If you suffer from allergies, you probably expect to get some relief once you're indoors. But what if you find yourself sniffling, sneezing and otherwise suffering just as much inside your home as outdoors? What's the scoop?
Indoor Air Quality
The fact is, indoor air quality can be much worse than that outdoors. Generally, allergy sufferers are most afflicted by pollen when outdoors, but some of it can travel indoors on clothes, shoes, hair and pets. That's where it joins up with other pollutants, such as pet dander, dust mites, insect particles, mold, and substances released from textiles, upholstery, particle board and household chemicals in the form of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
These airborne particles can build up to an alarming level in your home, particularly if the home is tightly constructed, the windows and doors are kept closed and there's no dedicated ventilation system. Ongoing exposure to these substances in high levels may eventually promote allergic reactions to them.
Improving indoor air quality can be a challenge, but there are steps you can take that will give allergy sufferers in your home some relief.
Clean Up Your Air
Follow these tips to improve your air quality:
- Bathe pets once a week; brush them outdoors to control pet dander
- Brush off pets, clothing and shoes when entering the home to remove pollen
- Install a good quality, pleated air filter, changing it at least every three months
- Install exhaust ventilation to the outdoors in high-moisture areas, such as the kitchen and bathrooms. Fix leaks in the home right away
- Air out dry cleaning and products with VOCs before you bring them indoors. Tightly cap household chemicals and store them in the garage
- Vacuum frequently with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter
- Contain pollen-bearing plants in one room until they stop blooming
- Install an electrostatic air cleaner in your HVAC system to capture particles, or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation lights to control mold spores
To learn more about controlling allergens in your home, contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We serve the Greater Cleveland area with pride.