What Your Air Conditioner Has to Do with Your Allergies

Many people suffer from allergies to smoke, dust, mites, pollen, and more.  WebMD.com reports that the number of work days lost each year as a result of hay fever is 4 million and the number of people in the United States who have either allergy or asthma symptoms is 1 in 5. With numbers like these, the quality of your air matters.  The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that "controlling the air quality in your home, office and car can reduce allergy and asthma symptoms." Air conditioning affects the quality of your air in any indoor space you work or live in.  Do you know what kind of air conditioning system you are running or how it may be affecting your allergy symptoms like nasal congestion or sneezing?

How Humidity Plays a Role

A high amount of humidity in your home means that the air contains a lot of water in the form of a gas.  When the warm air in your home condenses into a liquid inside the air conditioner unit, the liquid is collected and dispersed outside of your home.  Heathline.com explains that lowering the humidity can help allergies because it also impairs the ability of dust mites, an allergen to some people, to live in your home.

Air Filters

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommends changing your air conditioner's filter every 2 to 3 months.  Talk to your air conditioning company and ask about HEPA filters.  This stands for high efficiency particulate air.  HEPA filters are often used in larger spaces like hospitals, but they might not work well for a residential space, so be sure to talk to an expert about it before trying to install one yourself.

Ask For an Assessment of Your Current Air Conditioning

Instead of replacing your air conditioning altogether, ask your local HVAC contractor if they can install or replace parts to better filter for allergens in your home.  You may even need to have our air ducts professionally cleaned, according to United Allergy Services, because debris could be in your ducts, causing you or people in your home to have allergy symptoms.  If you have a ductless air conditioning system, you may be able to get a multistage allergen filtration system to more effectively remove the allergens from the air in your home.

The level of humidity that your air conditioner removes from your home, the type of air filter used, and the cleanliness of the air ducts in your home can all play a part in your allergy symptoms.  In addition to taking a closer look at your air conditioning, talk to your doctor about any symptoms that you have and communicate to him or her about your health so you can get the best care possible.