Indoor allergies are a common condition for millions of people. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical part of controlling your allergies and creating a healthy, comfortable living environment. Here, you’ll learn valuable strategies on how to improve IAQ for indoor allergy relief.
Understanding Indoor Allergies
Indoor 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 into your home. These particles cause allergic reactions. When allergens are present in the air, they can induce symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and more severe issues such as asthma attacks and other breathing problems. Ventilation, air filtration, cleaning and other proactive measures are essential to decrease the level of indoor allergens, improve indoor air quality and allow inhabitants to breathe easier.
Reducing Allergens Through Proper Ventilation
One of the best techniques to reduce allergens is to improve ventilation. Adequate inflow of fresh, outdoor air dramatically decreases the number of allergens in your home. Here are some ventilation-increasing steps to try:
- Open windows and doors when the weather allows.
- Turn on 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 stuffy indoor air with clean outdoor air through the entire house.
Air Filtration and Purification Systems
Air filters and purifiers are available in numerous different styles. Some are designed to clean the air in an individual room, while others integrate with the HVAC system for healthier air throughout the entire house. They also remove allergens using a variety of techniques:
- Filtration systems—like media filters, electrostatic filters and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters—capture airborne particles in tightly woven material, blocking them from circulating throughout the house.
- Germicidal UV lights deactivate the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other microbes, rendering them unable to duplicate and reducing the circulation of germs throughout your home.
- Air purifiers outfitted with activated carbon filters get rid of odors and chemicals from the air, resulting in a clean, fresh-smelling household.
- Electronic air cleaners contain negative ion generators that bind with positively charged airborne particles. The particles then cling to charged metal plates or are too heavy to stay airborne. Those that drop onto the floor can be eliminated by dusting and vacuuming.
Keeping your home clean is an essential step in lowering indoor 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 every seven days in hot water to eliminate dust mites and remove other lingering allergens.
- Utilize allergy-proof pillowcases and mattress covers to deter dust mites from accumulating.
- Clean countertops, floors, furniture and other areas 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 create hiding places for allergens.
Controlling Humidity Levels
Maintaining the recommended humidity level is imperative for managing indoor allergens. High humidity fosters mold growth and dust mite populations, while low humidity leads to dry skin and irritated airways. Aim to maintain an indoor relative humidity level from 30-50 percent. The quickest way to do this is to operate a whole-house humidifier through the dry winter and a whole-house dehumidifier throughout the humid summer.
Indoor Plants and Allergies
Indoor plants can improve IAQ by filtering out toxins and releasing oxygen. However, some plants produce irritating pollen, and giving them too much water may foster mold growth, adding to indoor allergies. When choosing potted plants, opt for allergy-friendly types like spider plants, snake plants and bamboo palms, which help increase indoor air quality and are not as likely to cause allergic reactions.
Indoor Air Quality Solutions in North America
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is committed 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 the perfect partner to fulfill all your IAQ requirements. Contact a Service Experts office near you today to discover more about how our services can help you achieve indoor allergy relief.