Ah, the early days of autumn are upon us. The leaves are turning, the pumpkin spice lattes are flowing, and… our eyes are itching and watering – ugh! Unfortunately, for many people in Northeast Ohio, the changing seasons trigger all of those sneezy, scratchy fall allergy symptoms. This year has been particularly rough on allergy sufferers due to the mild winter, wet spring and warmer September temperatures (warmth equals ragweed!). You may think that heading indoors and closing the windows will put a stop to your symptoms. However, your home could actually be part of the problem. Here’s what you should do about it:
Start With Your HVAC System
You’re probably tired of us saying this, but change your air filter! You should already be doing this once a season, but if you suffer from allergies, you may need to change the filter more often. If it looks even a little gray or dingy, it’s time to replace it. You’ll want to look for pleated air filters with a high MERV score (displayed on package) if allergies are a big issue in your home.
Keep the Pollen Out
You may not realize it, but pollen can cling to your body and clothes after you’ve spent time outdoors. Minimize how much you’re bringing inside and how far you’re spreading it by:
- Placing doormats both outside and inside of all entry points
- Getting in the habit of removing shoes as soon as you come inside
- Showering at night to avoid pollen getting onto your bed sheets
Don’t Give Mold a Chance
Anywhere in your home where dampness exists, there is a chance of mold. Make sure your bathroom is well ventilated, and re-caulk your sink and bathtub if you notice any cracks. You should also wash all bathroom surfaces (including the walls) with a diluted bleach solution once a week. If you have houseplants, don’t over-water them, and trim any leaves that look moldy or otherwise unhealthy. If your basement is damp, consider using a dehumidifier.
Step Up Your Cleaning Game
You might think your clutter makes your home feel “cozy” and “lived in.” That may be true, but it also makes your home a trap for dust, mites, mold and unwanted critters. Tidy up daily, wash your bedding weekly, and keep your recycling bins outside or in the garage if possible. It’s also a great idea to upgrade to a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter specifically designed to trap allergens.
Bring In Some Professional Help
If you’re following all the “rules” when it comes to allergies, and you’re still sneezing, it may be time to invest in professional air quality equipment to attack unwanted particles and bacteria. Air scrubbers and air purifiers are both great options; they just work in different ways. When’s the last time you had your ducts professionally cleaned? A duct cleaning can rid your home of excess buildup in your duct system. As an added bonus, a it can also lower your energy bills!
Need help assessing your indoor air quality? Blind & Sons is happy to help! Contact us today.