19 Sep Seven Tips for Reducing Allergies In Your Home
Along with thunderstorms and wild temperature swings, spring and summer bring pollen and allergies to Raleigh, NC. For some allergy sufferers, itchy eyes and runny noses are as common inside the home as they are outdoors. The key to easing allergy symptoms is to reduce the presence of indoor allergens.
We have compiled a list of seven tips for fighting indoor allergies and making your home comfortable for allergy sufferers.
As many as 40% of all homes have the presence of an indoor health hazard. Mold is one of the most prevalent indoor health hazards and the source of aggravation for many allergy sufferers.
The key to preventing the development of harmful mold is in-home dehumidification. One of the main functions of your heating and air conditioning system is dehumidification; however, your HVAC can struggle to meet the demands of humid North Carolina summers.
Mold develops and thrives in areas of your home where moisture is allowed to accumulate. A few ways you can reduce moisture in your home include:
- Whole Home Dehumidification: Taking the burden away from your HVAC system, whole-home dehumidification systems are the most effective way to reduce moisture.
- Dehumidify Problem Areas: In basements, utility rooms, and other areas of your home where moisture is likely to accumulate, use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture. Additionally, use the bathroom fan during and after showering to prevent moisture from being trapped when your HVAC system is not running.
- Use Your Air Conditioner: Spring and early summer can be a time to reduce energy usage by opening windows to cool your home. Make sure to balance opening windows with using your HVAC system, especially on humid days; otherwise, moisture may be building up in your home.
2) Close Your Windows
Open windows invite pollen indoors. Avoid opening your windows on windy days. Additionally, besides dehumidification, your HVAC system also removes dirty air from your home while supplying you with clean, filtered air. Closing your windows and running the air conditioning will help clean the air of pollen and dust particles.
3) Change Your Air Filters
Air filters are the first line of defense against pollen and dust entering your home. Traditional fiberglass filters should be checked at least monthly and changed as often as they are dirty. Pleated filters may last up to six months, and are five times more effective at trapping dirt and debris than fiberglass filters.
4) Consider a Whole-House Air Filtration System
Air purifiers, such as Trane’s Clean Effects system, can remove as much as 99.98% of all dust and debris from your home’s air. For allergy sufferers, these systems can help make the home a safe haven from persistent itchy eyes and runny noses.
5) Vacuum Carpets Regularly
Even if carpets appear clean, they can harbor allergy inducing dusts and pollens. During spring and summer, homes with allergy sufferers may require vacuuming as often as daily. If allergies are a consistent problem in your home, it is worth considering replacing carpeted areas hardwood or laminate flooring.
6) Brush Pets Outside
Even hypo-allergenic dogs can carry pollen and dust in their fur. To reduce the amount of dust and pollen brought indoors, brush your pets outside. Similarly, require family members and guests to remove their shoes before walking through your home.
7) Make Sure Your HVAC System is Well Maintained
As mentioned before, your air conditioning system supplies your home with new, filtered air, while removing the old, dirty air. Regular, proper maintenance is key to ensuring that your HVAC system is performing optimally. Before summer, check your outdoor unit for leaks, make sure it has adequate clearance (two feet on either side), and change your air filters. We have written in more detail about HVAC maintenance here.
Click here links for additional resources regarding whole house dehumidification or air purification systems.