10 Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality: Spring Allergy Tips
With the warmer spring weather, you're probably experiencing an increase in bothersome allergy symptoms (headaches, dizziness, fatigue, sore throat, eye irritation). This is due to high pollen levels, as well as increased dander and dust, which is why May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
If you're sneezing, coughing, and generally suffering from allergies, there's actually a lot you can do to improve your symptoms at home.
10 Tips for Spring Allergy Season
- Avoid the outdoors as much as you can. Allergies increase during spring and summer due to the increased levels of pollen in the air. Before you plan a trip outside, check your local pollen forecast Also, wearing large sunglasses can help prevent pollen and other airborne contaminants from entering your eyes.
- Do as the Japanese do and take your shoes off in a mud room or similar area near your home's entrance to avoid tracking in outdoor pollutants into your home. This is especially important in homes with rugs and carpet.
- When you arrive at home, change your outfit. Sometimes pollen and other pollutants get trapped in your clothing. Before you go to bed, take a shower and wash your hair with shampoo to remove any pollen that may have stuck to your body hair.
- Clean your clothing, linens, towels, and other cloth items frequently. Additionally, remember to vacuum and clean your rugs and carpet every week or so. Avoiding carpet, drapes, and other fabrics will help you with your allergy symptoms. Stick with vinyl, hardwood, and other non-fabric flooring options. Additionally, try to keep your pets outside if you can. At the very least, keep them out of your bedroom and other sleeping areas in the home. Consider purchasing dust mite covers for your pillows and mattress. Compare allergy covers here.
- Keep your windows closed, especially when the sun is out. Although closing windows and doors will trap already existing pollutants inside your home, you will prevent additional contaminants from entering your home, such as pollen. This applies to your car as well - keep the windows closed to keep pollen out.
- Use your dryer rather than drying your clothes outside.
- Schedule your annual air conditioning maintenance appointment early so a professional can conduct a full cleaning of your HVAC system. When you turn on your air conditioner, all the dust, dirt, bacteria, viruses, pollen, molds, hair, lint, and other pollutants that are in you HVAC system and ductwork begins to circulate, often aggravating your allergies. With a clean HVAC system, you can turn on your air conditioner and feel better as the air in your home will go through the system's filter, capturing a lot of the above-mentioned contaminants.
- Improve your filtration system. Air filters are rated on a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) scale from 1 to 20. The higher your MERV rating, the better your air filtration. MERV ratings are labeled on the side of your HVAC filter. We recommend sticking with air filters with a MERV rating of 7 or higher. Speak with your HVAC technician if you would like to upgrade to a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arrestance) filter. You will need to modify your existing system to accommodate the thicker and more effective filter. These filters are used in hospitals, but may be needed for households that experience severe allergies and other respiratory problems. Click here for guide to finding the right air filter for your home.
- Look for mold and symptoms of mold and have them removed immediately. Removing the mold, however, isn't enough. You will want to find the cause of your mold problems and fix that as well. This is often due to damp conditions from water leaks, humidity, and improper ventilation. Click here for 12 mold prevention solutions. For a permanent fix, you may want to call us for waterproofing solutions. With spring storm season and hurricanes on their way, the risk of mold and flooding increases.
- Invest in a residential air cleaner. There are a couple different options available to you, including portable air cleaners, ozone generators, UV germicidal irradiation, and photocatalytic oxidation units. Most of these air cleaners utilize ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms by damaging their DNA. For more information on UV air cleaners, read our blog on the subject.
Millions of Americans are affected by pollen and other allergy-producing contaminants. These airborne contaminants from animal, microbial, and plant origins get caught in your HVAC system and ductwork.
Give Gold Medal Service a call for these professional indoor air quality solutions:
- Air cleaners and purification systems
- Air filtration systems, including HEPA
- UV germicidal irradiation
- Whole-home humidification
- Basement waterproofing
- HVAC maintenance, repairs, and replacements
- CO and smoke detector installation
- Duct cleanings, repairs, and installations