How to Reduce Allergens in Your Maryland Home This Spring

May 13, 2015 Written by  Comments Print
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Spring is in the air, and unfortunately, so is pollen. For now, many allergy sufferers in Maryland are forgoing the outdoors and choosing to breathe easier inside their home. But is the air inside actually any better than the air outside? And what's the best way to prevent pollen from getting in your home? The answers might not be what you're expecting. Read on to learn more about the best way to reduce allergens in your Maryland home this spring.

Allergens and Indoor Air Quality in Your Maryland Home

If you suffer from allergies, it makes sense to head indoors until pollen season tapers off. And while the concentration of pollen in your home is certainly less than what it is outdoors right now, that doesn't mean there isn't pollen in your home. Even if you're using a heavy duty HVAC filter that's designed to filter out particles like pollen, there could still be pollen in your home. Not to mention you might be hurting your HVAC system and increasing your energy costs with that extra-stringent filter.

A Common Misconception About HVAC Filters and Allergens in Your Maryland Home

The misconception: The higher the filter is rated, the better it is from removing allergens from your home.

The facts: This is partially true, but misses the bigger picture. Read on to learn why.

HVAC Filters, or, Bigger isn't Always Better

HVAC filters are rated using the MERV rating system. The lower the MERV rating, the larger the particles that are allowed to pass through the filter. The higher the rating, the smaller the particles. Basically, the higher the MERV rating the more particles the HVAC filter will catch and filter out of the air.

Because of this, some homeowners feel they need to get an HVAC filter with a high MERV rating. And it is true that the higher the rating, the more particles it will remove. But, there are a few problems with this.

First, the higher the MERV rating, the harder it is for the HVAC system to pull air through the filter. In places like hospitals, which use filters with the highest MERV ratings, this isn't a problem, because the HVAC system is very powerful. Most residential HVAC systems are not designed for use with high-rated filters, because they're just not powerful enough.

What ends up happening is the HVAC system in your Maryland home starts to work harder to pull air through the filter. This causes it to use more energy, which costs you more money. It also puts more strain on the HVAC system, making a breakdown more likely and reducing its lifespan.

You're Also Not Effectively Dealing with Allergens

Not only do high-rated HVAC filters put more stress on your HVAC system and cost you more money in energy bills, they also aren't the most effective way to deal with allergens. Sure they'll trap them, but the fact that there's something to trap means allergens are getting into your home from the outside. Why? Because your home isn't sealed properly.

Why You Need to Air Seal Your Maryland Home To Reduce Allergens Inside

What you have is a situation where you're dealing with pollen once it's already in your home, when you could be preventing it from coming in in the first place. Air sealing your home stops pollen from getting inside, meaning you don't have to worry about filtering it out.

In addition, pollen particles are among the larger of the contaminants found in the air in your home, so really you don't even need a heavy duty filter to get them out. Go with a lower-rated filter designed for residential use. Your HVAC system will thank you, and you'll still make the air in your home cleaner. Just remember to change the filter regularly!

To learn more about air sealing your home, and other practices that can improve the indoor air quality and energy efficiency of your Maryland home, contact greeNEWit today! Start your energy savings today by calling 866.966.7630, or contact us here.

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