Some people say ceiling fans are bad for allergies, others say air conditioners are. So how is a person supposed to keep cool and allergy free?!
WHAT DO CEILING FANS HAVE TO DO WITH ALLERGIES?
Indoor ceiling fans help cool in the summer and heat in the winter, and can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. However, if not maintained properly, they can contribute to allergies. Many people associate allergies with the outdoors and forget to protect themselves inside.
Fall allergy season started early this year and medical facilities are having trouble keeping up. Symptoms have been worse and are leading to more sinus infections than previous years. Untreated allergies can be very serious and even deadly, especially when coupled with asthma. Addressing the causes of allergies is serious business!
What many people don’t know is that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the air inside your home is actually 2-5 times worse than the air outside, so start looking inside your home for the culprits.
INDOOR CEILING FANS VS. AIR CONDITIONERS
Is it better to use ceiling fans or air conditioners to avoid allergies? The truth is, one isn’t really better than the other, it’s really all about maintenance and cleaning. Because they both move air, it depends on the air, and the air depends on how clean the environment, fan or AC is (kind-of a chicken or the egg scenario).
Because of their location, ceiling fans can often be overlooked during house cleaning. It’s important to keep them clean not only to avoid spreading dust mites about, but also for maintaining their performance for the long term.
For quick, in-between cleanings you could use a feather duster, but we would discourage that if you have a severe allergy to dust. For an effective cleaning without spreading dust, we recommend a microfiber cloth or a washcloth or paper towel dampened with cleanser. You can read more about this in our How to Properly Clean a Ceiling Fan blog.
If your AC is dirty (the filters), then chances are the air in your home will continue to be polluted, and dust will keep settling on your ceiling fans more rapidly. The most common pollutants found in the home duct systems are leftover from construction (dust from drywall, sawdust, concrete dust, pollens and air particulates that were deposited during construction). If you are particulary sensitive to allergens, you should look to upgrade your air filters and may want to change them every 30-60 days. If you’re more of the set-it-and-forget-it-type, look into a whole-home air purification system.
ALLERGY FREE WITH CEILING FANS & AC
This story has a happy ending whether your home has central AC or not. As long as you keep your ceiling fans clean you can use them as your sole cooling source, or to boost the effectiveness of your HVAC system, and still avoid pesky (and sometimes dangerous) allergies!