How to Allergy-Proof Your Home with a Ductless HVAC
The concentration of indoor pollutants and allergens has become more of an issue over the last couple of decades. This is mainly due to improvements in energy efficiency and insulation in modern buildings. While energy efficiency helps reduce your carbon footprint and lower utility costs, without adequate ventilation it can make for poor quality indoor air.
For those with allergies or respiratory illnesses, the indoors are meant to be an escape from potential stimulants outside. Unfortunately, in many U.S. homes, the air quality indoors may be more harmful than outdoors.
The good news is that many allergy triggers and air pollutants found inside your home originate outdoors and can be reduced. Triggers that originate indoors can be countered in several simple ways, such as thoroughly cleaning and removing mold. One of the most effective ways of allergy-proofing your home is with a ductless HVAC.
WHAT IS A DUCTLESS HVAC?
A ductless HVAC is an air heating and cooling system that can be used to improve air quality and set and regulate a home’s temperature. These systems work differently from traditional HVAC units because they don’t use ductwork. Instead, they use a single outdoor compressor unit connected to one or more indoor handler units. This makes them more discreet, lightweight, easy-to-install, and efficient.
Ductless HVAC systems are designed to heat or cool specific zones within a home. The two most popular types of ductless HVAC are single zone mini splits and multi zone mini splits. While a single zone unit is intended for a single room or small open space, a multi zone system is capable of managing air distribution throughout an entire home.
Single Zone Mini Split
A single zone mini split system is designed to control air temperature and distribution in a confined area. It is most effective in a single room, open plan kitchen/living area, or a small apartment. A single zone mini split is also a popular addition to a home extension or to replace an older ducted HVAC system.
It is small and operates quietly, making it suitable for any room. While it is recommended you hire a professional to install your mini split system, it is a relatively straightforward process and should only take a few hours.
Single zone mini splits help to prevent air from stagnating. It keeps a steady flow of fresh air in a room, meaning allergens and pollutants can continuously escape.
Multi Zone Mini Split
A multi zone mini split system is ideal for a family home. Rather than treating the air from one source, a multi zone system uses multiple air handlers to control the air distribution in individual zones throughout a house.
With a multi zone system, you can divide a home into specific sections for maximum control. Each handler distributes air throughout the particular zone in which it’s located. Multi zone systems are effective in managing temperature inconsistencies in multi story buildings. Because the house can be divided into specific zones, temperature adjustments can be made to account for drafts or heat loss.
A multi zone mini split system also works as an allergy filter, as it keeps a fresh flow of air in the area. Fresh air helps to combat the growth of mold and mildew, which can trigger allergies. It stops humidity and condensation from developing, helping stave off allergens in the air.
HOW DOES A DUCTLESS HVAC SYSTEM WORK?
A standard mini split system contains two primary units: an outdoor condenser compressor and an indoor air handler. A multi zone mini split appliance consists of an outdoor compressor and up to eight indoor air handlers. Small pipes connect the indoor and outdoor units.
A ductless mini split system is also connected to the refrigerant lines in a home. These are copper pipes that carry gas between units. The bigger line is insulated, meaning it loses minimal amounts of heat energy during transport. The larger line is usually referred to as the suction line.
The small refrigerant line is uninsulated and usually transports warm liquid. It is generally called the liquid line.
A ductless HVAC system works by taking in air from the surrounding environment. The indoor unit sucks in air from the room before sending it to the outside unit. In the outdoor unit, the air comes into contact with coils. These coils contain refrigerant coolant that’s transferred from the connected refrigerant lines.
When the air comes into contact with the coils, it creates an energy transfer. The energy used in this process changes the air temperature. Once the temperature reaches the right level, it is sent back into the room via the piping. A ductless HVAC continues this cycle to maintain a set temperature.
During extremely hot or cold weather, the system has to work harder to manage the air distribution, making it less efficient.
Ductless HVAC systems use multiple filters to ensure the air being dispersed is as clean as possible. It can effectively remove pollen, animal dander, mold, bacteria, dust, certain viruses, fungi, and other types of germs.For Affordable HVAC Solutions, Check Out Our Online Store Today
HOW A DUCTLESS HVAC SYSTEM HELPS WITH ALLERGIES
Traditional HVAC systems use ducting to transport air around a building. While this is an effective way to pump air, ductwork is known to accumulate dust and allergens. This means that the air being distributed around your home is contaminated with these pollutants.
Without ducts, there is less chance of the air being contaminated by allergens. Because ductless systems use individual air handlers for each room, the air is continuously cycled, ensuring it is free from allergens. While there is no way to remove all dust and airborne particles, a ductless HVAC such as a Mitsubishi mini split reduces allergens.
Ductless HVAC systems use removable filters. These can be replaced when they are worn or if they become damaged. However, they can also be cleaned, allowing you to keep a high standard of air quality at all times.
TIPS FOR ALLERGY PROOFING YOUR HOME WITH A DUCTLESS HVAC
Ductless HVAC systems can help reduce the effects of allergies while you’re in your home, but they must be well maintained. Failing to clean or use your system properly can result in inefficiencies and poorer air quality. Here are some of the most important ways to maintain your system.
Clean Your Mini Split System
Cleaning your mini split is vital if you want the highest quality air. It’s also important for keeping your device running smoothly. When cleaning your mini split, always remember that you must clean the inside and outside units. Both play vital roles in distributing clean air.
The first step in cleaning your HVAC system is to turn it off. Unplug any attached power supply to avoid damaging the appliance. The materials needed for cleaning include damp and dry cloths, leather gloves, soap, and water spray. It can be useful to have a fine comb or a soft-bristle cleaning brush for a thorough clean.
The outdoor unit should be free of loose debris or build-up. The main areas to focus on when cleaning the outdoor unit are the grille, fan blades, and condensate pan. Unblock the drain hose and ensure that nothing is impeding water flow.
For indoor air handlers, the most important things to clean are the air filters and evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is generally easy to access once you remove the cover. Over time, it develops a build-up of dust and grime. A coil cleaner is an excellent tool, but a dry cloth is just as effective.
When it comes to allergies, regularly cleaning the air filters is essential. To clean the air filters effectively, they should be removed and washed with soap and clean water.
Depending on your unit, it may have specific cleaning instructions. Always read the owner’s manual before you begin cleaning. Some ductless HVAC systems, such as a Panasonic AC, are known for their longevity, so careful cleaning can mean you get 15 to 20 years out of your appliance.
Clear the Area Around the Outdoor Unit
One of the greatest advantages of a ductless HVAC system is that it takes up a lot less space than traditional systems. However, the outside unit must be clear of obstruction. Avoid placing the unit inside a box, and don’t leave garden furniture or tools around it. This limits the amount of dust and debris build-up.
As a general guide, around four feet of space around your system is ideal. This gives your appliance the best potential for efficient and clean air distribution.
During winter, keep an eye out for ice and snow build-up. These can damage the unit and impact its efficiency.
Hire a Professional for a Deep Cleaning
Hiring a professional to carry out a deep cleaning is a good idea when it comes to allergy-proofing your home. Experienced technicians have the knowledge and tools to give your appliance a thorough cleaning.
While regular maintenance is needed to keep your appliance in good condition, a professional clean is only necessary once per year. A technician can also determine whether your HVAC system is working to its full capacity.Contact Comfort Up for HVAC Systems from Leading Brands
Seal Your Home’s Air Ducts
While your HVAC system might be operating effectively, the air ducts that connect the units may be leaking. This means that unfiltered air can enter your home, triggering allergies. Air ducts are also notoriously dirty. They quickly accumulate dust and debris, which can then be spread throughout the room.
Ensure your old air ducts from your previous ducted system are sealed, and that they aren’t leaking dirty air into your room. Clean the air ducts as part of your regular routine.
Use a UV Light to Prevent Microbes from Growing
During the warmer months, the indoor coil within your air handler is continuously wet. There is generally a higher level of moisture in the air than at other times of the year. The combination of these factors means this part of the appliance is the perfect environment for microbes to grow.
These microbes can cause bacteria to be blown around the room. Those with allergies or respiratory problems can be severely affected by bacteria microbes in the air.
The best way to reduce microbial growth is to keep the coils clean. However, another effective approach is to use UV light. A UV light can be placed inside your indoor handler unit, killing microbes and preventing them from growing. You can leave the light inside the handler permanently.
Avoid Opening the Windows
People have a tendency to open the windows when they want to take in some fresh air. While this might seem like a good idea, the air outside is often filled with allergens, like pollen, that can stimulate your allergies. If your HVAC system is clean and operating effectively, the air in your home should be cleaner than outside. Avoid opening windows and use your HVAC to circulate clean air around the room.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT HVAC SYSTEM
The majority of quality HVAC systems do an excellent job at allergy-proofing your home. However, it’s important to choose the right system for your house. The most important consideration for choosing the right system is to get one with an appropriate number of BTUs. These represent the unit’s heating and cooling capacity.
The bigger the area’s square footage, the more BTUs you’ll need. An oversized unit can cause issues, such as short cycling, so bigger doesn’t mean better when it comes to HVAC systems. For a 150 to 300 ft² room, you’ll need an HVAC with 6,000 BTUs. For a larger space, between 800 and 1,300 ft², the BTU requirements are 24,000.
Measure the width, length, and ceiling height of the space you want to distribute air through and opt for a system that meets your requirements.
ALLERGY-PROOF YOUR HOME WITH COMFORTUP
Allergies can’t always be cured, but adapting your environment can keep them at bay. There is no reason to suffer from poor quality air while you’re home. Allow ComfortUp to help allergy-proof your home today.
We provide a wide variety of mini split, ductless HVAC systems that are suitable for spaces of all sizes. For more information on your air conditioning needs, visit our website or call one of our experts for assistance.