For some of us, it’s already started: the sneezing, itchy nose and throat, watery eyes, and general miserableness that signal the onset of allergy season.
When we think about seasonal allergies, we usually picture grass and pollen. But in fact, most seasonal allergens are found inside the home. Dust mites, mold, pet dander, and more can aggravate your seasonal allergies before you even step outside.
You can reduce the level of allergens in your Metro East Illinois home by making sure your HVAC equipment is properly maintained. For spring and summer, that means your air conditioner.
Change Your AC Filters, Change Your Life!
Well, it might not be that dramatic, but changing the filters in your air conditioner is very important to its health and yours. Dirty filters lead to dust buildup, restricted air flow, and decreased indoor air quality. In addition, neglected filters can get clogged and force the system to work harder, which can lead to breakdowns and repairs.
Check your air conditioner’s filter once a month, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on replacement.
HEPA Filters: Pros and Cons
Homeowners concerned with allergy issues often consider installing HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters in their air conditioners and other HVAC equipment. Residential HVAC filters are differentiated by their ratings on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, scale. MERV is a graduated rating system extending from 1-20, with higher-rated filters able to capture more and smaller airborne particulates.
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters fall into the MERV 17-20 range. To be considered “true” HEPA filters, they must be able to filter out 99.97 percent or more of particles 0.3 microns or bigger. Most new residential HVAC systems come with a filter rated MERV 1-4. These factory-installed filters are designed to protect the system components from the largest dust particles.
HEPA’s main limitation is its impeding of adequate airflow in typical home HVAC systems. Although it may be used, your system’s air handler likely will need to be significantly modified. We recommend contacting your local heating and cooling company to discuss the pros and cons of installing a HEPA filter in your system.
Precision Tune-Ups for Air Conditioners
One of the best things you can do for your air conditioner is to get a tune-up every spring.
Ernst’s air conditioning tune-ups include:
- Professional inspection – Our comprehensive air conditioner inspection includes checking the thermostat, controls, condensate drain, refrigerant level, and all moving parts. We carefully examine every element for safety and performance issues.
- Cleaning – We thoroughly clean your AC’s evaporator and condenser coils to help keep them running more efficiently longer. We also clean the blower to create increased airflow.
- Lubrication – As with furnaces, poor lubrication can affect every aspect of an air conditioner’s performance. We will examine all moving parts and make sure they are fully lubricated.
- Tightening and adjustments – Loose electrical connections can cause safety issues and shorten the lifespan of your system. Our techs will test and adjust blower components, and, when necessary, adjust motor voltage and currents.
Tune-ups help improve indoor air quality and maximize the efficiency of your air conditioner.