The topic of Air conditioners and allergies is something we get asked a lot about when we are helping our customers to decide what air-conditioning or heating and cooling system.
The indoor air quality in your home plays an important role in your health, especially if you are prone to allergies.
This article explores the link between air conditioning and allergies and provides helpful tips on ensuring that your air conditioning contributes to healthy indoor air quality in your home.
Allergies are a fact of life for many people.
The added frustration is that allergy and COVID symptoms can be similar and you do not want to be glared at everytime you sneeze or sniff when out in public.
The symptoms are uncomfortable with Sneezing, coughing, runny nose, breathing difficulties, skin inflammation and much more.
An allergy sufferer knows how annoying it is to deal with these symptoms daily.
If your allergy is due to airborne particles, you are at the mercy of the changing winds, weather and seasons when you are outdoors. You can’t do much to control the outside environment, but you can do a lot to contain the allergens in the air when you are indoors.
Filtering the air
There are several tools available to allergy sufferers. Still, some of the most effective are air purifiers that can clean the air of allergic compounds and remove the pollutants that cause allergies.
Using the correct or best quality filters in your air conditioning system can be one way to lessen the irriatants and purifying the air we breathe.
Good quality filters will be removing the following particles from the air inside your home:
- Dust and pollen
- Animal dander
- Dust mites
- Harmful bacteria and viruses
- Removal of animal odours: dog, cat, etc.
- Removal of mould and mildew
- Cigar/cigarette smoke
Air duct filters are straightforward to install yet very effective in their action.
They provide central air purification for your home, business or commercial building. They are perfect for small and large residential or commercial ventilation systems and industrial use in ventilation systems, including odour elimination, gaseous vapour removal, and biological decontamination.
Like other air purification products, air duct cleaners are usually designed to clean the air in a specific area or room. However, the best results are achieved when they are used within the specifications established for each filter.
Air duct filters are another way for allergy sufferers to reclaim their lives and rid themselves of allergy symptoms.
Have you considered if your current ducted air conditioning system and filters could be helping or hindering your allergies to pollen, dust mites or mould?
Does air conditioning help with allergies?
Air conditioners can help with allergies through air filtration, temperature and humidity control – if your air conditioner is regularly serviced and well maintained. When filtering indoor air, your air conditioner’s intake filter removes many common allergy triggers, such as dust and pollen. Air conditioning also helps prevent mould growth (a common allergy) by controlling the humidity in your home.
Although air conditioners are not specifically designed to fight allergies, the dry, filtered air produced by an air conditioner can greatly help allergies.
Common symptoms of airborne allergies include.
- Sneezing, often accompanied by a runny or stuffy nose.
- Itchy eyes, nose or throat
- Coughing and constant runny nose
- Dark circles under the eyes caused by increased blood flow near the sinuses
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Watery eyes
- Conjunctivitis (red, swollen eyes and crusting of the eyelids).
Older people, children and people with existing respiratory problems are usually more susceptible to airborne allergies.
If you have allergy symptoms, it may be time to clean your air conditioner, or call an aircon cleaning company to get your air conditioner serviced and filters changed. Read our article about cleaning your ducted heating system
Air conditioning allergy defence
With a few simple measures, your air conditioner can actually help alleviate your allergies. Here are some tips to make sure your air conditioner is combating poor air quality in your home and not making the problem worse.
Change the filter of your air conditioner
The best type of air conditioning for an allergy sufferer is a clean air conditioner!
The filters in your air conditioner help to keep out dust, pollen, spores and other airborne allergens, but if they’re not cleaned, they can lose effectiveness over time.
By putting in a clean filter you will immediately see and feel the difference in the indoor air quality .
Why is this so important?
A dirty filter impedes airflow, makes your system work unnecessarily hard and increases your electricity bill. A dirty filter can also cause your air conditioner to overheat.
So how often should you change your air conditioning filters?
Our air conditioning technicians recommend changing them at the beginning of summer (cooling season) or winter (heating season). For best results, change them every three months.
Clean the vents of your ducted air conditioner.
If you have a ducted air conditioner, this tip is for you.
Mould, dust and dust mites can build up in the vents of your ducted air conditioner.
Here’s how to keep your ducted air conditioner in good working order:
- First, switch off your duct air conditioner.
- Use vacuum’ brush attachment to suck dirt, dust and debris out of the vents.
- Wipe off mould and dust residue with a damp cloth.
Keep the humidity in your home low.
Between 30 and 50% humidity is the ideal level By keeping the air humidity in your home in this range, you can prevent the growth of bacteria and mould, reduce the spread of dust mites and keep you and your family comfortable.
Have your air conditioner checked for leaks.
Unfortunately, leaks in your air conditioner can contribute to allergens. How. An air leak means that air bypasses your filtration system, allowing unfiltered air to circulate in your home. Ask your air conditioning technician to check your air conditioner for leaks to ensure the air you breathe is well filtered.
Clean the coils of your air conditioner.
If your air conditioner has a damp cooling coil, humidifier or condensate drain pan, you may have mould or mildew growing inside your air conditioner. We recommend cleaning your air conditioner’s heat exchangers at least once a year and scheduling an annual service with an air conditioning service company to check that all parts of your air conditioner are working correctly.
Buy an air-purifying houseplant.
Indoor plants are all the rage at the moment and they have some great health benefits!
Not only do they look great, they also help with air quality!
To complement your air conditioner, we recommend buying an air-purifying plant.
Check which plants are going to be best for your home and allergies:
a) purifies the indoor air quality
b) does not produce pollen that can aggravate your allergies.
The best houseplants for allergy sufferers include chrysanthemums, peace lilies, devil’s-bit, bamboo palms, flamingo lilies and pineapple plants.
Final thoughts: Are air conditioners good for allergies?
Clean air conditioning can help prevent allergies and improve the indoor air quality in your home.
To further improve the air in your home, we recommend:
● Change the filters of your air conditioner at least every six months, but ideally every three months.
● Clean the air ducts of your air conditioner.
Keep the humidity in your home between 30 and 50 per cent to reduce the growth of bacteria and mould.
- Have your air conditioner checked for leaks at least once a year during annual maintenance
- Clean the coils of your air conditioner at least once a year
- Purchase an air-purifying houseplant for your home.
Bottom line: if your air conditioner is well maintained, it can contribute to healthier air quality and even relieve your allergy symptoms.
Contact us today to discuss your heating and cooling solutions