For people who are sensitive to indoor allergens or have respiratory issues, the very thing that makes a home cozy and warm in the winter months can trigger physical symptoms and sometimes even severe allergic reactions.
Snuggling up with a cozy blanket while your home blocks out the cold outside air and seals in the heat is a warm and comfortable feeling. However, indoor air quality tends to be worse in the winter months because there is often no flow of fresh air from the outside. Airborne particles and allergens stay trapped inside. Indoor air and heating systems can stir up and even increase the number of allergens in the home. Dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores can be circulating through your house at any given moment.
These allergens are odorless so in many cases there’s nothing to alert you that the air quality is poor until physical symptoms begin. For those who live in cold climates, suffer from seasonal allergies, or who live in areas where outside air quality is compromised, simply opening the windows to let fresh air in, isn’t always a viable solution.
What can homeowners do to generate good indoor air quality and ensure the comfort and general well-being of themselves and their families?
While it’s probably not possible to eliminate 100% of the allergens inside your home, you can dramatically reduce your exposure to them. Here are some simple strategies you can use to drastically improve the air quality inside your home.
Change Your Air Filters
As a general rule, you’ll want to replace pleated air filters and furnace filters in your home every 90 days. The longer the filter is in place, the more dirt, dust, and allergens are trapped, clogging the filter and decreasing its efficiency. If you or your loved one suffers from allergies, you may want to consider changing them more often than that.
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA), “indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor air quality. Outdoor air can contain harmful pollution. But indoor air can actually be worse than outdoor air. When you’re managing asthma and allergies, you should take steps to make sure your indoor air quality is healthy.”
An asthmatic or allergy sufferer is much more sensitive to airborne particulates. You’ll want to change your filter often to keep your indoor air quality at its best.
Clean and Seal Your Air Ducts
Consider having your air ducts cleaned regularly to remove trapped dust rather than having it recirculated through your home when the heat or air conditioning is running. Not only do unsealed or poorly sealed air ducts lead to inefficiencies in your HVAC system, but they can also contribute to poor indoor air quality. Pollutants can enter your ductwork via weak seals.
Invest in an Air Purifier
For people with allergies, tiny air pollutants and microscopic allergens can cause frequent, and sometimes even severe allergic reactions. Many of these particles are so small that they can’t even be seen with the naked eye. However, it’s possible to extract a lot of these irritants from the air by using an air purifier. These machines are designed to take in air, run it through a filtration process, and release it back into the room.
If you’re allergic to something in your home and can’t bear the thought of removing the source (your beloved pet, for example), an air purifier may be the solution you can all live with. Though an air purifier may not be able to pick up all the microscopic allergens, when placed in the most used areas of the house, these devices will dramatically reduce the number of them.
You should see a quick improvement in allergy symptoms after adding an air purifier to your home, providing it has a HEPA filter. A HEPA filter can remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns (0.0000118”) and up. In addition to removing pet dander, a HEPA air purifier can also reduce bacteria, mold, dust, and smoke from the air.
Consider a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers offer a lot of value in damp areas, such as a basement. They remove moisture which helps to prevent the growth of mold. Ensure that bathrooms, another potential source of mold, are well ventilated as well and scrub off any visible mold that collects in the shower, on fixtures, or walls.
Keep Your Home Clean
A clean home is a healthier home because a clean home means less dust and animal dander. Vacuuming your carpets or area rugs at least once a week with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter is strongly recommended. Regular cleaning of bedding is also a good idea. This is especially important if you have pets who sleep with you. You may also want to consider using a dust-mite proof cover on pillows as well as mattresses whenever possible. Clearing your house of clutter is also helpful because clutter tends to attract and trap dust.
Gervais Mechanical Can Help Provide Clean Air for Your Home
Good indoor air quality is vital to overall health. Poor indoor air quality can be harmful to those with ongoing respiratory issues, like asthma, COPD, and persistent allergies. Some who don’t even realize they suffer from allergies, may experience physical maladies, and not realize they are related to poor indoor air quality.
Gervais Mechanical Services knows the importance of healthy air, which is why we offer several proven clean air solutions and products. From duct cleaning and sealing to new air filters and air purifiers, we are committed to keeping your home safe and healthy.
Contact us today for more information.
Questions? Contact Us.
"*" indicates required fields