Keeping Your Home Cool during the Sweltering, Summer Months

An AC May Help Or Worsen Your Allergies – Here Is How

by Anthony Graves

If you or one of your household members has an allergy problem, then you should be very careful with how you maintain your air conditioner (AC). This is because an AC system can either reduce or increase your risk of allergy depending on how well you take care of it.

How It Can Reduce the Risk

Filtering Out Contaminants

A properly maintained air conditioner will have fully functional air filters. These are air filters that aren't dirty, aren't damaged, are properly placed, and are not clogged with dirt. Such air filters are able to trap all manner of gunk floating around in the air so that allergens aren't circulated in your house. For example, if you have a pet dog, the air filters should be able to trap pet dander so that it isn't distributed in your house. That way, anyone allergic to pet dander won't be exposed to the allergen.

Controlling Humidity

Your AC doesn't just control your home temperature; it also has a hand in humidity control. As you know, an extremely humid environment encourages the growth of microorganisms like mold. Therefore, if your AC is properly functioning, it should be able to maintain the humidity at reasonable levels so that you don't have to suffer from humidity-related allergens.

How It Can Increase the Risk

Unfortunately, there are also ways in which your AC can also trigger allergic reactions in your household. Here are a few examples:

Blowing Back Irritants

An AC can contribute to allergic reactions in your house if you don't keep it clean and replace the air filters regularly. For example, if you are using an excessively fine filter or if you rarely replace the filters, they may get blocked with dirt and debris. If that happens, the dirt and debris will have nowhere to go but to get blown back and re-circulated throughout the house.

Circulating Contaminants

Another way in which your AC can contribute to allergy problems is when it starts picking up contaminants from different parts of the house and circulating them. This may be the case, for example, if the air ducts are damaged and have holes in them. Such holes may pick up dust, mold, insects, and other debris in the unconditioned spaces of the house and re-circulate them throughout your home, leading to allergic reactions.

Hopefully, your AC will reduce your risk of allergic reactions instead of increasing it. Ensure your air conditioning is regularly maintained by a professional to ensure that is the case at all times.