How Indoor Air Quality Can Help with Allergies
Your home should provide a safe place to relax, enjoy meals, and spend time with family and friends. However, as safe, and comfy as your home might appear, it could be exposing you to allergens that can aggravate or even cause allergies. Your home’s indoor air quality is very important because it is often shut tight to keep your house warm in the cold months and cool in the heat of summer.
As a result, your air quality suffers, keeping in dust, dust mites, pollen, pet dander and harmful VOCs circulating in the air you breathe. Without an air purification system, all of these allergens and contaminants continue to get recirculated day after day. Because this has a direct impact on your health, it’s important to find ways to reduce harmful allergens in the air. You can improve air quality to help fight the symptoms of allergies using these tips.
You Might Have Allergies and Not Know It
Often people suffer from allergies and don’t even know it. In fact, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), up to 30% of the population suffers from allergies. Most people associate allergies with pets, or outdoor sources from grass to pollen. However, your home is filled with all kinds of allergens you can breathe in every day including dust and dust mites. If you have pets, or even if prior owners of your home had pets, your home can be filled with pet dander, hair and fur that can lead to irritation.
Other allergens commonly found in West Houston homes include fungus, molds, mildew, and dangerous chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOC) released from paints, and other household items such as flooring. Another issue is that your symptoms might not be what you expect. While many people associate sneezing with allergies, you can suffer other symptoms including itchy eyes, respiratory issues, skin issues and more. Your best defense is to avoid allergens altogether, so you don’t suffer from symptoms and also avoid developing new allergies.
How to Improve Air Quality?
There are a number of steps you can take to improve air quality including:
- Install an Air Conditioner: Today, most HVAC systems use built-in air filters to help improve air quality. Even standard filters trap larger particles, and by changing your filters regularly you can see improvements in your indoor air quality. However, you can be even more effective by switching to HEPA filters. This is especially important if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above. HEPA filters are designed to trap the smallest particles to help filter out tiny, harmful particles in the air. This includes dust, dust mites, pet dander and other irritants. An AC system also helps dehumidify indoor air, so the growth of allergens like mold and fungus is more difficult.
- Install an Air Purifier: Air purification systems are designed specifically to improve indoor air quality. As the name implies, they purify the air removing not only allergens, but bacteria, viruses, and many household odors. The best models use ultraviolet (UV) the same systems used to kill germs and pathogens in hospitals. However, if your main concern is smoke and odors, a carbon filter air purification system works best. Overall, your best bet might be a HEPA air purifier as like HEPA filters they tackle dander, pollen, mold spores, and dust.
One last option is the ionic air purifier which makes allergens heavier using negative ions, so the allergens are easier to clean up from your surfaces. But this takes more work on your part. Newer units offer the benefits of all these air purification systems providing a triple threat for allergens. Although these tend to be more expensive, they work as a single unit with your HVAC system.
- Clean Air Ducts: If your HVAC system uses air ducts to deliver heated or cooled air to the rooms in your home, it is possible for allergens to build up in your ducts. As a result, they continue to be fed back into your home, affecting your indoor air quality. Speak to your West Houston air quality technicians to find out if they offer an air duct cleaning service. They use high-powered vacuum systems to effectively remove allergens. They also help improve the efficiency of your HVAC system if you had blocked ducts.