Many people who battle allergies on a seasonal basis think of their homes as sanctuaries where they can seek respite from their symptoms. Often, this is not actually the case. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified poor indoor air quality as a serious health risk for Americans. The average home has allergens, contaminants and pollutants from both outdoor and indoor sources that can trigger allergies and worsen symptoms. There are, however, steps you can take to change this.

Ensure Optimal Ventilation

The first step is to ensure that your home has adequate ventilation. Due to advancements in construction, new homes tend to be well-sealed. If the ventilation is inadequate, allergens, contaminants and pollutants can persist in the home at highly concentrated levels. Older homes are at less risk of these elevated levels. However, older homes are more susceptible to pollen and other allergens from outside sources. Have your home ventilation assessed and perhaps even a home energy audit performed. Schedule AC maintenance on a seasonal basis and duct cleaning every several years or so, and ensure that your air filters are changed as needed, which can vary from home to home.

Allergen-Proof Your Home

Your next goal should be to make your home as free of allergens as possible. Some changes can be made immediately. Other changes can be long-term goals. Many allergy experts, for instance, recommend hardwood floors over wall-to-wall carpeting, which is not a change most people can make overnight. On the other hand, it is quite simple to encase your box spring, mattress and pillows with allergen-resistant coverings, which many experts agree is the biggest positive change allergy sufferers can make.

Clean the Air to Remove Contaminants

Your indoor air is a product of the air outside your doors. In other words, if you live in an area where air pollution is high—because you live on a busy road, for instance—that pollution level is the best you can expect. In fact, it will only get worse indoors, and this is true for allergens, contaminants and so forth as well. If you want levels indoors to be lower, you have to invest in some form of air cleaning. There are sophisticated whole-home solutions that can be integrated into your HVAC system, but there are also portable units that are effective and which you can take with you into whichever room you are using.

Vacuum and Dust Twice a Week

Vacuum and dust at least two times a week, and if you can manage, do it more often. Daily dusting may seem like overkill, but it can make a big difference for the allergy suffer who is particularly sensitive. Dust from the top of the room to the bottom. Use microfiber or a similar material that traps the dust rather than disperses it. Once you finish dusting, vacuum the room, and many experts recommend using a vacuum with a HEPA air filter. Controlling dust is essential because dust is not just an allergen; it is a conglomeration of many different allergens.

Avoid Introducing Allergens

Many people unwittingly introduce allergens into their home air. Consider houseplants, which are usual suspects in this regard. Houseplants are rather easy for the average person to overwater. That excess moisture leads to mold, which may not be particularly problematic for the houseplant but leads to mold spores that are distributed throughout the home and exacerbate your allergy symptoms.

Avoid or at Least Limit Pet Dander

Many people with allergies are advised not to have pets with fur or feathers. Some people learn after the fact or are simply willing to take on that challenge. Regardless, you have to limit dander. That begins with keeping the pet well-groomed, cleaning its bedding and toys regularly and frequently dusting and vacuuming. You may also want to keep them out of your bedroom in addition to one or more rooms that you select as allergen-free sanctuaries.

Your Local Indoor Air Quality Specialists

Island Heating & Air Conditioning is proud to serve Oak Harbor and the surrounding areas, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. That guarantee extends to all the heating and cooling installation, repair, and maintenance services we offer. We also offer air purifiers that can eliminate the bacteria, viruses, pollen and more than can aggravate your allergies. Call Island Heating & Air Conditioning today with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment!

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July 14, 2020 3:14 pm