Unusually heavy rainfall in Utah this year is resulting in a lot more pollen in the air than we’ve seen for quite awhile. So, if you or anyone in your family suffers from allergies, or if you’re susceptible to any kind of breathing problems, this will be a very uncomfortable time of year for you—even if you spend most of your time indoors.
Tony Oakman, owner of Lee’s Heating and Air walks through some steps to help your season be more comfortable.
According to Tony Oakman, owner of Lee’s Heating and Air, the high levels of pollen outdoors also affect the quality of your home indoors. So, if you’re suffering from allergies, or are susceptible to respiratory problems, staying inside won’t necessarily solve your problems. So, it’s important than you do everything you can to reduce the amount of allergens in your home.
Oakman says, “Pollen is everywhere, and you could actually be bringing more pollen into your home every day. If you do some simple things—like regularly sweeping and vacuuming, washing your clothing in the hottest water possible, giving your pets a weekly bath, and washing your doors and windows—you’ll reduce the pollen in your home. Obviously, if you’ve got your windows open, you’re inviting dust and allergens to enter your home. That’s one of the big problems with swamp coolers.”
Oakman adds that about 50 percent of homes in Utah still utilize swamp coolers. He says that that these coolers could add to the discomfort of allergies this year.
“In order for a swamp cooler to work properly, you have to keep some windows and/or doors open. Plus, swamp coolers actually pull air from outside into the unit through a large fan—which means that even more pollen is introduced to your home. To make matters even worse, since swamp coolers work by drawing air through water- soaked pads and converting the warm air into cool air, if these cooler pads aren’t kept fresh, they simply won’t work. Plus, there is a chance of mold and mildew build-up which can add to allergies and make you sick. In most swamp coolers, the old water in the system doesn’t flush out by itself. So, unless you physically change out the water all the time, this water is encouraging the growth of all kinds of organisms and bacteria. In fact, the water in swamp coolers has even been identified as a potential breeding ground for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease,” Oakman said.
According to Wade Thompson, a weatherization program specialist with the state of Utah, there have been a few instances where family doctors have actually written a prescription for central air conditioning because the bacteria in the swamp cooler air has either caused or exacerbated life-threatening lung infections.
There are other problems inherent with swamp coolers. Oakman notes, “Plus, most people don’t realize that a swamp cooler can only reduce a home’s temperature by 15 to 20 degrees. And, if it’s humid outside, they don’t do a very good job at all. Then, there’s the noise, the ongoing maintenance compared to a central air conditioning system, the potential water damage caused by a leaking swamp cooler. Normally, swamp coolers aren’t connected to the duct work that’s hooked to your furnace, so all of the cool air that’s generated is coming from one location in your home. This can result in uneven cooling in your home. There’s also the noise and the fact that water can often drip from the unit. And, since swamp coolers really introduce a large hole into a home’s roof, they cause warm air to escape during the winter.”
For homeowners who already have a central air conditioning system as part of their heating and cooling system, Oakman suggests tune-ups in the spring and fall. “When we conduct this service for you, we make sure your system is clean and operating at its peak efficiency, thereby reducing your energy bills,” he says.
For a limited time only, Lee’s Heating and Air is offering a $49 air conditioning tune-up. This is normally a $129 service.
Lee’s Heating and Air is offering a special $500 trade-in program. If you buy a central air conditioning system from Lee’s the company will remove your old swamp cooler and give you $500 toward the new system.
To contact Lee’s Heating and Air about replacing a swamp cooler with a central air conditioning system, or for a tune-up on an existing central air conditioning system, call (801)747-LEES or find them at leesheatac.com