Caitlin Cosper shared with Choose Energy that after the cold winter months, spring has finally arrived. Spring brings us warmer weather and blooming flowers, but many also find it ushers in allergy season. In fact, more than 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies.
There are several steps you can take to help your allergies, but could your allergies also lead to higher energy bills? Read on to learn about how you can avoid itchy eyes and sneezes without sacrificing your energy cost.
As we move into spring, it’s important to give your HVAC system some attention. About half of your home’s energy usage comes from heating and cooling, so an efficient HVAC is crucial. Your indoor air quality can feel the negative effects of a neglected HVAC, leading to worsened allergies and less efficiency.
For starters, be sure to dust out the registers and air return vents with a damp cloth. It’s especially important, to begin with, this step – if the vents and registers in your HVAC are dusty, that dust will be spread throughout your entire home.
Spring is also an opportune time for you to schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician. Experts recommend having a professional inspect your HVAC at least once a year to ensure it’s running efficiently and isn’t encountering any problems.
Change your air filter
Changing seasons means it’s also a good time to change your air filter. Many experts recommend splurging on more expensive air filters, too. When choosing your air filter, pay attention to the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), which indicates a filter’s ability to remove particles of all sizes from the air.
Similar to your HVAC, the air filters in your home directly impact your indoor air quality – and, by extension, your allergies. Poor air quality leads to more extreme allergy symptoms. Additionally, old or ineffective air filters also put more strain on your HVAC system. When your HVAC has to run longer, your energy bills will go up. Regularly replacing your air filters can lower your energy usage by up to 15 percent.