When pollen and seasonal allergens start popping up outdoors, people seek refuge inside. They may not know it, but they could be trapping themselves inside with even worse allergy and asthma triggers. Just like with allergens outdoors, microscopic triggers, such as dust mites and pet dander, can hang in the air inside your home, settling on furniture and other surfaces.
Before you begin to panic about what you can’t see, our HVAC company has some simple tips to help reduce those pesky allergy and asthma triggers.
Get A Handle On Dust
It’s practically impossible to eliminate dust completely, but staying one step ahead of it can help reduce allergy triggers or asthma attacks. While dust can make us sneezy, the real culprit is dust mites. Dust mites are microscopic creatures that feed on the dead skin cells that we naturally lose every day. They burrow into furniture, bedding, carpeting, rugs, and stuffed animals.
The best way to fight dust mites is to eliminate them at the source. Vacuum and mop floors frequently. Wash bed sheets in hot water weekly and use zippered mattress and pillow coverings to keep dust mites out. Use a wet cloth when dusting to ensure that dust gets trapped, and make sure that you’re dusting areas such as blinds, furniture crevices, and other places where dust can accumulate. When possible, avoid carpeting in your home and regularly wash stuffed animals.
Limit Exposure To Triggers
Firsthand and secondhand smoke is a noteworthy factor in allergy and asthma attacks. Avoiding rooms where there is smoke, even from cooking, should be a priority. While you’re cooking something that’s likely to produce smoke, turn on your cooking range exhaust fan to help dissipate the smoke. Also, keep doors and windows closed. Even if you have screens on your windows, outdoor allergens can and will get inside of your home. While you love your pet, their dander may be causing you serious allergic reactions.
To help reduce your exposure, keep pets off of furniture and out of bedrooms. If you don’t have a hypo-allergenic pet, or if you’re experiencing too many allergic episodes, it may be time to consider finding a new home for your pet. While your furry friend might be a cherished member of the family, the health of you and your loved ones should come first.
Filter Your Air
Your AC system provides a good start for air filtration. However, regularly changing the filter is the most important part. The air filter will need to be changed before it becomes too dirty — a dirty and clogged filter is unable to do its job correctly. Getting the right type of filter is also crucial. When reviewing filters, pay attention to the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating. The MERV rating refers to the effectiveness of the air filter. While a higher rating means that it’s better at trapping airborne contaminants, you should only use a filter with the proper rating for your system.
A qualified HVAC technician can help you determine what rating is correct for your AC. Using an air purifier in your home can also be helpful. Air purifiers can filter the air before it even gets to your a/c filter, creating a more efficient system. Routine HVAC maintenance can boost air quality levels, prevent costly breakdowns, extend the life of your system, and lower energy bills. Contact Spoor’s Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment and start breathing easier in your home.