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Warning: Spring Allergies!

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How to Keep Your Indoor Air Allergen-Free with Air Filtration

Spring is on its way and although we are eagerly anticipating the warm weather, spring also comes hand-in-hand with allergies. Unfortunately, most commercial buildings are not built and maintained to effectively keep out allergens. Many air intake systems allow outdoor pollutants to enter the HVAC system, which then disperses them throughout the building.

The most common spring allergen is pollen, but there are others to beware of as well. Rain (April showers, anyone?) can exacerbate the problem by increasing moisture in the air, thus helping mold to grow. The most effective way to reduce spring allergies in buildings is through air filtration.

Air Filtration

If a building’s HVAC system has improperly installed or poorly maintained filtration systems, their ability to protect against allergens is degraded. Many buildings have filters that are in poor condition, or that do not fit properly into their frames. The filters cannot be effective if contaminants are able to bypass them.

Air filtration effectiveness can be improved by ensuring the filter systems are properly sealed and routinely maintained.  

Replacing air filters may be the best option for most buildings, particularly if their current filters are found to be lacking. If filters are going to be replaced, the highest performing filters that meet HVAC design and monetary constraints should be installed. If you have trouble remembering to change filters then install an ecobee Energy Management System; an easy to use smart thermostat that saves on energy costs, alerts you when your system needs servicing, and allows you to set reminders.

If you are considering a new air filter, there are a few basics to know. Air filters are rated according to the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) standard.  Higher rated MERV filters capture smaller particles, more efficiently. MERV filters rank between 1-16.

High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters will receive a MERV ranking as high as 17-20. A HEPA filter stops almost all allergens (pollen, mold, pet dander, etc.) from passing through your HVAC system and into your indoor air. Regular maintenance is a must with HEPA filters, to ensure that they do not become dirty and prevent the passage of air.

When filtering the air for large commercial buildings, especially offices or medical facilities, choosing a UV air purification system is your best option. UV wavelengths can be used to deactivate and destroy all types of bacteria and allergens, including odours that easily pass through filters. The Sanuvox UV System removes harmful viruses in the air protecting staff and visitors in commercial buildings.

It’s important to choose a MERV or HEPA filter that keeps the majority of allergens out of the indoor air, while being compatible with your HVAC system and energy efficiency requirements. When choosing UV air purification system you need to select a system that can support the size of your building, or if you’re not ready to invest yet you can purchase a portable system for your office. Otherwise, proper sealing and regular maintenance are the keys to barricading your building against allergy-inducing spring contaminants.

>> Intelligent Comfort Solutions has the expertise to determine the right air filtration solution and provide the appropriate maintenance to keep spring allergies at bay. Contact us today

Dave Morrison is the General Manager at Intelligent Comfort Solutions. He has over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial HVAC maintenance, repair, installation, and indoor air quality improvement. He prides himself on finding the best HVAC solution for your business, and building a lasting relationship that your business can depend on. Dave is known for his open and honest communication and his friendly top notch customer service.

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