Indoor allergies are a typical problem for millions of people. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a crucial part of reducing symptoms of your allergies and ensuring a healthy, comfortable living environment. Here, you’ll discover useful insight on how to improve IAQ for indoor allergy relief.
Understanding Indoor Allergies
Household 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 issues. Ventilation, air filtration, cleaning and other proactive actions are needed to minimize the amount of indoor allergens, improve indoor air quality and allow inhabitants to breathe easier.
Reducing Allergens Through Proper Ventilation
One of the best strategies to reduce allergens is to increase ventilation. Proper inflow of fresh, outdoor air dramatically decreases the amount of allergens in your home. Here are some ventilation-increasing steps to try:
- Open windows and doors when the weather makes it possible.
- Use exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen when showering or cooking to clear away heat, humidity and fumes.
- Buy a whole-home ventilation system to evenly exchange stagnant indoor air with clean outdoor air across the entire house.
Air Filtration and Purification Systems
Air filters and purifiers are available in a number of different styles. Some are developed to clean the air in a single room, while others work with the HVAC system for healthier air throughout the house. They also remove allergens using a variety of tactics:
- Filtration systems—like media filters, electrostatic filters and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters—capture airborne particles in tightly woven material, preventing them from moving throughout the house.
- Germicidal UV lights deactivate the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other microbes, rendering them unable to reproduce and reducing the distribution of germs throughout your home.
- Air purifiers that use activated carbon filters remove odors and chemicals from the air, helping produce a clean, fresh-smelling interior.
- Electronic air cleaners possess negative ion generators that bind with positively charged airborne particles. The particles then cling to charged metal plates or are too heavy to remain airborne. Those that fall onto furniture can be eliminated by dusting and vacuuming.
Keeping your home clean is a crucial step in limiting home allergens. Here are some recommended steps:
- Vacuum your home at least once a week using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter to remove dust mites and other irritants 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 destroy 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 surfaces frequently.
- Keep pets out of your bedroom to reduce dander buildup in the place where you sleep.
- Limit clutter and knickknacks, which collect dust and provide hiding places for allergens.
Controlling Humidity Levels
Maintaining the ideal humidity level is vital for controlling indoor allergens. High humidity encourages mold growth and dust mite populations, while low humidity contributes to dry skin and irritated airways. The goal should be to achieve an indoor relative humidity level from 30-50 percent. The simplest way to do this is to run a whole-house humidifier through 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 overwatering them may stimulate mold growth, aggravating indoor allergies. When selecting potted plants, opt for allergy-friendly types 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 devoted to assisting our customers in creating a healthy and comfortable household. With our technical know-how in indoor air quality solutions and your satisfaction guaranteed, we are a great partner to fulfill all your IAQ desires. Contact a Service Experts office near you today to learn more about how our services can help you attain indoor allergy relief.