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Saw my allergy/asthma doc yesterday (a new condition for me - don't get me started...)

For a car you've had for a while, or before a major road trip, he recommended "sterilizing" a car's climate control system by running the car with the fan on max and the heat on high for 1/2 hour. That, according to him, will kill any pollen, mold, and general unwanted funk that may be accumulating in your A/C system.

Sound feasible? Safe for the car, particularly in 90-degree outdoor weather? Windows up? Down? Fresh air? Recirculate? How to run the car unsupervised without someone walking by and boosting it?

So many questions...
 

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Well, I'm no allergist, but I suspect that pollen is much more heat resistant than any temperture that the heating system could/would put out. Now, it might blow a lot out of the system, and more frequent changes and/or cleaning of the AC filter seems reasonable, or even upgrading to a HEPA type filter of some sort, but I have my doubts.
 

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Changing the cabin filter more often should help with your allergy problem. Upgrading the filter material might also be helpful, but be careful to not find a filter that has too much air restriction. You risk early death of the blower fan motor. HEPA filters generally have a lot of air restriction and require a great deal of fan power to overcome the various materials that air is drawn through to filter it.

Let me see if I have a link to a place which has an alternate filter for the Prius.

http://www.drivewire.com/toyotaparts/ca ... ilter.html

Look for the part number reference 88880-41010 and do a search on that. It will direct you to the electrostatic filter, if that would be helpful to you.
 

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To minimize most allergens in the cabin always keep the windows up and always use recirculation. Most allergens are not being created inside the car, so let the air filter do its job. If you have managed to start growing mold in the air system, first confirm that the A/C condensate drain is not plugged up, and then use a disinfectant intended for this purpose.

"Baking" can't hurt but I doubt it will do much good because it won't get hot enough to destroy any allergens.
 

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Sorry, while your doc may know about allergies, he certainly is mistaken about "sterilization" procedures... While the heat may kill bacteria, it will likely only inactivate the mold- the spores are incredibly robust and will regrow as soon as conditions are right again (ie, when you next turn on your A/C), and even the dormant spores can still cause allergic reactions.. Pollen is a similar case- you can't "kill" pollen with heat unless it's so hot that it burns up; pollen whether baked or not, will still cause an allergic reaction..

Your best bet is to turn on the A/C and heat at full blast, and spray a commercial A/C cleaner solution into the intake to flush everything out, then replace the cabin air filter with a new one, and continue replacement of this filter at regular intervals...
 
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