Ways You Can Reduce the Allergens in Your Home
The average Michigan home is filled with a substantial number of allergens. Mold spores, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and other common household allergens are a huge issue for anyone who suffers from severe allergies. They can also be especially troublesome for people with other respiratory ailments such as asthma, COPD, or chronic bronchitis. Even if you don’t have any breathing issues, all of those allergens can still cause coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. The good news is that numerous steps you can take will help reduce the allergens inside your home.
Keep Your Windows Closed
We’ll start with the obvious. Opening your windows allows pollen, mold spores, and other allergens to enter. Therefore, it is always best to keep your windows and doors shut when allergens are higher during the spring and early summer; check the allergen forecast for your area for more information on allergen levels.
Take Off Your Shoes at the Door
Taking your shoes off at the door doesn’t just keep you from getting dirt and mud all over your floors. It also helps to prevent you from tracking pollen and other allergens inside. This may not seem important, but if you constantly go in and out of the house throughout the day, you’ll bring far more allergens inside than you might realize.
Upgrade to a HEPA-Filter Vacuum
Making sure to clean your floors, countertops regularly, and other surfaces in your home can go a long way toward reducing the concentration of allergens. However, if you vacuum often, you’ll usually stir the allergens and circulate them throughout the air. For this reason, you may consider upgrading to a vacuum with a HEPA filter if you suffer from allergies. HEPA filters are highly efficient and trap more than 99% of all allergens.
Manage Your Home’s Humidity Level
If the humidity level inside your house is too high, it can allow mold and mildew to grow. When this happens, the air inside your home will be filled with millions of mold spores. For this reason, it is recommended that you never let the humidity level rise above 60%. Ideally, it should stay somewhere around 50%.
If your home is often too humid, there are a number of options that can help. One option is to install a whole-home dehumidifier to draw moisture out of the air and reduce humidity.
Energy recovery ventilators are another great choice. Not only will an ERV help with managing your home’s humidity level, but it will also improve the overall indoor air quality. This is because the ERV will constantly pump fresh air into the home and draw the polluted air outside. During the summer, the ERV will also absorb moisture from the air coming into the building to prevent the humidity level from rising. ERVs also pre-heat or pre-cool the air as it comes inside, which can reduce your heating and cooling costs.
Consider Your HVAC Air Filter
Your air filter will trap many of the allergens that circulate through your HVAC system. Unfortunately, the more basic filters aren’t all that effective at trapping smaller particles like mold spores or pet dander. However, upgrading to a more efficient filter with a higher MERV rating will filter out many more allergens.
Nonetheless, you must regularly check the filter and change it whenever it looks dirty. You should usually change your filter at least once every three months. However, you may want to change it as often as every month during the hottest and coldest parts of the year when your HVAC system runs constantly.
If you don’t change the filter often enough, it will soon become too clogged to work correctly. Unfortunately, when this happens, it also increases the strain on your HVAC system, leading to increased energy costs, reduced effectiveness, and greater wear and tear.
Have Your Ductwork Cleaned
Having your ducts professionally cleaned can also greatly reduce the number of allergens inside your house. Allergens often collect inside the ductwork as they can get trapped by dust and debris. Dirty ductwork also increases the number of allergens spread throughout the house whenever you’re heating or cooling your home.
Cockroaches, mice, and other pests commonly nest inside the ductwork. Therefore, if your ducts are overly dirty, it also increases the chances of pests making their home inside. Chewing pests can also increase damage to the ductwork and make your unit work overtime to condition your home’s air.
When providing duct cleaning services, the team at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning uses a powerful vacuum that can suck everything out of the ducts so they are fully clean. A long hose connects the vacuum head to a truck outside to ensure that none of that dirt and debris gets back into your home.
Upgrade Your HVAC System
If you are truly serious about reducing allergens and improving indoor air quality, you should consider adding IAQ equipment to your HVAC system. For example, germicidal UV lights can be installed inside of your ductwork. These lights work to damage the DNA of living allergens like mold spores, and they also deactivate viruses and bacteria to keep them from multiplying and spreading. This way, you can prevent mold growth and improve air quality.
Another option is installing a whole-home air filtration system, which will give you the best protection against airborne allergens, chemical contaminants, VOCs, and other pollutants. At C & C Heating & Air Conditioning, we carry an extensive selection of air filtration systems from Carrier and Trane that can be installed in any forced air HVAC system.
These systems use extremely efficient filters that will trap many times more particles than even the highest-rated residential HVAC air filter. Then, as your HVAC system runs, it draws the air in through the filtration system. This can remove more than 99% of all airborne particles. It is even effective against the smallest particles like smoke, combustion fumes, and VOCs. In fact, whole-home filtration systems are so effective that studies have shown they can remove many allergens and other indoor air pollutants within the first hour of use.
An air filtration system is a great investment in improving indoor air quality. However, it can also reduce your HVAC system’s wear and tear and extend its lifespan. This is because all of those tiny particles in the air can collect on your HVAC components. This can damage any moving parts and prevent them from working properly. Dirt and dust can also reduce the effectiveness of your HVAC system and cause it to work harder and run longer. This is another reason why whole-home air filtration systems are a great option.
Macomb County Indoor Air Quality Experts
If you’re worried about allergens or your home’s indoor air quality, the team at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning has numerous solutions that can help. We install, repair, and maintain energy recovery ventilators, UV lights, humidifiers, whole-home air filtration systems, and other IAQ equipment. If you need to have your ductwork cleaned, we can also take care of that. For more information on our indoor air quality services and equipment, call our Roseville, MI experts at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning today.