With Spring Comes Allergies. But You Can Fight Indoor Allergens with a Little Springtime Cleaning!
When it comes to spring allergies, most people consider their home a safe haven where they can escape the nasty sneezing, coughing and negative effects. But the reality is our homes harbor all sorts of indoor allergens – with many causing year-round suffering. Just like those outdoor seasonal allergies, indoor air pollutants can lead to irritated eyes, noses, and throats, as well as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. There are ways to reduce your indoor spring allergies to help keep your family healthy.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, an allergic reaction happens when your body’s immune system releases antibodies as it tries to fight off a substance it thinks is harmful. Those antibodies are responsible for allergy symptoms like swollen, itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; runny noses; and even skin rashes. For some people, a sensitive immune system might mistake harmless things like pet dander or mold for evil invaders. Others who are exposed continuously over long periods of time may even develop chronic issues like asthma.
How to Reduce Indoor Spring Allergies
- Reduce dog and cat dander. We often see pet dander on furniture, rugs and clothes but pet dander can even make its way into your home’s air ducts, where it can then circulate throughout your home. Entirely eliminating pet dander from your home might seem like an impossible task, but regularly cleaning your furniture, carpets, and window coverings can be very effective. Steam cleaning will remove dust and dander both on the surface and deep down. Simply de-cluttering your indoor space will give dander fewer places to hide. And finally, regularly bathing your fur baby will send excess dander down the drain, instead of into your home’s air.
- Prevent mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can lurk all around your home. To help combat it, ensure your home has sufficient ventilation, use mold inhibitors in your paints, and clean your bathroom and kitchen with mold-busting products. Also, running your air conditioning and using dehumidifiers and air purifiers will help eliminate mold, bacteria, and viruses that thrive in warm, moist conditions.
- Get serious about air system filtration. Change air filters every month to ensure your family is breathing clean, fresh, healthy air. Air filters can trap pollutants such as pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke. They work by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps those harmful particles. While they cost more, use HEPA filters if possible – they’re designed to be even better at catching the tiniest particles of dust, dander, and indoor allergens.
- Schedule air duct cleaning. Just as the surfaces in your home become dirty over time, so can your air ducts. Dirty air ducts can contribute to serious health issues, especially for those with respiratory conditions, auto-immune disorders, or asthma and allergies. Once dander, dust, mold, etc. enter our homes our HVAC system recirculates them an average of five to seven times per day. Having your air ducts properly cleaned this spring can greatly improve your indoor air quality and reduce health problems for you and your family.
Who Should Clean Your Air Ducts
When you’re ready to hire a contractor to have your air ducts cleaned, it’s best to skip those companies we like to call ‘blow-and-go’ air duct cleaners. They’re known to hook unsuspecting homeowners with cheap prices, then do an inferior job, only cleaning what the homeowner can see (such as air vents), and leaving dirt and contaminants deep within the system.
You’ll notice them advertising on Facebook and Instagram, with offers like $89 whole-house specials and phrases like, ‘Believe my work, not my words.’ Those types of contractors often cause more harm than good by agitating rather than removing dust, debris, and pollutants in air ducts. If not removed completely, all those pollutants then circulate throughout the ductwork and make their way into the air that you and your family breathe.
If you want to get the job done right, it’s best to trust NADCA members! NADCA members not only have technicians on staff with advanced training and certification in HVAC system cleaning, but they’re required to follow higher standards, ensuring that contaminants are removed at the source. Just search your zip code or region in our online directory to find a NADCA member in your area.