Dust is a problem everywhere in the country, and the Decatur, Alabama area is no exception. When it comes to fighting dust, most people turn to housecleaning and air purifiers. And this is for good reason: dust mites appear in homes no matter the level of cleanliness, and in Northern Alabama, they’re most prevalent during the warmer months.

But did you know your HVAC system can help you fight dust all year round? Think of it as another weapon in your arsenal. Here are five ways to put your HVAC system to work for you.

Have an Annual Cleaning Done

Dust can still collect inside your HVAC system despite your best efforts, so it’s a good idea to schedule a yearly cleaning and inspection to remove such allergens from your system. Typically, this is done in the fall or the spring, when the unit is at its lowest use in Northern Alabama. And if you haven’t replaced your filters (which you should do every few months) now would be an excellent time to do so.

Use Your Fan Wisely

Every HVAC system has an internal fan that pulls in air from your home to go through your system. After cleaning, it may be a good idea to switch your system to the “on” setting to pull in all the dust inevitably kicked up into the air.

Most HVAC systems have two settings: on and auto. It’s important to know the difference to use this feature correctly. When a system is set on auto, the fan will only run when heating or cooling your home. When it’s set to on, the fan will run constantly until you change the setting back.

There is one important thing to remember when running the fan, however, and that is a good filter.

Choose the Right Filter

Whenever using your fan, air will first pass through your furnace filter. Without it, your system will have no way to trap excess dust and allergens before blowing them back around your home.

Some filters work better at trapping allergens than others. When shopping for filters, look at the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values) rating. This is a number you’ll see on the filter carton, which ranges between 1 and 16. The higher the number, the more efficient that filter will be at capturing smaller particles, including dust mites. You’ll most likely find a filter with a rating between 1 and 12, as higher ratings typically serve industry and medical settings.

Keep Your Vents Open

No one wants to discover a bunch of dust gathered in one place in your vent system when first turning on your system in several weeks or months. Keeping vents open will help to reduce any buildup of dust and other allergens that could cause health issues down the line. However, opening vents may use more energy, so keep this in mind.

Find and Fix Any Leaks

By leaks, we mean those in the ducts of your HVAC system. Some ducts may leak in areas such as basements, where more dust tends to gather, and these ducts might be pulling that dust through your system and distributing it throughout your home. An HVAC professional can help you find and repair any leaks.

If Dust Is Still a Problem, Contact Us

Sometimes, dust can remain an issue despite diligence in maintaining your system. We’re here to help, and you can contact us today with any questions or concerns you have about your heating and cooling needs.