Watt, Why & How e-Newsletter

3 Ways to Fight Allergies and Save Energy

AllergiesIt's that time of year. For many, symptoms such as itchy eyes, runny nose and a sore throat are a sign that seasonal allergies are in full bloom. Also, warmer temperatures mean that air conditioning costs soon will be putting the heat on your energy budget. Fortunately, there are three simple solutions that will help you combat both problems. 

1. Change your air filter

A dirty, clogged filter slows the flow of air, causing your cooling system to work harder and use more energy. At the same time, dust and debris trapped in the filter can circulate back into your home, decreasing indoor air quality and exacerbating allergy symptoms. A fresh air filter will help lessen the negative effects of allergies and improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system.

2. Maintain your air conditioner

Your air conditioning system does more than just keep you cool, it helps exhaust pollutants and control humidity levels inside your home. Hire a qualified professional to inspect and clean your air conditioning system before the start of the cooling season. You'll have a healthier, more comfortable indoor environment all summer long. A regular tune-up keeps your air conditioner operating at peak efficiency, reducing summer energy bills. The HomeSMART Energy Assessment Program can help you identify areas in your home that may be wasting valuable energy by providing a free in-home energy assessment. Click HERE for more information.

3. Freshen up your ventilation

A healthy indoor environment requires fresh air. Unfortunately, hot, humid outside air is good for allergens like mold spores, but not so good for your allergy symptoms. Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) offer a smart way to save energy while controlling humidity levels inside your home. HRVs use the relatively cool air that your air conditioning system is venting outdoors in the summer to cool down hot incoming outdoor air. It's an efficient way to improve your indoor environment without driving up cooling costs.  

There are a number of things you can do around your home and in your daily life to help reduce your allergy symptoms. For more information, see How to Control Your Seasonal Allergies from the National Institutes of Health.

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