growths along walls or in corners should ring the alarm that something bad is happening.
AC maintenance is the most effective method of preventing excessive humidity, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. When you have your air conditioning equipment inspected on a regular basis, problems such as humidity control can be discovered and corrected before you suffer any permanent damage to your health or your building. The majority of the time, a system tune-up or the replacement of worn parts can resolve the humidity issues that are causing allergy symptoms.
3. Remove contaminants and standing water from the environment
Standing water in any part of your home is something you should avoid at all costs if you have asthma or allergies. Did you know that your air conditioning system may be generating lingering moisture?
It is possible for condensate lines and drain pans to become clogged with grime and sediment if regular AC maintenance is not performed. That means that the moisture removed from the air by your air conditioning system has nowhere to go. Water begins to accumulate in the pan, and eventually leaks out, causing water damage to the surrounding area. Eventually, all of that accumulating water becomes a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria, which accumulates on your equipment and eventually finds its way into the ductwork. Before you know what’s going on, you’re inhaling a toxic cocktail of noxious substances. As a result, what happened? Not to mention the possibility of system failures as a result of allergy symptoms.
Maintaining your drain lines and pan on a regular basis helps to avoid water problems by clearing them of all the sediment that can cause clogs and water accumulation.
It is critical to understand that investing in HVAC maintenance actually saves you money while also improving your comfort and reducing your allergy symptoms. Regular maintenance has been shown to lower repair costs, extend the life of your equipment, and even lower your electric bills.