Indoor allergies are a typical challenge for millions of people. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a very important part of reducing symptoms of your allergies and ensuring a healthy, comfortable living environment. Here, you’ll discover 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 inside the house. These allergens trigger 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 difficulties. Ventilation, air filtration, cleaning and other proactive measures are necessary 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 methods to reduce allergens is to improve ventilation. Appropriate inflow of fresh, outdoor air dramatically decreases the amount of allergens in your home. Here are some ventilation-increasing tricks to try:
- Open windows and doors when the weather permits.
- Turn on exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen when showering or cooking to remove heat, humidity and fumes.
- Install 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 many 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 house. They also remove allergens using numerous tactics:
- Filtration systems—such as media filters, electrostatic filters and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters—capture airborne particles in tightly woven material, blocking them from moving throughout the house.
- Germicidal UV lights deactivate the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other microbes, making them unable to replicate and reducing the spread of germs throughout your home.
- Air purifiers with activated carbon filters remove odors and chemicals from the air, contributing to a clean, fresh-smelling interior.
- Electronic air cleaners have negative ion generators that adhere to positively charged airborne particles. The particles then cling to charged metal plates or become too heavy to stay airborne. Those that fall onto household surfaces can be eliminated by dusting and vacuuming.
Keeping your home clean is a crucial step in decreasing indoor allergens. Here are some good tips:
- Vacuum your home at least every 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 every seven days in hot water to destroy dust mites and clean out 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 minimize dander buildup in the room 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 controlling indoor allergens. High humidity encourages mold growth and dust mite populations, while low humidity results in 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 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 delivering oxygen. However, some plants produce irritating pollen, and overwatering them may stimulate mold growth, adding to indoor allergies. When selecting potted plants, opt for allergy-friendly species 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 dedicated 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 desires. Contact a Service Experts office near you today to learn more about how our services can help you find indoor allergy relief.