Spring is here, bringing warmer weather in its wake. And allergens. Lots of allergens. 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 Causes of Poor 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, not Sparky, was the problem.
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.
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
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.
When it comes to many indoor air quality issues, we can help. 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 773-698-6569 today!