Allergy Prevention Starts With A Healthy Home

Allergy Prevention Starts With A Healthy HomeExposure to substances that trigger allergies can happen both outdoors and indoors. However, the concentration of airborne allergens may actually be higher in the tightly sealed, under-ventilated confines of today’s energy-efficient homes. Both inorganic particles and living microorganisms invisible to the naked eye are implicated in common allergic responses, such as respiratory distress, nasal congestion, irritated eyes, and more vague symptoms, such as fatigue and insomnia.

These are some of the usual suspects:

  • Dust. It’s actually a catch-all term that includes a constellation of allergens such as pet dander, dust mites, lint, and even skin flakes shed by humans. Dust components are buoyant enough to remain airborne most of the time and easily inhaled.
  • Microorganisms. Mold spores and pollen may enter by the millions when an exterior door or window is opened. Once inside, they continuously circulate in the air and cause allergies in susceptible individuals.
  • Chemical fumes. Building materials and products such as carpet may out-gas formaldehyde and other irritants. Even common household cleaning formulas may produce fumes that are allergenic.

To minimize indoor allergens, try these methods:

  • Change your HVAC system air filter monthly. A central system filter cleanses the entire circulating air volume of your home multiple times a day. Filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ranging from 8 to 12 balance optimum filtration efficiency with low airflow restriction.
  • Eliminate the sources. Mold needs moisture to thrive. Reduce damp areas in the home and ventilate zones like kitchens and bathrooms where humidity accumulates. Vacuum and dust regularly to remove spores and other allergens from surfaces.
  • Utilize individual room air cleaners. Incorporating high-efficiency HEPA filtration, these units are useful to target enclosed spaces like bedrooms where occupants remain for extended time spans.
  • Consider UV lamps. Installed in ductwork, germicidal ultraviolet lamps neutralize living microorganisms, such as mold spores and pollen that aren’t usually destroyed by simple mechanical filtration.

Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning has helped clear the air in Wabash Valley homes since 1922. Ask us about more ways to minimize allergies from indoor air pollution in your home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about allergy prevention and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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