The mild winter is behind us, and now it is spring, here in Indiana. For many people, that’s a time to open windows and head outdoors to enjoy a little sunshine. However if you or your family members suffer from spring allergies (and about 20% of all Americans do) you greet spring with sneezes, runny noses, sore throats and itchy and swollen eyes.
The culprit? Pollen released into the air by trees, grasses, and weeds. If you are allergic, these pollen grains will send your immune system into overdrive. Medication can help, but to truly make a dent in bad allergies, you may need to make some changes to your home to improve your indoor air quality.
How to Allergy-proof your home
- Shut your windows. While fresh air sounds appealing it brings with it heaps of pollen. Use an air conditioner to cool your home and move clean, filtered air to every room.
- Take off your shoes at the door and ask guests to do the same. As you walk outside, even if you stay off the grass, allergens can cling to your shoes and pant legs. Taking off your shoes keeps all those sneeze-inducing elements outside.
- Clean floors with a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. These filters trap 99.97% of microscopic particles in the air.
- Use the dryer. It may be tempting to line-dry clothes or sheets in warmer weather but if your family suffers from spring allergies that isn’t a good idea. The damp sheets will collect pollen while they hang outside.
- Clean or replace your furnace/AC filter as needed. The filter is designed to screen out tiny particles in the air, including dust, mold, dander and allergens. When the filter is dirty, it’s not doing its job. Set a reminder to replace your filter monthly or quarterly, depending on the type of filter you have.
Also, take a few minutes to wipe registers and air vents with a damp towel to keep dust from blowing through your house that way.
If your allergies are severe, ramp up your air cleaning with an electronic air cleaner installed into your HVAC system. These air cleaners do much more than a normal filter by effectively remove bacteria, pollen, animal dander and other pollutants as small as 0.01 microns. That’s 18,000 times smaller than the head of a pin!
Just remember, you don’t have to suffer all spring long with allergy symptoms. With a few modifications to your home comfort system, you can get rid of those irritating runny eyes and runny noses. If you need help figuring out which solutions are right for you, contact us. We help homeowners in central Indiana by improving indoor air quality.