By Chris Hays //
Did you know that over 50 million people living in the United States currently deal with some sort of respiratory allergy issue? Whether it’s the fact that you are sensitive to pet dander, alfalfa, grass or pollen, the reality is that many of the triggering factors that lead to allergy attacks often become trapped inside your home. The number one culprit in the spread of these allergens is the home air conditioning or heating system. This quickly raises the question, can you be allergic to air conditioning at home?
Here are a few facts about allergies and why making sure your AC system is as clean as possible can significantly reduce allergy attacks.
Can You Have an Allergic Reaction to Air Conditioning?
By definition, the answer to this question is no; you don’t have allergic reactions to actual air conditioning. The allergic reaction is due to the air that the AC unit is conditioning in the first place. Air conditioning is a process where air that is already inside a home that is warm is converted to cooler air and circulated back into the home. However, this air has to pass through a few different ‘checkpoints’ before you breathe it again:
Air is sucked into the AC system after flowing through your vents first. Your vents collect dust; and this dust is often comprised of several triggering allergens that impact the human (and pet’s) respiratory system.
The air is then circulated through ductwork. The ductwork is another area where the air you breathe can pick up additional allergens for you to inhale.
The cool air is then circulated back through those same dirty ducts, then through an indoor filter, eventually through those dust-covered vents and into your lungs.
This simply makes sense that the allergic reaction you might be experiencing has nothing to do with the actual AC unit. It has everything to do with the debris and contaminants that embed into the air you breathe. Luckily there are solutions to reduce this from occurring which we will address shortly.
What are Common Indoor Allergy Triggers?
When it comes to indoor allergies, there are typically four different allergens that can trigger allergy attacks in the Phoenix area:
Dust: This is the biggest triggering factor in the desert and the biggest reason is due to the fact that it’s made up of several different particles that often trigger lung, nasal or sinus irritation such as tiny bits of skin, soil, plants, insects, fibers, food and even animal matter.
Dust Mites: When a home is saturated with dust, the byproduct is a thriving environment of dust mites. Dust mite droppings are a major triggering factor for allergies and asthma sufferers.
Pet Dander: The biggest misconception about pet allergies is that you might be allergic to a certain animal. In fact, you’re not – it’s the allergic reaction created by small proteins that are inside many animal saliva. Even if you don’t own a pet, you can still absorb pet dander because it clings to clothes, shoes and hair. When you have a pet owner visit your home; it can find a way into your indoor air circulation system.
Cockroaches: Any desert environment breads cockroaches. The potential allergen that triggers allergy attacks in humans is found in cockroach droppings – which tend to collect in dark spaces like HVAC ductwork for example.
Here are Some Tips to Ease Indoor Allergies
As we’ve discovered here – it’s not the AC that you are allergic to, it’s everything else that finds a way into your HVAC system. Here are a few things you can do to reduce the potential of having allergy attacks inside your home.
Replace your indoor filters every month. A dirty filter will simply spread allergens easier – so replace it often to be proactive.
Dust your vents every week. A Swiffer sweeper is a great tool that can easily dust off vents without releasing the majority of dust into the air.
Consider investing in an indoor air quality device. Many manufacturers are creating indoor air quality improvement devices that can remove up to 99 percent of allergens from your home. For people with sensitive respiratory illness, this is a smart idea that can improve your quality of life.
If you want a reliable company for professional Phoenix HVAC services, contact us today or call (602) 714-8270. It Pays to Call Hays!
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