Reduce allergens in your home
Itching, sneezing, wheezing and coughing, yuck! Allergies impact the quality of life for millions of people around the world. And although there isn’t a cure for many allergies, there are ways to minimize the effects of allergens in your home and maximize the air quality. Here are some tips for minimizing allergies with your HVAC system.
Proper Humidity Levels
This is a delicate balance, having enough but not too much humidity in your home. Too much humidity can create a great environment for mold to grow and cause or worsen respiratory issues caused by allergies. Too low levels of humidity creates the perfect environment for dust mites to live and thrive. Manage your humidity levels with a humidistat or with free-standing cool-mist humidifiers to about a 40-percent level, which is the optimal humidity level to minimize allergens in your home.
Use HEPA (high-efficient particulate absorption) air filters in your furnace, air conditioner and vacuum cleaner. These filters meet the standards set by the Department of Energy which removes 99.97% of airborne particles larger than 0.3 micrometers in diameter (that’s tiny!). Without them, you are basically recycling your allergen-infested air every time your furnace cycles on/off or when you run the vacuum.
Heating Season: Fireplaces
Although we love supplementing our home-heating with the ambiance and beauty of a wood-burning fireplace, the smoke and gasses produced by the burning wood can worsen respiratory allergies. If you have family with allergies, avoid using the fireplace.
Cooling Season: Air Conditioners
Keep your windows shut. It’s tempting when the weather finally turns to open the house and let the fresh air inside, but if you or someone in your home suffers from allergies, you need to keep the windows shut and rely on your AC unit to keep you cool and comfortable.
Other than managing your HVAC system, here are a few additional tips that will reduce allergies in your home:
Dusting with a product that traps and removes dust (versus just pushing it around) and vacuuming not just the floors, but the cushions as well can help reduce the amount of dust mites in your home. Also consider using environmentally friendly cleaning products – nothing with heavy chemicals as they too, can aggravate allergies.
Your bedding a favorite spot for dust mites, so wash your bedding weekly in hot water and dry in a hot dryer to help reduce as many dust mites as possible. Use allergen-proof covers for your mattresses and pillows.
Keep your beloved pets outdoors as much as possible. Groom them outdoors as well, and regularly. Keep your bedroom to yourselves – don’t allow pets to cohabitate or sleep with you as they bring in all sorts of common allergens (dander).
If you suffer from allergies, you are certainly not alone. Follow your doctor’s advice, but supplement that with using your HVAC systems wisely to minimize the effects of allergies in your home.
For home maintenance and comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.