Indoor allergies are a continual challenge for millions of people. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical part of controlling your allergies and creating a healthy, comfortable living environment. Here, you’ll discover useful information 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. These allergens cause allergic reactions. When allergens are present in the air, they can lead to 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 reduce the level of indoor allergens, improve indoor air quality and allow inhabitants to breathe easier.
Reducing Allergens Through Proper Ventilation
One of the most effective strategies to reduce allergens is to enhance ventilation. Appropriate inflow of fresh, outdoor air significantly decreases the number of allergens in your home. Here are some ventilation-increasing techniques to try:
- Open windows and doors when the weather makes it possible.
- Turn on exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen when showering or cooking to clear away heat, humidity and fumes.
- Purchase a whole-home ventilation system to evenly exchange stagnant indoor air with clean outdoor air throughout the entire house.
Air Filtration and Purification Systems
Air filters and purifiers are made in many different styles. Some are created to clean the air in a single room, while others integrate with the HVAC system for healthier air throughout the entire house. They also remove allergens using several different tactics:
- Filtration systems—including media filters, electrostatic filters and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters—capture airborne particles in tightly woven material, stopping them from circulating around the house.
- Germicidal UV lights deactivate the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other microbes, making them unable to duplicate and reducing the circulation of germs throughout your home.
- Air purifiers outfitted 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 are too heavy to continue to be airborne. Those that fall onto the floor can be eliminated by dusting and vacuuming.
Keeping your home clean is an essential step in reducing household allergens. Here are some suggested tips:
- Vacuum your home at least once per week with 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 weekly in hot water to kill dust mites and clean out other lingering allergens.
- Utilize allergy-proof pillowcases and mattress covers to prevent dust mites from accumulating.
- Clean countertops, floors, furniture and other areas frequently.
- Keep pets out of your bedroom to decrease dander buildup in the area where you sleep.
- Control clutter and knickknacks, which collect dust and create hiding places for allergens.
Controlling Humidity Levels
Maintaining the recommended humidity level is fundamental for managing 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 easiest way to do this is to run a whole-house humidifier during the dry winter and a whole-house dehumidifier throughout the humid summer.
Indoor Plants and Allergies
Indoor plants can enhance IAQ by filtering out toxins and delivering oxygen. However, some plants produce irritating pollen, and giving them too much water may stimulate mold growth, contributing to indoor allergies. When shopping for potted plants, opt for allergy-friendly species like spider plants, snake plants and bamboo palms, which help improve indoor air quality and are less likely to cause allergic reactions.
Indoor Air Quality Solutions in North America
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is dedicated to assisting our customers in creating a healthy and comfortable household. With our wealth of experience in indoor air quality solutions and your satisfaction guaranteed, we are the perfect partner to fulfill all your IAQ needs. Contact a Service Experts office near you today to discover more about how our services can help you achieve indoor allergy relief.