How Air Conditioning Can Help Allergy and Asthma Sufferers
Today, it’s common knowledge that air inside the home can carry more allergens than outside air. This can cause those with allergies and asthma to suffer inside their own home. However, the air conditioner might be able to help reduce the allergy or asthma symptoms.
The Right AC
When choosing an air conditioner, it is important to consider the family’s specific allergies. Allergens come in varied sizes, making some easier to filter out of the air than others. If someone is allergic to a smaller allergen such as pet dander, a secondary filter might be necessary. For those allergic to even smaller allergens, a system with a HEPA filter would be the best choice.
Changing the Filter
Keeping the filter in the air conditioner clean is a simple and effective way to ensure it can filter out as many allergens as possible. During milder temperatures, it is recommended that the HVAC filters be changed once every three months. In more extreme temperatures, filters need to be changed every month due to the extra use.
If the allergy or asthma sufferer in question is triggered by outside allergens such as pollen, keeping the doors and windows shut during the summer can help. It’s not always recommended to seal off the house because it limits fresh air, but in some cases, it can be beneficial.
If allergy and asthma sufferers are still having reactions, extra filtration might be necessary. Talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about installing the Micro Power Guard, a polarized media air cleaner. It can collect very small particles and can be easily adapted to any system that has a spot for a one inch filter.
Keeping Critters Out of Your AC Unit
The AC switch has been flipped, but nothing happens. Is it old age? Faulty wiring? Broken parts? Nope. It’s pests. Mice and other pests are often attracted to the outside AC unit because it’s a comfortable, protective environment.
When mice and other critters burrow into an AC unit, they can do a lot of damage. Many components can get chewed up causing the system to stop working. The chewed wiring can even become a potential fire problem. Sometimes birds can also decide to nest in the unit and often get stuck in the fans.
The pest droppings or carcasses can affect indoor air quality by not only creating an unpleasant odor throughout the home, but also causing allergies to act up.
To prevent pests from taking over the outdoor AC unit and the problems associated with this, take these steps:
- Create a Barrier
Animals live in vegetation. If the unit is surrounded by bushes or trees, animals are more likely to investigate the AC unit. Keep a large area around the unit clear from any type of vegetation. Using a pet repellant can also help deter animals. Spray it on and around the unit to create an effective barrier.
Annual maintenance on the outdoor AC unit can find and get rid of pests before they create a huge issue. If pests have already taken over and ruined some of the components, Diamond Heating and Cooling’s technicians can make the necessary repairs before the AC is turned on.
- Condenser Breaker
One of the reasons animals are attracted to the unit during winter is because it stays warm due to the condenser breaker and the cover over the unit. Turn off the condenser breaker so it does not stay warm. Also consider getting rid of the insulating cover if one was used previously.
Keep an eye on the outdoor unit and call Diamond Heating and Cooling if it seems something might have nested inside or to schedule annual maintenance.
Summer Salad Recipe
Cooking with the oven can heat up the house making the air conditioner work harder. Instead, try making this delicious grilled chicken cobb salad from Martha Stewart.
- 6 slices of bacon cut into one inch pieces
- 1 medium head of romaine lettuce cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of your favorite vinaigrette
- 1 ½ lbs. of grilled chicken cutlets thinly sliced
- 4 ounces feta crumbled cheese
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Cook bacon in a medium skillet and drain. Alternatively, cook it in the microwave to create less heat in the home.
- In a large bowl, lay out all the ingredients on top of the lettuce, Season with salt and pepper. Toss with vinaigrette or use on the side.