Indoor allergies are a continual challenge for millions of people. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical part of managing your allergies and creating a healthy, comfortable living environment. Here, you’ll find invaluable insight on how to improve IAQ for indoor allergy relief.
Understanding Indoor Allergies
Indoor allergens include dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, tobacco smoke, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bacteria and viruses, as well as pollen that makes its way into your home. These allergens cause allergic reactions. When allergens are present in the air, they can result in symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and more severe issues including asthma attacks and other breathing problems. Ventilation, air filtration, cleaning and other proactive steps are needed to decrease the amount of indoor allergens, improve indoor air quality and allow inhabitants to breathe easier.
Reducing Allergens Through Proper Ventilation
One of the most reliable strategies to reduce allergens is to increase ventilation. Adequate inflow of fresh, outdoor air dramatically decreases the amount of allergens in your home. Here are some ventilation-increasing steps to try:
- Open windows and doors when the weather permits.
- Turn on exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen when showering or cooking to release heat, humidity and fumes.
- Install a whole-home ventilation system to evenly exchange stuffy indoor air with healthy outdoor air through the entire house.
Air Filtration and Purification Systems
Air filters and purifiers come in a number of different styles. Some are developed to clean the air in an individual room, while others work with the HVAC system for healthier air throughout the entire house. They also clear away allergens using several different methods:
- Filtration systems—like media filters, electrostatic filters and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters—capture airborne particles in tightly woven material, preventing them from moving throughout the house.
- Germicidal UV lights deactivate the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other microbes, leaving them unable to duplicate and reducing the spread of germs throughout your home.
- Air purifiers with activated carbon filters remove odors and chemicals from the air, helping produce a clean, fresh-smelling house.
- Electronic air cleaners contain negative ion generators that bind with positively charged airborne particles. The particles then cling to charged metal plates or grow too heavy to stay airborne. Those that descend onto furniture can be cleaned up by dusting and vacuuming.
Keeping your home clean is an essential step in limiting household allergens. Here are some good recommendations:
- Vacuum your home at least once a week using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter to remove dust mites and other irritants from carpets and upholstery.
- Choose hypoallergenic bedding, such as organic cotton, bamboo or silk, which is naturally allergen-resistant.
- Wash your bedding weekly in hot water to destroy dust mites and clean out other lingering allergens.
- Use allergy-proof pillowcases and mattress covers to prevent dust mites from accumulating.
- Clean countertops, floors, furniture and other surfaces on a regular basis.
- Keep pets out of your bedroom to reduce dander buildup in the room where you sleep.
- Limit clutter and knickknacks, which collect dust and offer hiding places for allergens.
Controlling Humidity Levels
Maintaining the appropriate humidity level is imperative for controlling indoor allergens. High humidity supports mold growth and dust mite populations, while low humidity results in dry skin and irritated airways. Shoot for an indoor relative humidity level ranging from 30-50 percent. The quickest way to do this is to operate a whole-house humidifier through the dry winter and a whole-house dehumidifier throughout the humid summer.
Indoor Plants and Allergies
Indoor plants can improve IAQ by filtering out toxins and discharging oxygen. However, some plants produce irritating pollen, and watering them too often may stimulate mold growth, contributing to indoor allergies. When selecting potted plants, opt for allergy-friendly species like spider plants, snake plants and bamboo palms, which help raise indoor air quality and are not as likely to cause allergic reactions.
Indoor Air Quality Solutions in North America
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is devoted to creating a healthy and comfortable home environment for our customers. With our wealth of experience in indoor air quality solutions and your satisfaction guaranteed, we are a great partner to fulfill all your IAQ desires. Contact a Service Experts office near you today to learn more about how our services can help you attain indoor allergy relief.