How To Keep Allergens At Bay

No one wants allergens in their home. Able to irritate respiratory conditions like asthma and seasonal allergies, allergens are inconvenient and unhealthy. Allergens can come from outside and inside your home. For example, Surf City, North Carolina, can have heavy pollen seasons. If your HVAC system isn’t set up to filter these irritants, they can easily get into your home.

Learning how to keep allergens at bay is a great step toward creating a comfortable and healthy home. Here are five ways to keep those allergens to a minimum:

Wash Regularly

One of the most common places for allergens to hide is in upholstery. For cloth items that you can wash, there’s an easy solution: wash them in hot water once a week to kill any irritating bacterium and remove debris that may kick up allergic reactions. Scent-free detergent can also help reduce irritating allergy symptoms, particularly for those who have sensitive noses.

One of the most-forgotten fabric items is curtains. If you have cloth curtains in your home, wash them regularly with your sheets, towels and blankets. You’ll be amazed how much dust can collect in your window dressings.

For items that you can’t wash regularly, try steam-cleaning large rugs and upholstered furniture. If you have pets in your home, consider buying products that remove pet dander and hair. These are often available at your local pet store.

Check Filtration

Your heater and air conditioner both have filters. Depending on the configuration, there may just be one. But many have two separate filters per system. These filters are the last line of defense between the outside air and your home’s interior. You should change air filters every three months at the minimum.

When buying filters, look for MERV or HEPA ratings. These tell you how much debris the filters can catch. Flimsy fiberglass filters often can’t filter out problematic debris. But higher-rated filters will do an excellent job catching everything from microscopic bacterium to dust.

Watch for Microbial Growth

No homeowner wants to think about microbial growth, but the truth is that most houses have at least a few spots where it grows. Check anywhere that heat and moisture collect. This includes tubs, showers, underneath sinks, dishwashers, clothes washers and behind the refrigerator.

If you see the tell-tale patches of microbial growth, you can easily eradicate them with cleaning products. To help prevent it, regularly wipe any collected moisture. Also, use vents in damp areas, like bathrooms, to keep moisture at bay.

Invest in HVAC Maintenance

Without regular maintenance, debris can collect in your HVAC system. This can lead to allergens making their way into your home. Pollen season in North Carolina can be heavy, especially in areas like Surf City and Wilmington. These pollens can find their way into the ductwork. Even the best filter will have difficulty handling large amounts of pollution in an HVAC system.

Professional HVAC service technicians can check your system and offer advice on how to keep ducts free of troubling allergens. Regular maintenance can also help improve your home’s overall air quality by cleaning the interior components of the HVAC system.

Keep a Cleaning Routine

Switching up your home cleaning routine can also help reduce potential allergy problems. Clean out clutter like leaves and sticks from around the HVAC unit regularly. Wipe down the vents of any exhaust fans — these are places where dust can really build up.

Consider purchasing a vacuum cleaner that has a high HEPA-rated filter to help make sure any allergens sucked up will stay in the waste container. These are all small steps that can help keep your home as allergy-free as possible.

If you’re concerned about allergens and air quality in your home, Gideon Heating and Air Conditioning can help you keep allergens and other undesirable pollution at bay. Call us at (910) 447-2905 today to set up a consultation!

Image provided by Shutterstock

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