Indoor allergies are a typical condition for millions of people. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical part of controlling your allergies and being able to reside in a healthy, comfortable living environment. Here, you’ll discover valuable insight on how to improve IAQ for indoor allergy relief.
Understanding Indoor Allergies
Inside 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 inside the house. These allergens cause allergic reactions. When allergens are present in the air, they can induce 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 actions are essential to reduce the level of indoor allergens, improve indoor air quality and allow inhabitants to breathe easier.
Reducing Allergens Through Proper Ventilation
One of the best techniques to reduce allergens is to improve ventilation. Proper inflow of fresh, outdoor air considerably decreases the amount of allergens in your home. Here are some ventilation-increasing techniques to try:
- Open windows and doors when the weather permits.
- Use exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen when showering or cooking to clear away heat, humidity and fumes.
- Buy a whole-home ventilation system to evenly exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air through the entire house.
Air Filtration and Purification Systems
Air filters and purifiers are made in a number of different styles. Some are designed to clean the air in an individual room, while others operate in conjunction with the HVAC system for healthier air throughout the entire house. They also clear away allergens using numerous techniques:
- Filtration systems—like media filters, electrostatic filters and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters—capture airborne particles in tightly woven material, preventing them from circulating through the house.
- Germicidal UV lights deactivate the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other microbes, rendering them unable to duplicate and reducing the spread of germs throughout your home.
- Air purifiers that use activated carbon filters get rid of odors and chemicals from the air, contributing to a clean, fresh-smelling interior.
- Electronic air cleaners contain negative ion generators that bind with positively charged airborne particles. The particles then cling to charged metal plates or are too heavy to stay airborne. Those that descend onto furniture can be eliminated by dusting and vacuuming.
Keeping your home clean is a huge step in reducing indoor allergens. Here are some good recommendations:
- Vacuum your home at least once per week utilizing a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove dust mites and other allergens from carpets and upholstery.
- Choose hypoallergenic bedding, such as organic cotton, bamboo or silk, which is naturally allergen-resistant.
- Wash your bedding once a week in hot water to destroy dust mites and do away with other lingering allergens.
- Choose allergy-proof pillowcases and mattress covers to prevent dust mites from accumulating.
- Clean countertops, floors, furniture and other hard surfaces frequently.
- Keep pets out of your bedroom to reduce dander buildup in the area where you sleep.
- Control clutter and knickknacks, which collect dust and provide hiding places for allergens.
Controlling Humidity Levels
Maintaining the correct humidity level is fundamental for dealing with indoor allergens. High humidity supports mold growth and dust mite populations, while low humidity leads to dry skin and inflamed airways. Aim to maintain an indoor relative humidity level between 30-50 percent. The simplest way to do this is to run a whole-house humidifier in the dry winter and a whole-house dehumidifier throughout the humid summer.
Indoor Plants and Allergies
Indoor plants can increase IAQ by filtering out toxins and discharging oxygen. However, some plants produce irritating pollen, and watering them too often may encourage mold growth, aggravating indoor allergies. When selecting potted plants, opt for allergy-friendly varieties like spider plants, snake plants and bamboo palms, which help increase indoor air quality and are less likely to cause allergic reactions.
Indoor Air Quality Solutions in North America
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is devoted to helping our customers enjoy a healthy and comfortable home environment. With our expertise in indoor air quality solutions and your satisfaction guaranteed, we are the ideal partner to fulfill all your IAQ needs. Contact a Service Experts office near you today to learn more about how our services can help you achieve indoor allergy relief.