If you have asthma or indoor allergies, then the air quality in your home is extremely concerning. Basic furnace filters are only designed to get out particulate that is big enough to harm the furnace, and they do not help much with allergies. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to reduce the amount of allergens that are clogging your air.
Invest in a Better Vacuum Cleaner (and Use It)
Most dirt and allergens settle to the floor before ever making it to the furnace intake. This means your number one defense against these problems is your vacuum cleaner. Of course, this only works if you actually vacuum. In order to keep your home's air clean, try to fit vacuuming into your schedule at least once a week.
Once you are actually using your vacuum cleaner, you need to be sure that it is actually cleaning your air. There are two parts of your vacuum that will control this. The first is the filter, and the second is the bag. You might need a new machine if your vacuum doesn't have a very good filter. There are models on the market that have full HEPA filters at a very reasonable price, so pick one up.
Once you get a model that will clean the air running through the system, keep the bag or canister clear so that it doesn't force extra dirt into the filter. This will cause the filter to fail prematurely, resulting in more allergens being let out into your home.
Upgrade Your Furnace Filter
While your furnace filter won't fix the problem all on its own, it can assist in improving the air quality in your home. Pleated or electrostatic filters are more expensive than the basic model, but will remove significantly more dust than the basic model does as well. However, as with any filter, they won't do you any good if you don't change them every few months.
If you want to try to extend the cleaning power of your HVAC system, you can have an electronic air cleaner integrated into your system. This will require a visit from an HVAC technician from a company like HomeSmart From Xcel Energy, as the new piece must be integrated into your existing duct work. These products are a bit of an investment, and add yet another filter that will require changing.
Use a Single Room Filter
Part of the reason that the furnace filter only does so much is that thicker filters put increased strain on the HVAC system. If you put in a filter that is too thick, it can actually damage your HVAC system. Your HVAC tech can beef up your system to increase this tolerance by a bit, but you can't install high end filters, like HEPA filters, without installing a system that is specifically designed to support it.
This is where single room filters come in. Because they have their own fans, and move far less air, they can run air through even the strictest filters. Because they only cover a small area, they are most effective in rooms where you spend a lot of time, such as your bedroom or living room. The fan will generate some white noise, but you should adjust to this within a few days. In fact, some people come to appreciate the white noise as it blocks out environmental noise that could bother a light sleeper.
Keeping your air clean takes more than just installing a new filter in your furnace every three months. If you want to minimize the impact of indoor allergens on your health, you need to take proactive action to remove them. Vacuuming, changing the filter, and buying additional filter support is the trifecta that will help keep indoor allergens at bay so you can breathe more easily.Share
21 October 2014