Spring Allergies Can Make You Miserable
Do you find that, every year, when things begin to bloom in spring, you’re suddenly stricken with allergies? You’re not alone, as spring allergies affect about 50 million people in the United States each year. They can really be a problem, leaving you dealing with red, itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, and more. It can be hard to enjoy the beautiful spring time weather when you are miserable when you step outside. Let’s be honest, though, sometimes we don’t get a break when we’re inside, either. In fact, the indoor air quality of your house may be significantly worse than the air outside, giving you no escape or respite from allergens. How can you improve indoor air quality and start enjoying the spring again? We can help.
What’s causing your indoor allergies?
Modern homes are typically well insulated and sealed, to help keep the HVAC system running effectively and prevent heating and cooling loss. This is great news, except that it means less fresh air circulates through our homes, and when spring allergies come into the house, they become trapped. Bacteria, dirt, dust and dust mites, mold and mildew, pollen, and pet dander can all trigger allergies, but there are definite steps you can take to reduce the number of allergens in your house and improve your indoor air quality.
Taking Proactive Measures
If you are curious about what’s impacting the quality of your air, you can always get an indoor air quality test. It’s likely, though, that you know exactly what’s causing your issues. People coming in and out of your house track in allergens, and pets are the worst offenders, bringing in all sorts of dirt, debris, and pollen on their coats. Mold spores get carried in, too, and this can lead to mold growth in damp or humid spaces in your home. Let’s look at some strategies to reduce these issues.
- Maintain your HVAC system. Your HVAC does its best to keep your air clean and free from pollutants, but it needs some help from you to do the job well. Change your air filters regularly, and if you are not using a high-efficiency filter, consider upgrading. Have your ducts professionally cleaned, and schedule routine maintenance checks to make sure your system is at its best. Run your air conditioner to keep the air circulating throughout your house, even if the temperature is fine. Running your AC for as little as 20 minutes can bring a much needed “breath of fresh air” into your home.
- Clean the house. This may seem obvious, but keeping your home free from dust, pollen, mold, and dirt means keeping it clean. Pay special attention to the registers and air vents, entryways, and window treatments, and always dust with a damp cloth or microfiber cloth, to trap particles instead of spreading them around.
- Shower after going outside. Make it a rule in your family to shower away the pollen and pollutants as soon as possible after coming in from the outside. Either wash your hair or brush it, but never go to bed with the pollen you picked up outdoors.
- Groom your pets. Your furry little friends have pet dander that can trigger some allergies, but you don’t have to be allergic to the pet dander for pets to cause you to sniffle and sneeze. Pollen sticks to your pets just like it sticks to you, only more so, because you’re unlikely to be rolling in the grass or crawling through the bushes. Brush and bathe your pets more frequently during allergy season, and you’ll help promote better indoor air quality.
- Talk to your HVAC professional about upgrades and tools. Your HVAC company has access to a whole world of appliances and gizmos designed to improve indoor air quality! For example, while you could use a portable dehumidifier to improve the humidity in your home and balance the moisture levels, your HVAC company can install a whole home dehumidifier, making it much more convenient to regulate the moisture levels within your home. This helps make your home more comfortable, but it also reduces the risk of mold growth, which is an important step in preventing allergic reactions. An indoor air quality monitor can also be a helpful tool, keeping you abreast of everything from humidity to household pollutants to radon and carbon monoxide. Your HVAC may also benefit from better filtration, either from an upgrade to higher quality HEPA filters, or through the installation of a whole-home air filtration system. These systems remove far more allergens and particulates from the air than a standard air filter, and some are even equipped with UV technology, using ultraviolet light to sanitize the air and kill mold, bacteria, and viruses. Whole home ventilators are a good option, too, allowing you to bring fresh air into your house without worrying about the harmful irritants and allergens tiny enough to squeeze through window screens. Talk to your HVAC technician during your annual maintenance check, or call for an appointment to determine which upgrades or additions might be right for you.
Improve Your Air Quality with Barstow and Sons
When you’re ready to improve your indoor air quality, contact Barstow and Sons for help. We understand the importance of good indoor air quality, and we can protect you and your loved ones with solutions that include humidifiers, UV air scrubbers, improved air filtration, and ventilators. A full-service heating and cooling service company, we’ve been providing high-quality service to customers throughout Anne Arundel County, Severna Park, Pasadena, and Annapolis since 1980. We’ve built a reputation for our dedication to excellence, and we’re here for our customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call (410) 777-9148 to learn more or contact us through our website.