Autumn brings crisp days and cool evenings to North Texas, a welcome change from the grueling heat of a sizzling summer. It also brings a few things not so welcome – runny noses, watery eyes, itchy throats, sneezing and congestion that are classic symptoms of seasonal allergies.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) again has named the Dallas/Fort Worth area one of the 10 worst places in the United States for fall allergies, which dulls the fall luster for many North Texas residents.
As tree, grass and weed pollen counts soar outside, many find no relief inside their homes because of woefully inadequate air filtration. Bill Stevens, an expert in heating, air conditioning and filtration systems, says help has arrived in the form of new, whole-house air filtration technology that removes 99.98 percent of allergens from the air and can be added to existing central heating and air conditioning systems.
“Most homes have only one-inch paper air filters between them and as many as 72 trillion airborne allergens that invade their homes each day,” Stevens said. “That’s like trying to bail a battleship with a Dixie cup.”
High Efficiency Particulate Air, or HEPA, filters provide significantly better performance than standard paper filters or ionic room air cleaners. Now, new filtration systems available from manufacturers such as American Standard provide an eight-fold improvement over the best HEPA filters, and 100 times better than one-inch paper filters – with no significant reduction in airflow.
American Standard’s AccuClean™ system removes particles down to 0.3 microns in size. How small is that? For comparison, the period at the end of this sentence measures about 400 microns. Stevens points out that in addition to the health benefits that can accrue to hundreds of thousands of North Texas allergy sufferers, the new air filtration technology also provides attractive financial incentives.
“Because many allergy medications are not covered by health insurance co-payments, the cost of these medications can amount to hundreds of dollars in homes that have one or more people with allergies,” Stevens said. “In these cases, homeowners may begin recovering the cost of the system immediately with savings on allergy medications.”