How to Run Your AC Right
DURING A SUMMER HEAT WAVE, AIR conditioning can make your home bearable. But if you don't use the right filter, your cooling system will suck smog and potential allergens like pollen right into your home, says Jerome A. Paulson, M.D., a pediatrician at the nonprofit consumer advocacy group the Children's Environmental Health Network in Washington, D.C. To keep your Indoor air clean, buy a filter with the smallest pores possible, which will help trap allergens and dirt, he says. For your central air unit, choose a pleated air filter with a filtration rating of MERV II, and for your window unit, buy a 3M Filtrete Window A/C Disposable Filter (available at natlallergy.com and onlineallergyrelief.com). Both filters fit any size unit and last two to three months.