Fall is just around the corner, but for those living in the Nacogdoches, Texas, area, the heat is still on. When you combine the still-lingering summer heat with humidity and autumn allergens, many asthma sufferers are at risk. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help prevent asthma issues. One of the largest weapons in your asthma-fighting arsenal is your air conditioner.
How Does an Air Conditioner Help With Asthma?
Allergens such as dust mites and mold spores thrive in warm, moist environments. By turning on your air and keeping it on, you'll reduce the amount of these irritants in the air. Your AC unit eliminates these pesky asthma triggers by cooling the air to a temperature where they can't survive. It also pulls moisture from the air, keeping the allergens' moist breeding grounds at bay.
With your AC unit running, your air will be circulating constantly. Air that does not circulate becomes a prime place for dust mites, fungus, and mold to grow. Some AC units work poorly and can cause an entire room or floor of your house to become infested with irritants.
Your AC system's main defense against asthma triggers lies in the filter. Having the right filter (or filters) can make all the difference. Not only do filters improve overall indoor air quality, they catch particles that cause asthma problems. Choose the correct filter as recommended by the manufacturer of your particular heating and cooling system.
Other Ways to Reduce Asthma Symptoms
Your air conditioner will do the large part of the work for you during warm weather, so it's imperative you have it regularly maintained. Even so, there's still more you can do to eliminate asthma triggers. Wash bedding in hot water and dry on the sanitize cycle. Vacuum furniture and carpets at least once a week with a machine with a HEPA filter.
Check for water leaks and signs of mold frequently. Maintain indoor humidity at 30-50 percent; you can keep an eye on this with a hygrometer.
Keep pets out of your asthmatics room. Don't allow dogs or cats on the furniture. Vacuum carpets and furniture when the individual with asthma isn't around. Keep pets clean and brushed.
Make sure to use vent fans when cooking and in the bathroom. Regularly check your dryer vent making sure it's connected.
Other Air Quality Options
There are many types of air cleaning and air quality options. Whole house ventilation systems help bring in fresh air while sending out stale, polluted air. These might be a good choice if you don't live in a large city where air pollution is a concern.
Air filters are a line of defense you must use. Every filter is given a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) that compares different filter types and measures the size and the amount of particles a filter captures.
Cheaper, fiberglass filters don't trap smaller irritants like pollen. At a minimum, you should choose a filter with a MERV of seven or more. Electronic air cleaners and HEPA filters are better at trapping contaminants.
You might consider three-stage filtration. You'll have a typical filter as a pre-filter, a low-micron middle filter, and an electronic filter to kill mold. These add layers of protection and elimination to your asthma-fighting arsenal.
Installing an ultraviolet light inside your HVAC systems can help reduce the amount of irritants in the air. These lights will kill spores, bacteria, mites, and other harmful organisms.
Low humidity isn't typically an issue in our area, but having your home's humidity level too low can cause problems. Without enough moisture in the air, irritants stay floating in the air until someone breathes them in. Extra-dry air causes nasal irritation and sinus problems.
Let Us Be Your Air Conditioning Professionals
When you love someone with asthma, you want to do everything you can to keep him or her healthy. If you're wondering if your air conditioner is up to par, call McWilliams & Sons Heating and Air Conditioning at 936-465-9191. We'll help you with your air conditioner, indoor air quality solutions, and filtration options. Let us be another weapon in your asthma-fighting arsenal today!
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