Make Your Home an Allergy-Free Zone
It’s that time of year when your car will begin to turn yellowish green, and if you suffer from seasonal allergies, your eyes will start to itch. You come home feeling stuffy and itchy and even at home you don’t seem to get relief. What can you do to reduce allergens in your home to improve your reaction to the increase in pollen?
Simple first steps
- The simplest solution is to leave your windows closed. On a cool evening the breeze may feel nice, but you’ll pay for it in stuffiness and watery eyes. Let your air conditioner save you from the outdoor pollen invading your indoor space.
- Shower before bed so the pollen in your hair doesn’t spread onto your pillow.
- Regularly washing stuffed toys can be very helpful for children with allergies.
- Don't forget about indoor allergens. Mold, dust and pets can all cause similar symptoms for those with reactions to indoor allergens. Dehumidifiers and air filters can help limit these issues as well as clean the air.
The first line of defense against indoor allergens is regular filter maintenance. Your air handler has a media filter that is designed to catch debris like dust and pet hair. As the filter accumulates more debris, it does a better job of stopping additional debris, but it also starts to restrict airflow. Restricted airflow from a dirty filter is a major cause of poor equipment performance and/or equipment failure. To get the most from your filter, you want to run the fan in the “ON” position. This will constantly circulate the air through the filter, not just when the system is heating or cooling.
Beware before you go and buy those allergy filters at your local home center. These are too tightly woven for the duct work for most houses in the DC area. They work like placing a piece of plywood in your ductwork. White it's true that no allergens will penetrate, neither will any air!
Check with your tax preparer to determine if there are any tax breaks available with a prescription from your doctor indicating a need for indoor air quality products.
If you want to add an air cleaner or more robust filter, consult a Climate technician and we can adjust the design of your ductwork to allow for better airflow and high-level filtering.
If regular filter maintenance and improved filtering is not enough to improve your allergy situation, consider duct cleaning. This can be especially effective if you have severe pet allergies and you moved into a house that was the home to many furry friends.