Allergies can be an annoying nuisance, not just in the spring but all year round for some people. They can cause congestion, sneezing, runny noses and more. While allergies are just an annoyance for some, air quality can lead to severe medical issues for others. Conditions such as asthma and emphysema can be seriously complicated by seasonal and household allergens. While allergy medications can help with symptoms, the ideal solution is to reduce or eliminate the cause of the allergies before you or your family members become symptomatic.
There are some precautionary steps that can be taken to improve your home’s air quality and limit the level of allergens in your home.
- Regular cleaning and maintenance of your HVAC system can help prevent the buildup of materials that can cause allergies.
- Install high efficiency filters directly on your system. These filters prevent buildup of dust and other allergens within your furnace and air conditioning systems. Traditional filters and more efficient electronic air filtration systems are both available and provide your entire home with substantially improved air quality.
- Small lifestyle changes can also be beneficial in reducing allergens. Consider replacing you carpet with flooring that is easier to clean, like hardwood floors or tile. If you prefer carpet, make sure that you clean it regularly.
- While you may occasionally want to air out your home, keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. Allergy causing materials, such as pollen and mold, can travel easily through door and window screens. Also, air blowing through your home can disrupt any residual dust.
- Machine washable drapes, rather than ones that need to be dry cleaned, are also a good choice, as are leather and vinyl furniture that can easily be wiped clean.
- Vacuuming your mattresses regularly or using allergen-impermeable mattress and pillow covers will also help reduce allergies.
Mold is a major contributor to allergies and respiratory problems. Mold develops when excess moisture and water leaks go undetected. If you find a leak in your home, call a local plumber to repair the problem before mold can develop. Bathrooms, kitchens and basements tend to have higher humidity levels than the rest of your home. Be sure to clean these rooms thoroughly and regularly and watch for any signs of emerging mold. You should also try to control humidity levels within your entire home to help prevent mold growth in any room. A humidity level of 50% or lower is ideal.