Exposure to outdoor allergens like pollen, pollution, and mold spores can all have a detrimental effect on your health. Sneezing, itchy eyes, and a scratchy throat are just some of the common allergy symptoms that people experience. There are several things you can do to protect the quality of your indoor air, including using your HVAC system to ensure that your El Cajon, CA home can become your haven when allergy season hits.

Filtering Indoor Air

Your HVAC system has a filter in it that helps remove particulate matter from the air circulating through your home. These filters can vary in effectiveness. MERV, or minimum efficiency reporting values, is the typical measurement used to advertise the size of particles that can be filtered out of the air you’re breathing inside your home. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particles that can be removed. However, you must purchase a MERV-rated filter that your HVAC system can handle. If there isn’t enough air flowing through the filter, your HVAC system can be strained. You might end up facing increased repair bills over time, and your equipment’s lifespan could be shortened.

HVAC air filters usually need to be replaced once every 30 to 90 days, depending on the specific type that you’re using. The filters that are changed more frequently usually have a lower filtration ability. Filters that last 90 days or more can provide better filtration throughout your home. Some HVAC systems use washable filters. While this may decrease the amount of money that you’re spending on filters, it can be difficult to ensure optimal air quality. You can’t guarantee that your washable filter is completely clean before it is returned to the furnace.

Air Filtration Devices

If you are looking for more filtration than your simple air filter can provide, you may want to consider having a whole-house air filtration device installed on your HVAC system. These units can filter out incredibly small particulate matter, improving your indoor air quality overall. This is a great investment to make if you have allergy sufferers in the home, regardless of whether it is allergy season or not. Air filtration devices can remove non-seasonal allergens, such as pet dander, mold spores, pathogens, and more. There are several different models available, each providing different features and capabilities. You can work closely with an experienced HVAC professional to determine what the best unit would be for your home and situation.

Ductwork Considerations

Unfortunately, many homeowners forget about the elaborate system of ductwork that runs through their homes and how that can affect their indoor air quality. Ductwork can accumulate quite a buildup of allergens. While filters do a good job of removing a lot of these particulates, some things will invariably get through. Since there isn’t any kind of additional filtration that occurs after air passes through your ducts, all those allergens can be spread back into your indoor air, causing allergy symptoms. HVAC companies can provide routine cleaning of your ductwork as part of routine maintenance. The frequency with which you utilize this service will be determined by the area where you live, whether you have pets, what kind of filtration you have in place, and the age of your home. On average, ductwork cleaning should be done every two to three years for optimal allergen reduction.

You should also routinely schedule a professional ductwork inspection. If there is any damage that has occurred to your ductwork, this can increase the amount of allergens that are circulating through your home. It’s typically easy to fix these issues, and the results are impressive regarding improved indoor air quality.

Humidity Control

Humidity levels in a home should remain between 30% and 50%. This ensures optimal comfort, but it also prevents mold spores from forming if humidity levels start to rise. Mold is a common irritant that can not only cause allergy symptoms but can lead to some pretty serious health problems as well. The challenging thing about mold is that it can hide just about anywhere. It can take a homeowner years to realize that there is mold growing in their ductwork or inside a vanity under a sink. Having too dry of air in your home can be a problem as well. Dry air can irritate the sinuses, leading to stuffiness and discomfort.

The best way to address humidity control is to speak with a professional about having your indoor air quality assessed. By determining what your average indoor humidity level is, you can make appropriate changes to your home.


There are standalone dehumidifiers that you can invest in for your home. However, it’s more practical to have a whole-house unit installed on your furnace. This will address the air throughout your entire home rather than just in the area where you’ve placed a standalone unit. A dehumidifier will help remove excess moisture from your indoor air before it is passed through your ductwork and circulated back into your home.


If you are experiencing very dry air in your El Cajon home, a humidifier can help address that issue and soothe your irritated nasal passages. This type of unit can be adjusted to accommodate whatever your needs are throughout the year. If you’re experiencing high levels of humidity in the area, you can completely shut down your whole-house humidifier until it is needed again.

Upgrading Your Current Thermostat

If you’re still using a simple digital thermostat with basic programming, it might be wise to invest in an upgraded model to help address your allergies. Newer models come with a whole host of features that can help improve your indoor air quality. For instance, you can use scheduling to ensure that your home has ample circulation and filtration throughout the day or when you will be coming home from work. If you’re not going to be home, you can minimize the run time of your system. This saves you money on your monthly utility bills.

Some thermostats will alert you when it is time to replace your filter. You can also monitor your humidity levels remotely using a smart device. Changes can be made whether you’re sitting on your couch or you’re out of town for a few days.

If you would like to find out more about the different ways that your HVAC system can help you address your allergy symptoms and indoor air quality, reach out to the team at Comfort Bros Heating, Air & Plumbing. We would be happy to help assess the air quality inside your El Cajon home and make recommendations for how you can improve the air that you are breathing.

In addition to air quality assessments and HVAC upgrades that improve indoor air quality, we can also install new furnaces and air conditioning units, provide routine seasonal maintenance, and take care of emergency repairs. Give Comfort Bros Heating, Air & Plumbing a call today to schedule an appointment.

Meet the Author
Travis Smith
Travis Smith

Travis Smith started in his family's Heating and Air Conditioning business at 6 months and 5 days old "helping daddy do trim outs". He then worked at Sky Heating & AC for over 22 years before partnering with the Comfort Bros.
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