With spring and early summer bringing a slew of new allergens into the Tampa Bay area, it’s time to make sure your HVAC system is ready to go, both in regards to keeping you cool and cleaning your indoor air. Avoid the brunt of springtime allergies by scheduling a seasonal checkup of your home’s A/C system.
Check Your Air Filter
The easiest step to take is making sure your air conditioner or heat pump has the right type of air filter that’s changed periodically. These filters are rated by MERV, which stands for minimum efficiency reporting value, a metric that ranges from one to 20. The original filter in your air conditioner likely has a rating of MERV 1-4, which will provide minimum protection from dirt and debris for your A/C components but do nothing to provide you with better indoor air quality, or IAQ. A better choice for filter would be in the MERV 8-12 range, as these filters do a good job of removing most particulates from indoor air, including allergens, without unduly restricting system airflow. MERV ratings between 13 and 16 are consider high efficiency, but also can force your HVAC system to work harder to provide your living spaces with the same amount of conditioned air.
Schedule a Duct Cleaning
If you want to get the most out of your air conditioning, duct cleaning is another option if you’ve seen evidence that your ducts are contaminated with dust and debris, or even mold. Hiring a qualified contractor will help ensure you get the job done right, and will keep the conditioned air provided by your air conditioner from picking up contaminants as it travels through the ductwork into living spaces.
Invest in an Air Cleaner
Another excellent choice for battling springtime allergies is an air purifier. These appliances also utilize filters, but usually as a stand-alone separate from your HVAC system. Air cleaners that contain HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filters feature MERV ratings from 17 to 20. These filters not only will capture particulates and allergens, but also many forms of bacteria along with tobacco smoke. If you suffer from severe springtime allergies, having an air-purifying system with a HEPA filter will help you breathe easier while you’re in your Tampa Bay home.
For more information on indoor air quality and other issues related to home comfort, please contact the professionals at Gulf Coast Air Systems.