Indoor allergies are a continual challenge for millions of people. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical part of managing 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. These contaminants cause allergic reactions. When allergens are present in the air, they can induce symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and more severe issues like asthma attacks and other breathing problems. Ventilation, air filtration, cleaning and other proactive steps are essential to minimize the concentration of indoor allergens, improve indoor air quality and allow inhabitants to breathe easier.
Reducing Allergens Through Proper Ventilation
One of the most effective techniques to reduce allergens is to improve 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 permits.
- Use exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen when showering or cooking to release heat, humidity and fumes.
- Install a whole-home ventilation system to evenly exchange stale indoor air with clean outdoor air throughout the entire house.
Air Filtration and Purification Systems
Air filters and purifiers are available in numerous different styles. Some are created to clean the air in one room, while others integrate with the HVAC system for healthier air throughout the entire house. They also clear away allergens using a variety of techniques:
- Filtration systems—such as media filters, electrostatic filters and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters—capture airborne particles in tightly woven material, stopping them from swirling through the house.
- Germicidal UV lights deactivate the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other microbes, leaving them unable to replicate and reducing the circulation of germs throughout your home.
- Air purifiers with activated carbon filters eliminate odors and chemicals from the air, resulting in 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 become too heavy to remain airborne. Those that descend onto the floor can be removed by dusting and vacuuming.
Keeping your home clean is an essential step in reducing indoor allergens. Here are some good recommendations:
- Vacuum your home at least once a week using 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 every seven days in hot water to kill dust mites and clean out other lingering allergens.
- Utilize allergy-proof pillowcases and mattress covers to stop dust mites from accumulating.
- Clean countertops, floors, furniture and other areas on a regular basis.
- Keep pets out of your bedroom to decrease dander buildup in the area where you sleep.
- Control 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 fosters mold growth and dust mite populations, while low humidity leads to dry skin and unhealthy airways. Shoot for an indoor relative humidity level between 30-50 percent. The quickest way to do this is to use 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 releasing oxygen. However, some plants produce irritating pollen, and giving them too much water may stimulate mold growth, aggravating indoor allergies. When shopping for potted plants, opt for allergy-friendly types like spider plants, snake plants and bamboo palms, which help improve indoor air quality and are unlikely to cause allergic reactions.
Indoor Air Quality Solutions in North America
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is dedicated to creating a healthy and comfortable home environment for our customers. With our technical know-how 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 learn more about how our services can help you find indoor allergy relief.