Living with allergy problems isn’t easy. High pollen and mold levels outside keep you inside, but the house isn’t always a safe haven from pollutants. Once you understand triggers that hide around the home, it’s easier to improve interior air quality and control indoor allergies with smart strategies that make a big difference.
Interior Allergen Sources
If you’re sensitive to their hair and dander, it’s fair to point a finger at the family pets when you start sneezing. However, they don’t carry all the blame. A variety of sources generate indoor allergens, and most can’t be eliminated. Appliances like stoves, water heaters and dryers produce gases and particles that set off allergies. Organic and chemical compounds are irritants commonly found in pesticides, air fresheners and common cleaning supplies. Mold in dirty ductwork and mildew in carpet padding produce spores that aggravate allergy symptoms. Before you throw plastic sheeting over everything in the house, consider three very workable strategies recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency.
1. Control Indoor Problems
Conquering pet hair requires more than giving Spot regular attention with the grooming brush. Dogs and cats constantly shed, so vacuum the house and furniture twice a week. Use HEPA vacuum bags to trap tiny dander particles and control other irritants like pollen, dust mites and mold spores. From interior hookups to exterior outlets, make sure all appliance ventilation is in good repair and tightly sealed. Regular HVAC inspections identify problems with moldy ductwork that needs professional attention, and steam cleaning works wonders on carpet. Keeping the house closed up blocks outdoor allergens, but you can still enjoy a fresh breeze by installing special window screen filters that reduce incoming problems.
2. Filter Out Allergens
Because allergens are microscopic in size, they ride the air flow through your home and pollute every room. Your HVAC system provides a perfect transportation system for these irritants, so it’s important to control their invisible traffic. AC filters trap dust and tiny particles, but they have to be changed out on a regular basis. When you set a new filter in place, mark the date on its frame as a quick, visual reminder. It might still look clean after a month’s use, but allergens are invisible, so go ahead with a replacement. Filter materials and designs vary from layered fiberglass and pleated polyester to high-end HEPA models. Your allergies will appreciate an investment in quality filters, but always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the packaging.
3. Adjust the Humidity
Indoor humidity affects your home’s comfort, but it also plays an important role in controlling indoor allergens. Mold and mildew grow rapidly in damp environments, and they thrive when interior air moisture levels climb to 60 percent. Low humidity discourages these pollutants, but it also aggravates sinuses and sensitive eyes. An indoor humidity of 30 to 50 percent keeps allergens under control while you stay comfortable. It’s easy to track moisture levels in your home with a humidity gauge. A vaporizer can raise the humidity in one room, but you might consider installing a whole-home humidifier that works with your HVAC system. It automatically regulates and monitors levels according to your preferences and settings.
Our Max Air professionals are happy to share home comfort strategies, and we answer questions about everything from germicidal UV lighting to ductwork repair. For more information about techniques that improve indoor air quality, talk with our HVAC experts at 817-459-4100 or 972-233-1637. You can also contact us through our convenient online form. We understand your concerns about maintaining a healthy environment at home, and we’re always here to help.