Indoor allergies are a typical condition for millions of people. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical part of reducing symptoms of your allergies and ensuring a healthy, comfortable living environment. Here, you’ll discover valuable information 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 allergens 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 issues. Ventilation, air filtration, cleaning and other proactive actions are needed to reduce 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 techniques to reduce allergens is to increase ventilation. Appropriate inflow of fresh, outdoor air considerably decreases the number 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 release heat, humidity and fumes.
- Buy a whole-home ventilation system to evenly exchange stuffy indoor air with clean outdoor air throughout the entire house.
Air Filtration and Purification Systems
Air filters and purifiers are made in many different styles. Some are developed to clean the air in an individual room, while others operate in conjunction with the HVAC system for healthier air throughout the entire 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, stopping them from circulating through the house.
- Germicidal UV lights deactivate the DNA of bacteria, viruses and other microbes, leaving them unable to reproduce and reducing the circulation of germs throughout your home.
- Air purifiers with activated carbon filters eliminate odors and chemicals from the air, contributing to a clean, fresh-smelling household.
- Electronic air cleaners possess negative ion generators that bind with positively charged airborne particles. The particles then cling to charged metal plates or become too heavy to continue to be airborne. Those that descend onto the floor can be eliminated by dusting and vacuuming.
Keeping your home clean is a crucial step in reducing home allergens. Here are some good steps:
- Vacuum your home at least once per week with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter to remove dust mites and other irritants 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 kill dust mites and do away with other lingering allergens.
- Choose allergy-proof pillowcases and mattress covers to stop dust mites from accumulating.
- Clean countertops, floors, furniture and other areas frequently.
- Keep pets out of your bedroom to decrease dander buildup in the room where you sleep.
- Limit clutter and knickknacks, which collect dust and provide hiding places for allergens.
Controlling Humidity Levels
Maintaining the ideal humidity level is vital for controlling indoor allergens. High humidity encourages mold growth and dust mite populations, while low humidity contributes to dry skin and irritated airways. The goal should be to achieve an indoor relative humidity level ranging from 30-50 percent. The quickest 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 improve IAQ by filtering out toxins and discharging oxygen. However, some plants produce irritating pollen, and giving them too much water may stimulate mold growth, contributing to indoor allergies. When shopping for potted plants, opt for allergy-friendly varieties like spider plants, snake plants and bamboo palms, which help increase indoor air quality and are not as likely to cause allergic reactions.
Indoor Air Quality Solutions in North America
Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is committed 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 ideal 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 find indoor allergy relief.