May I start a new thread on this top. The other thread I started
provided me with a lot of useful information, but has also gotten off
track a little bit.
Forget HEPA - here's the problem.
I have a household member who suffers from asthma. East coast, Philly
area. We have observed strong correlation between the symptoms and the
A/C being on. (Maybe the correlation is with hot and humid weather, but
we think it's A/C because it also depends on the room.)
So what do you recommend to minimize the effects?
Here's what I've gathered.
1. Frequently changed MERV 10-13 filter.
2. Make sure it's tight.
3. I have an opportunity to increase the filter area. Worth it?
Thanks in advance!
I'd recommend first discussing w/ the cognizant physician(s) the trigger
mechanisms so you can attack them directly rather than just blindly
throwing money at it.
For our kids and my mother the electrostatic precipitator was the key
element as it removed a large fraction of the pollen and dust motes that
were there triggers. Whether that's the case for your family member is
anybody's guess; everybody has their own.
EPs are great, and not to be confused with the largely bogus "permanent
electrostatic filter". If it doesn't have a high voltage power supply
and a metal plate collection array, it is not an electrostatic
As for the correlation with the symptoms with the A/C being on, that
suggests that there is a source of allergens in the ductwork past the
filter (presuming you are using a good filter like the Filtrete), and/or
intake leaks drawing contaminants in at a point past the filter. Also
when the A/C is on it will tend to stir up dust and debris in the home
if the home is no-so-clean.
The "duct cleaning" thing gets bashed a lot, and in most cases is indeed
pointless, but when you do have reason to suspect a problem in the
ductwork, it makes sense to at least inspect the interior of the ducts
in a few places to see if there is a problem.
If symptoms increase with system on maybe mold is in the system, it
happens from the condensate drain noy fully draining and poor design.
I would have a look inside the system at the AC coil, mold can be
killed with sprays,and often kept away with ,aimtemance of the syystem
and a special UV light. A filter is before the coil so may not help,
your stand alone Hepa filters and Merv 10 do filter out mold but are
in the rooms needed. Are you running any electrostatic filters, they
output Ozone that agravates asthma. Google ozone affecting asthma, and
mold allergies If you are not real handy with ac systems get a pro
out to check yours out to see what might be growing inside. If
humidity kept low inside, say around 60-65% you should be ok, maybe
start in the basement to see if mold is an issue that the system is
pulling through the house. Mold has a smell, I can go in any place and
know if its an issue from the smell.
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