5 Ways to Reduce Allergens in Your Home
From pollen to dust to mold—allergens hide in unexpected places and produce aggravating symptoms. Air quality control is essential to reducing allergens in your home and ensuring that it’s a safe, healthy place for your family. Fortunately, maintaining good air quality it is simple with some practical solutions.
Improve Air Quality Control and Banish Allergens
1. Regular HVAC Maintenance
If your home has a heating and cooling system, change its air filter and any filters used in the air vents. Dirty filters no longer serve their purpose and introduce allergens into the home rather than trap them. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the frequency of air filter replacements.
Once a year, schedule a professional HVAC inspection and tune-up. During an inspection, the technician may find a problem that affects the quality of the air in your home or the system’s efficiency.
Ducts with air leaks increase dust and allergen levels in the home. Arrange for a professional to inspect your home’s ductwork every few years or when you notice the following: frequent indoor allergy symptoms in family members, excessive dust in the home, or rooms feeling unevenly heated or cooled. If the ducts have mold growth or high levels of dust, schedule a professional duct cleaning.
2. Using Air Purifiers
Air purifiers come in a variety of sizes. They complement your air quality control efforts by removing contaminants from the air. They trap particles like pet dander, pollen, dust, dust mite feces, mold spores and volatile organic compounds. Some even have the ability to capture bacteria and viruses.
When shopping for an air purifier, look for one that has a HEPA filtration system and does not produce ozone gas. If you already own one, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding filter changes.
3. Regular Housekeeping
Vacuum your home (including the drapes and furniture) once a week and use a damp towel to dust surfaces. Wash bed linens once a week using hot water, and consider using mite-proof pillow and mattress covers. As you clean your home, inspect it for water leaks around pipes and the refrigerator. Also, look for air leaks, which occur around doors and windows. If you notice any type of leak, fix it as soon as possible.
Regularly clean the bathrooms and kitchen with solution that kills bacteria and mold spores. As you work in these areas, ensure that the fans work properly. If mold seems to be a problem in the home and the fans re-circulate the air or vent it into the attic, consider replacing them with exhaust fans that vent the air outside.
4. Different Window Treatments
Fabric window treatments, like curtains, have the potential to trap dust, pollen and other allergens. Consider installing blinds or shades or using curtains that you can machine-wash. Blinds and shades are simple to dust once a week using a vacuum’s brush attachment. If you leave the windows open when the weather is warm, wash the window treatments often.
5. Take off Your Shoes
Shoes track in up to 40 percent of the contaminants in your home and are often the largest source of dust, according to the University of Georgia. In addition to having a no-shoes policy in your home, setup an entry mat system that has scraper mat outside the entry door, an absorption mat at the entry of the home and a finishing mat at the end of the absorption mat. The scraper mat serves to remove dirt from shoes. The absorption mat further cleans shoes and wicks away moisture. The finishing mat captures any remaining particles and moisture on shoes. Family members and guests should remove their shoes toward the end of the finishing mat, before entering the main area of your home.
Air quality control takes effort, but is achievable with regular home maintenance and being mindful of the many ways allergens can enter. If you have concerns about indoor air quality or want to schedule maintenance on your HVAC and duct systems, contact AAA Heating and Cooling. We are a one-stop-service for all your home comfort needs, including duct cleaning services and air filtration installations.
[Photo from William Brawley via CC License 2.0]