Simple ways to reduce indoor and seasonal allergens in your home
When things start blooming, do your eyes and nose start itching? Many people think that the sneezing and runny nose are just the symptoms of a late spring cold. However, if it happens at the same time every year, it could be allergies.
Nasal allergies are far more common than most people think. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America estimates that anywhere from 10 to 30% of the population suffers nasal allergies.
Some of you may be tempted to just hunker down indoors and ride out the worst of your seasonal allergies, but your indoor air quality can make you every bit as miserable as the outdoor air if you’re not careful.
Fortunately, the professionals at Lakeview Heating and Cooling can help improve your indoor air quality.
Know the main causes of seasonal allergies and learn how to manage indoor air quality
As WebMD notes, your first step should be to find out what you’re allergic to. There may be specific steps you’ll need to take depending on your allergens. On the other hand, you also don’t want to get rid of pets or treasured possessions only to find out that ragweed was the problem, not Sparky.
Your air conditioner doesn’t just make your home cooler. It removes moisture that could otherwise lead to allergenic mold. Your filters catch pollen and, when the system is cleaned regularly, keep it out of the air that you breathe.
If the AC alone is not removing enough moisture from the air, we can add a dehumidifier to your system. This can be especially helpful in areas of the home like basements or rooms that have less ventilation.
Common allergens and how to address them
Let’s run down a few of the most common in-home allergens and how you can remedy them.
“Wait a minute,” you say, “isn’t pollen an outdoor allergen?” Sure it is, but like a lot of other things in the great outdoors, it’s easy to track inside. The above-cited article suggests a doormat (it’ll help keep your shoes pollen-free). We’d further suggest not keeping your windows open, especially on days when the pollen count is off the charts.
Pollen can also hitch a ride indoors on air currents, your clothes and your pets. When pollen comes inside, it can float on the air or settle on your sofa, your chairs and even the bed where you sleep. Even while you are relaxing indoors, you can still find that you are besieged by irritants that can cause allergy symptoms.
Dust is made up of lint, dead skin cells, and tiny parasites known as dust mites. The mites are what’s causing your allergies if you’re allergic to dust. Keep your home free of dust by trading carpets for hardwood floors, vacuuming frequently with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter, keeping collectibles behind glass, taking advantage of duct cleaning services, and changing your HVAC filter on schedule.
Your bed collects oils from your skin, dust, dust mites, and many other common allergens. Keep your sheets clean by washing weekly in hot water and drying in high heat. You may also find it helpful to put hypoallergenic covers on the mattress and box spring, which have the added bonus of shutting out bedbugs.
Bathe your pets on schedule. If your pets (especially cats) don’t like to be bathed, buy pet wipes; they’re like baby wipes, and while they’re not as effective as a full bath, they’re better than nothing. Also brush your pets daily. They like the attention, and they’ll also shed less and spread less dander so even those with allergies can share the love of their furry friends!
Mold and Mildew
Because your air conditioner is pulling both moisture and contaminants out of the air, these can easily build up in the system. When moisture builds up, it can lead to mold inside your air conditioner’s ducts, which can, in turn, lead to spores escaping into the home.
Mold wreaks havoc on your lungs and respiratory system. It’s most often caused by damp conditions, so it’s vital to ensure you don’t have leaky or dripping fixtures, that your air conditioner is properly sized for your home (it’ll cause condensation otherwise), and that you install a whole-home dehumidifier or a smaller one for areas like basements that are prone to high levels of humidity.
Address Non-Allergen Irritants
Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who has no indoor allergies to speak of. If so, we congratulate — and envy — you. That doesn’t mean that you’re immune from issues caused by poor air quality. Tobacco smoke, smoke and soot from fireplaces, fumes from household cleaners, and many other factors can cause respiratory distress. Be sure to look at the big picture and address these other culprits, using air cleaners and filters, so you can breathe easy.
Regular HVAC service is key to a comfortable, allergy-free home
Pollen, dander and other irritants can build up in the system and be recirculated in the room, removing the benefits that air conditioning provides. By getting air conditioning system cleaning and maintenance performed regularly, you can ensure that these irritants and substances are removed and that the air quality in your home improves.
Is it time for your air conditioner to be serviced? Do you want better air quality inside your home?
Whether it’s a new air conditioner installation so you don’t have to sleep with the windows open, or a dehumidifier to combat mold and mildew, we can assist you! We are the premier heating and air conditioning company in Chicago.
Our team of experts have helped countless Chicago families and businesses address HVAC and air-quality related issues over the years. Call us at 773-729-6135 today!
We offer the air quality products and air conditioning repair Chicago families trust.