If you wake up congested or spend the day sneezing while indoors, chances are, you’ve got AC allergies.
However, it’s not what you think. You’re not actually allergic to the air conditioning itself, but the stuff it’s unknowingly circulating around your home. So, before you call your HVAC specialist, read this first.
The Common Causes Behind Your AC Allergies
It may sound strange since allergies are often related to outside factors, but we often forget that allergins can easily find their way into our homes. In some cases, they even occur out of thin air, so to speak.
Let’s take a closer look at the culprits behind your AC allergy symptoms:
While pollen is a seasonal allergin, it discriminates against no one. Pollen is typically blown into your home through open windows and doors. It also hitches a ride on your clothing and shoes. Once it finds its way indoors, it plants itself in your furniture and carpeting.
Air conditioning is supposed to filter out pollen when it sucks up air from the outdoors. Of course, if the allergen has already taken up residence in your home, your AC is most likely blowing it around.
It’s sad but true, your AC allergy may be coming from your furry family members. Unfortunately, most pets come with natural allergens. The allergens that they contribute also settle into upholstery and carpeting.
Pet dander is usually only an issue for those with severe allergies or asthma. However, these allergens will have a general sinus or respiratory effect if you allow them to build up over time.
You can’t see them and they’re impossible to avoid. They are dust mites, and they are the stuff that runny noses, watery eyes, itchy skin, and other symptoms are made of. Consider them one big—yet microscopic—allergen.
Luckily they don’t bite. They do, however, feed off of your dead skin cells. That means that they’ll burrow themselves in the fibers where bodies gather most, i.e., bed sheets, pillows, couches, and so on. Much like pollen and pet dander, these little bugs get blown around by your air conditioner.
Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are the love child of hot and humid conditions. Anywhere there is moisture, dirt, and dust, there’s potential for these fungi to grow. The evaporator coil and drip pan in your AC unit provide the perfect housing for mold growth, and everyone is a target.
Bacteria and Viruses
If your AC allergies are making you feel more under the weather than they should, you could have a bacteria and virus infiltration on your hands. For example, you may have flu-like symptoms, but no flu. This is referred to as Sick Building Syndrome, and it causes health issues without a specific illness.
VOCs and Chemicals
Cleaning supplies, pesticides, paint, cigarette smoke, carpet fibers, beauty supplies, and gasoline all give off volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). Even your office supplies give off VOCs. The two most common are ozone and formaldehyde, which can cause all kinds of respiratory irritation.
You’re Not Allergic to Air
Just what’s in the air. All the contaminants listed above enter your home in some way, shape, or form, and they get blown around by your air conditioning system. Hence, AC allergies.
If you’re experiencing AC allergy symptoms, give us a call. We can help ease your suffering—and you’ll get to keep your pets!