Survive Allergy Season With Better Indoor Air Quality

November 15, 2017

Allergens Inside Your Home

The changing of the seasons can bring suffering for individuals with allergies. The indoor air quality in your home plays a major role in whether or not the symptoms of those allergies will be severe or mild. Here are some ways you can improve your indoor air quality and keep fall allergies under control.

Common Allergy Triggers Found Inside

Dust Mites

These tiny critters feed on flakes of skin and tend to roam on bed linens, although they're also found in other parts of your home. Frequently? using a vacuum with a HEPA filter and washing bed linens regularly helps reduce dust mite numbers.

Pet Dander

Dogs and cats shed dander that can cause allergic reactions. While some people are ok around certain breeds that produce less dander, others can experience strong allergic reactions around any type of dog or cat. Regular grooming, along with vacuuming, helps reduce the amount of dander in your home.

Mold

Mold is most common in the basements of Des Moines homes, since it thrives in areas that are dark and damp. Running a dehumidifier in your basement can help prevent mold from growing.

Pollen

Pollen can collect on your shoes and clothing as you walk around outdoors. Change them when you get inside to avoid spreading pollen throughout your home. Running your air conditioning and keeping your windows closed can also help keep pollen outside.

Get Rid of Allergens by Upgrading Your Indoor Air Quality

Airborne pollutants in your home can contribute to significant discomfort, from allergy and asthma attacks to irritation of eyes, noses, and throats. By taking steps to control and reduce these pollutants, you'll make your indoor air cleaner and your living areas more comfortable.

Remove the Sources of Pollutants

The fewer pollutant-producing sources in your home, the fewer unpleasant odors and materials will end up in your indoor air. Clean and dust your home regularly, along with regular vacuuming of rugs and carpets. Put strong-smelling materials such as solvents, cleaners, or paints in tightly sealed containers. Avoid burning candles or smoking tobacco inside your home.

Maximize Ventilation and Air Circulation

Increasing natural or mechanical ventilation in your home will improve air circulation and remove pollutants from your indoor air by bringing in a constant supply of fresh air. Mechanical ventilation systems, such as whole-house ventilators, can be used to remove stale air and filter all the air in your house in all seasons while keeping your indoor temperatures consistent.

Change HVAC Air Filters

The air filters in your heating and cooling systems are among the more important lines of defense against indoor allergens and airborne contaminants. These filters remove particulates such as dust, pollen, dander and mold from the air moving through your HVAC system. Since air is constantly circulating in and out of these systems, the air filters will have the opportunity to clean your air multiple times each day. You should check filters every month and change them when they get dirty or clogged.

Install Air Cleaning and Filtration Systems

Consider putting in an air filtration or cleaning system alongside your HVAC equipment. These devices use higher-quality filters and can be extremely effective at pulling pollutants and particulates out of your home's indoor air.<;p>

The effectiveness of an air filter is measured by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV rating. A residential HVAC system can take filters rated up to 12, which is enough to keep the unit free of dust and contaminants, but there are a lot of smaller particles that it can’t capture. To get those, you’ll need an air cleaner.

To get that extra protection, you’ll need a separate air cleaner that’s designed for higher-rated filters that are too thick to fit in a standard HVAC system. Filters with MERV ratings between 12 and 20 can remove the smallest particles, which include bacteria, viruses and cigarette smoke. With the additional protection in your home, you’ll be able to breathe easier and keep your allergies under control.

For more advice on improving your indoor air quality and minimizing the allergens indoors, please contact Lozier Heating and Cooling. Our company has been providing reliable HVAC service in the Des Moines area for more than 100 years. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).