How Seasonal Changes Impact Air Quality
By Maggie Saint John
In most areas, people are thinking of pumpkins, trick or treating, the changing color of leaves, and football. However, for those with seasonal allergies, this time of year can be a nasal nightmare.
When fall allergies flare up, do you retreat inside your home to prevent and avoid the trigger of allergies? Or does your comfortable retreat leave you feeling under the weather with sniffling and sneezing? If so, your home could be suffering from poor indoor air quality!
It is very common for the quality of air inside your home to be much worse than the air outside. In fact, there are perfect niches in your home where allergens hide away and affect you and your family’s health. Here are the top three allergens that make your home their home this fall season.
- Ragweed: Ragweed is the number one allergy trigger during the fall. It releases pollen that can travel hundreds of miles through the wind. Even if it is not native to your region, it can still cause flare-ups.
- Mold: Mold spores love living in wet spots. A damp pile of leaves or pine needles just outside your front door makes an ideal home for mold growth.
- Dust mites: Dust mites will cause sneezing, runny noses, coughing and itchy eyes. The most allergy prone room in your house is your bedroom due to dust mites. They also appear when you turn on your heating system for the first time.
Allergens also can easily sneak into your home through open windows and on pets and clothes. Practice these methods to ensure that mold, bacteria and dust don’t waltz through your front door:
- During heavy pollen days, be sure to shut windows and rely on air conditioning. Monitor the pollen counts on the weather report daily.
- Brush off pets thoroughly and do not allow them up on the furniture where allergens will cling. Bathe pets regularly.
- With kids rolling in dirt and playing in leaves, wash your children’s clothes, jackets, and bedding frequently. As temperatures drop, have everyone leave their boots on the front porch to prevent the tracking of dirt and mud.
Having a Bad Air Day?
Here is our easy checklist of how to allergy-proof your home and make it a safe haven rather than something you are allergic to.
- Start in the bedroom. The number of allergens that build up in your bedroom is tremendous, but it can be managed. First, encase your pillows, box spring and mattress in a sealed tight dust-mite-proof cover. This will prevent build up in an area that your face is touching every single night. In addition, make sure to wash your sheets once a week to rid your bedding of any unwanted allergens.
- Vacuum and deep clean the carpet present in your home. You should vacuum carpets at least once a week.
- Choose furnishings that are easy and accessible to clean. With you and your family spending so much time in the living room, cleaning essential pieces of furniture will prevent your furniture from being a source of sneezes.
- Remove unnecessary clutter. Old knick-knacks and piles of clutter will collect dust. Store items that you wish to save in plastic bins and store in your attic or a storage unit.
- Open windows and allow for cross ventilation in your home. The air quality inside your home is usually much worse than outside, so allow the fresh air to come in and purify your home.
- As much as we love to have plants indoors to spruce up our home, this can be an area for mold build up. Find a new home for your potted plants or cover them with aquarium gravel to prevent mold growth.
- Use a vented exhaust fan to remove cooking fumes and avoid moisture build up when cooking.
- Having a hot, humid house is the perfect growth spot for mold and dust mites. Maintain a temperature of 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Replacing air filters monthly will also help with this problem.
You’ve taken the beginning steps to preventing allergens in your home; however, there is still a chance that pollutants could be hiding in your air ducts affecting your indoor air quality. Our professional technicians at Air Serv® can inspect your home and find where allergens are hiding, and prevent indoor allergies.