Indoor allergies are a common challenge 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 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 the house. These allergens trigger 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 actions are essential to decrease the amount of indoor allergens, improve indoor air quality and allow inhabitants to breathe easier.
Reducing Allergens Through Proper Ventilation
One of the most reliable methods to reduce allergens is to enhance ventilation. Appropriate inflow of fresh, outdoor air significantly decreases the quantity of allergens in your home. Here are some ventilation-increasing tricks to try:
- Open windows and doors when the weather allows.
- Turn on exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen when showering or cooking to remove heat, humidity and fumes.
- Purchase 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 available in a number of different styles. Some are created to clean the air in an individual room, while others work with the HVAC system for healthier air throughout the house. They also eliminate allergens using a variety of methods:
- Filtration systems—like media filters, electrostatic filters and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters—capture airborne particles in tightly woven material, preventing them from swirling through the house.
- Germicidal UV lights deactivate the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other microbes, leaving them unable to reproduce and reducing the distribution of germs throughout your home.
- Air purifiers with activated carbon filters eliminate odors and chemicals from the air, resulting in a clean, fresh-smelling household.
- Electronic air cleaners contain negative ion generators that bond 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 furniture can be cleaned up by dusting and vacuuming.
Keeping your home clean is a crucial step in decreasing indoor allergens. Here are some recommended steps:
- Vacuum your home at least once per week utilizing a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter to remove dust mites and other contaminants 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 kill dust mites and do away with other lingering allergens.
- Choose allergy-proof pillowcases and mattress covers to stop dust mites from accumulating.
- Clean countertops, floors, furniture and other areas frequently.
- Keep pets out of your bedroom to decrease dander buildup in the room where you sleep.
- Reduce clutter and knickknacks, which collect dust and provide 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 results in dry skin and unhealthy airways. The goal should be to achieve an indoor relative humidity level from 30-50 percent. The quickest 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 enhance 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 choosing 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 a great 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.