Indoor air can be as big a culprit as outdoor air when it comes to aggravating allergies.

Could this be one of the worst and longest allergy seasons ever? Many experts agree that it is, due to the wet spring weather around most of the nation, leading to an abundance of flowering trees, bushes, grasses, mold and spores.

All year there are plenty of allergens to go around, both indoors and out, but did you know that selecting the right room air conditioner can improve the air you breathe by eliminating some of those irritants.

Friedrich Air Conditioning’s air quality experts say that while we blame the great outdoors for our allergy problems, the great indoors has plenty of allergen sources of its own, as well as VOCs – or volatile organic compounds --which are emitted as gases by liquids and solids. In fact, VOCs that come from paints, lacquers, cleaning supplies, office equipment and other sources can be up to 10 times higher indoors than outdoors. Like allergens, VOCs can irritate respiratory systems and may also have other undesirable health effects. (Source: EPA)

Common indoor irritants can be found in every room of the home and include the following:

• Dust, dust mites, pet dander, dry-cleaned clothing.
• Cleaning supplies, aerosol sprays, damp carpets and rugs.
• Cooking smoke, trash cans.
• Furniture, carpet, wood stoves and fireplaces, craft supplies.
• Auto exhaust and gas fumes, paints and solvents, building materials and pesticides.
• Marking pens, glues, some copy paper, copiers and printers.

How Kϋhl Air Conditioners Can Help

Wouldn’t it be preferable to stop allergy attacks before they happen and minimize exposure to potentially harmful VOCs? In 2010, Friedrich introduced its sleek, new Kϋhl room air conditioner with optional dual-stage filtration. Kϋhl’s unique carbon filtration process can reduce odors, ozone and other impurities from the air by combining an optional carbon filter with Kϋhl’s antimicrobial filter to achieve lab-tested, superior air filtration ratings up to MERV 6 (minimum efficiency reporting value—ASHRAE 52.2).

“While many of us think of room air conditioners as appliances that cool our homes, we don’t always think about the health benefits they provide,” said David Lingrey, vice president of engineering for Friedrich Air Conditioning.

Kϋhl’s dual-stage filtration process, for example, can capture 75% more particles in the 3 to 10 micron range than standard mesh and foam filters.

“Change filters often for peak performance,” said Lingrey. “Air quality provided by room air conditioners is only as good as the filter is clean. We recommend that filters are inspected, cleaned and changed at a maximum of every 300 hours of unit operation or at three-month intervals,” Lingrey said.

“Homes and businesses with more demanding, high-dust environments will need to be evaluated more frequently. In that scenario, the carbon filter may need to be changed monthly. The permanent filter needs to be washed with mild, soapy water on the same schedule,” he concluded.

For more information or to find a dealer, visit www.friedrich.com or call 800-541-6645.