Focusing the HEPA filter discussion


Hi,
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!
Sam
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Sam Takoy wrote: ...

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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.
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dpb wrote:

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 precipitator.
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.
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Pete C. wrote:

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Indeed.
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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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