Are you considering buying an air conditioner for allergies and reducing allergens in your home? Then this is one post you can’t miss!
Depending upon where you live, allergies may be a seasonal – or regular – problem. Millions of people around the world deal with unpleasant allergy symptoms daily. And while symptoms may vary greatly, for some, having allergies can be seriously troublesome (or even dangerous). Health professionals will tell you that the easiest way to control those tough symptoms is simply to avoid the allergens that cause them.
Did you know that having the right air conditioner unit installed in your home can actually help make that happen?
Air Conditioner for Allergies: Do They Really Help?
It’s true! Installing the right air conditioning unit could help you control the allergens in your house that are giving you problems. Today we’ll talk about what to look for in the right air conditioner for allergies.
Common Allergens and Symptoms
There are probably quite a few allergens circulating through your home right now. You might just not be aware that they’re there. This is either because you’re so used to the symptoms they cause or because they’re not causing symptoms for you. But they very well could be a significant issue for your next house guest. And this is why you’ll want to ensure you have a good air conditioning unit to help reduce them.
Here are some of the major allergens that are likely present in your home.
While it’s unpleasant to think about, we’re all shedding thousands of dead skin cells every day. Those teeny tiny cells aren’t going anywhere! They’re staying in your house, circulating through your air and becoming dust (and food for dust mites). So while human skin is probably not going to give you an allergic reaction, the dust mites that feed on it definitely could.
Pet hair or pet dander
If there are pets in your home, it means there are possible allergens circulating through the air (whether those pets shed or not). Humans can have an allergy to pet hair or pet dander – or both. So even non-shedding, hypoallergenic pets can still trigger a reaction in the wrong person.
Allergic reactions to pet hair or pet dander can vary widely. But common symptoms include itchy, watery eyes, sinus congestion, and headaches, sneezing, wheezing, tight chest, or skin irritation (rashes).
Tree, flower, or grass pollen
Whether your home is in the middle of a sprawling, urban city, or surrounded by nature, plant pollen will find its way into your home. It attaches itself to clothes, to shoes, and your hair. So if you’re going outside, rest assured that you’re bringing plant pollen back indoors with you.
The effects of plant pollen on someone who has a pollen allergy can vary greatly. They also vary by season, as pollen is typically seasonal. Sufferers may experience watery eyes, headaches, a tight chest or wheezing, or just an overall feeling of being “in a fog.”
Mold, fungus, bacteria, or viruses
As easily as plant pollen can find its way into your house, so can molds, funguses, bacterias, or viruses. While all of these things can sound a little scary, most of the time they’re quite harmless to us and pretty commonly found. But they can still cause some unpleasant symptoms for people who have allergies to these things.
Allergies to molds and funguses can be particularly unpleasant, and molds and funguses tend to thrive in damp, dark areas of your home. So if your basement, your attic, or the corners of your bathroom ever get particularly damp, it is quite likely that these allergens are present in your home.
Pests and rodents
If you have a dog or cat, you know to expect that animal hair and animal dander. But what about the animal hair that you don’t know is in your home? Any pests that are making their way into your attic, basement, or garage may very well be bringing their own allergens into your home.
Even if pest control has recently been by, or there’s no evidence of pests in your home currently, remain alert! Past pests can still leave behind their hair, dander, feces, and other allergens that can circulate through your home, even long after they’re gone.
Allergy symptoms to watch out for
If you’re not accustomed to getting seasonal allergies, then it might be hard to know how to spot a symptom of allergens in your home when they’re present. So what do allergy symptoms look like for someone who hasn’t had them before?
Watch out for an itchy nose, a blocked nose, a runny nose, or just frequent sneezing. These are all indications of allergic rhinitis, and while they may not be terribly inconvenient, they’re still a sign that an allergen is present. You may also experience itchy, red, or watering eyes (these symptoms may mean you have allergic conjunctivitis).
Allergy symptoms can also manifest on your skin (especially if the allergen is something you’ve been touching, like a cat that you’re petting). Watch out for itchy skin or red, raised bumps on the skin (hives).
There are also some more concerning symptoms that you’ll want to watch out for. These may not be dangerous at first, but if you allow them to escalate untreated, they could become dangerous. Wheezing, an itchy throat, a tight chest, or a persistent cough can all be signs that you’re suffering from allergies.
But they also indicate that the allergen has gotten into your lungs, in which case you’ll want to treat the symptoms and remove yourself from the area immediately, as it could become increasingly difficult for you to breathe. Also, if you experience swelling of the lips, cheeks, face, eyes, or tongue, seek treatment immediately. Allowing that swelling to continue could ultimately result in your airways becoming overly swollen and blocked, which can be highly dangerous.
Using an Air Conditioner for Allergies
All of this sounds like pretty scary stuff, but don’t fret! Next, we’re going to talk about how the right air conditioning unit can help you eliminate those pesky allergens from your home, leaving you comfortable and safe.
Benefits of an Air Conditioner for Allergies
There are a number of key ways that the right air conditioning unit can help remove allergens from your home. So, if you’ve been considering an air conditioner for allergies, you’re on the right path!
First, simply running your air conditioning unit helps circulate and move the air in your home. This prevents the air in your home from feeling stale and getting filled with icky allergens. So even if you don’t need to cool your house down, consider keeping your air conditioner running at a reasonable temperature to circulate and clean that air.
Further, air conditioning units contain a filter whose very purpose is to purge the air of unpleasant allergens. Those filters can – and should – be changed regularly. You can do it yourself (filters can be found at any local hardware or home renovation store). You can also have an air conditioning technician check your filters as a part of their regular maintenance on your unit.
(Note: a good technician will notice right away if your filters are old, dirty, or in need of replacing. They should let you know unprompted).
Modern filters are getting better and better – they can now trap even the smallest pollen and dust mite particles. Unfortunately, no air conditioning filter will be able to pull 100% of the allergens from your air. But newer filters are getting close.
So talk to your air conditioning technician about what the right filter could do to cleanse your air, and be sure you’re changing them often. As long as you’re changing out your filters regularly, the majority of the pesky allergens that cause symptoms should be getting pulled from your air.
Finally, one of the great benefits of having a central air conditioning unit in your home is that it reduces humidity. The coils in your A/C unit pull in the humid air from your home. And then the water in that air condenses there, essentially dehumidifying your air for you. And many allergens (like pollen, molds, bacterias, and funguses) thrive in humid environments.
Then, if your AC unit is keeping the humidity in your home low, you are less likely to have those pesky allergens.
Find the Right Air Conditioner for Allergies for Your Home
While no air conditioning unit can render your home entirely allergen-free, they can definitely help.
Running your air conditioning unit regularly and ensuring that its filters are frequently changed can help you reduce the number of allergens in your home. It’ll make things safer and more comfortable for you and your guests, so it’s absolutely worth having.
If you need an air conditioning unit installed in your home – or have an old one that’s ready to be replaced – talk to the talented staff at A/C Care. We understand the importance of having the right system for reducing allergens and can help you make the right choice in an A/C for your home.