Spring has sprung and for most people it is a welcome relief from dreary winter weather. For others, though, winter was the reprieve and springtime ushers in the agony of allergy season. The onset of spring increases the output of pollen from trees, grass, and weeds, not to mention the wrath of hay fever. Seasonal allergy sufferers make up roughly 10% of the population in the US; if you or a member of your household are part of this group it is important to know that taking medicine isn’t the only way to fight spring allergies. We, at All-Weather Heating & Cooling, have put together an easy-to-follow list of ways you can start to allergy-proof your home.
Run the AC and Close The Windows
While everyone enjoys a nice breeze, it is important to remember not to leave windows and doors open as that is a surefire way to invite pollen and allergens in your home. Avoid window fans and open car windows as well. Make sure you have regular maintenance done on your AC system to ensure it is clean and running smoothly all season long.
Clean, Clean, Clean
- Wash all bedding in hot water once a week at a minimum. This is crucial as spending six to eight hours a night on a pillow of pollen would make for a miserable morning.
- Carpet is the enemy. If removing in lieu of hard flooring it isn’t an option make sure you vacuum it weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. Also shampoo it frequently.
- Clean your clothes after being outside and wash your pet’s fur often, as the fur can also hold pollen particles.
- This goes for your hair as well, wash your hair every night to remove pollen and reduce
Cut Down the Clutter
Clutter collects dust and dust aggravates allergies. Remove excess items that aren’t used around your home: knickknacks, tabletop decor, books and magazines to name a few. Also store toys and stuffed animals in bins rather than having them out for dust to settle on.
Keep Mold Out of the Facilities
Moisture often leads to mold. Check behind the toilets, the cracks and corners of showers, and under sinks. Wash shower curtain liners every month or replace them every few months. Launder bath mats as the wetness from stepping onto them after showers attracts dust mites that cause mold growth. Run the exhaust fan as well to limit condensation from forming.
Keep an Eye on Pollen Counts
Pollen counts are highest during midday and afternoon hours. If you are desperate for relief it might be a good idea to avoid going outside during these times of the day. If you do go outside: as soon as you step indoors, remove your shoes, clothing, and even rinse your hair as soon as possible to avoid bringing pollen into your home. Even further, wash said clothing in hot water.
Change Your AC Filter
We typically recommend swapping out filters every 90 days, however, the combination of a constantly running AC and a house of allergy sufferers might require more frequent changes. Using higher quality filters with a MERV rating of 12 or 13 is recommended; the higher the MERV rating the more efficiently it removes mold and pollen from the air. Talk with a professional if you need assistance finding the right filter for your home.
Consider a Dehumidifier
Even though humidity brings relief to allergy symptoms is is a good idea to keep it dry. Hot, humid houses are breeding grounds for dust mites and mold. Keep relative humidity no higher than 50 percent.
Limiting your exposure to pollen and eliminating the growth of mold spores will be the keys to an easier allergy season. So, filtering the allergens in the air, cleaning the house more frequently and being proactive about the moisture in your home is your new normal for the remainder of this “dreaded” season. Call us today at All-Weather Heating & Cooling, we would love to assist you in any way we can. We lament your suffering and hope these tips provide you with some relief. The flowers and sunshine of spring should be enjoyed by all!