If you suffer from allergies, seasonal changes can be a bad time. Suddenly, fall allergies you forgot you had will reappear, making you and other vulnerable family members miserable. The problem is exacerbated by the airtightness of many modern homes. They’re built to intentionally keep warm air from escaping in the winter and from infiltrating inside in the summer. However, this has the unfortunate side effect of trapping dirty, allergen-filled air in the house.
However, don’t despair. There are effective strategies for protecting indoor air quality as well as your health. Try some of the following:
- Keep allergens outside. Close windows and doors during days when allergen levels are high in the outside air. Brush pets before they come inside, and take off your shoes and outerwear upon entering the house and leave these items by the door.
- Clean the house frequently, and make sure you wash bedding at least weekly. Store unused clothing in plastic boxes or bags. Try to limit the display of knick-knacks, trophies, picture frames, etc., since these are notorious dust collectors, and household dust is full of allergens.
- Change the air filter in your furnace or heat pump regularly to preserve indoor air quality. Inspect it once a month and change it when it looks clogged or dirty.
- Your home should have effective mechanical ventilation to ensure a regular exchange of fresh outside air with stale indoor air. Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom, and leave them on for 10 or 15 minutes after you’re finished in that room. If ventilation is pulling more allergens inside, consider a whole-house air purifying system that works in tandem with your forced-air HVAC system.
- Control moisture levels in your home, since unusual humidity levels inside, either too high or too low, can create a welcoming atmosphere for allergens. A whole-house humidifier can help counter the adverse effects of dry indoor air in the winter.
For more advice on improving indoor air quality during the fall allergy season, please contact us at Air Assurance, providing quality HVAC and air quality services in the Broken Arrow area since 1985.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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