Indoor allergies are a typical 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 learn useful strategies 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. 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 including 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 strategies to reduce allergens is to improve ventilation. Proper inflow of fresh, outdoor air substantially decreases the quantity of allergens in your home. Here are some ventilation-increasing tricks to try:
- Open windows and doors when the weather allows.
- Run 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 stagnant indoor air with healthy outdoor air throughout the entire house.
Air Filtration and Purification Systems
Air filters and purifiers are made in numerous different styles. Some are designed to clean the air in one room, while others integrate with the HVAC system for healthier air throughout the entire house. They also remove allergens using several different methods:
- Filtration systems—like media filters, electrostatic filters and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters—capture airborne particles in tightly woven material, stopping them from circulating around the house.
- Germicidal UV lights deactivate the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other microbes, rendering them unable to replicate and reducing the circulation of germs throughout your home.
- Air purifiers with activated carbon filters get rid of odors and chemicals from the air, contributing to a clean, fresh-smelling household.
- Electronic air cleaners have negative ion generators that adhere to positively charged airborne particles. The particles then cling to charged metal plates or are too heavy to continue to be airborne. Those that drop onto the floor can be removed by dusting and vacuuming.
Keeping your home clean is a crucial step in reducing home allergens. Here are some recommended 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 do away with other lingering allergens.
- Utilize allergy-proof pillowcases and mattress covers to prevent dust mites from accumulating.
- Clean countertops, floors, furniture and other surfaces regularly.
- Keep pets out of your bedroom to minimize dander buildup in the place where you sleep.
- Reduce clutter and knickknacks, which collect dust and offer hiding places for allergens.
Controlling Humidity Levels
Maintaining the recommended humidity level is imperative for managing indoor allergens. High humidity supports mold growth and dust mite populations, while low humidity results in dry skin and unhealthy 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, contributing to indoor allergies. When choosing potted plants, opt for allergy-friendly varieties 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 helping our customers enjoy a healthy and comfortable home environment. 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.