Preparing Your Home for Spring Allergens
How to Prepare Your Home for Spring Allergens
The weather is turning pleasant and the windows are open – Hooray! It’s spring! It’s finally time to put away the coats and scarves, and start to enjoy spending more time outside. But, for the millions of allergy sufferers out there, the blossoming of spring can wreak havoc on sinuses and the respiratory system.
Open windows mean introducing pollens into your home, and more time outside means tracking allergens in on your shoes. Allergy sufferers can’t just throw open the windows, but there are some ways you can reduce the allergens in your home; just follow these steps and enjoy spring!
Are you Breathing Clean Air Inside?
You think you’re safe to breathe easy indoors, but your HVAC system could be harboring allergens and irritants. A quick check of your ventilation system will clue you in.
You should have your HVAC inspected twice a year – once at the start of the heating season (fall), and again at the start of the cooling season (spring).
A certified technician will be sure your system is running in top shape, check for any mold and debris buildup, and can inspect your vents to determine their need for cleaning. Keeping up on the maintenance of your ventilation system will ensure good air quality inside of your home.
Don’t forget to change your air filter, located inside of your HVAC system, which filters the air forced through your home by your heating and cooling system.
You can purchase filters made specifically for trapping fine allergen particles, so do your research and purchase the proper filters you need to prevent the spread of spring allergens through your home.
Proper Floor Care Can Prevent Allergens
Good air quality doesn’t just happen up in the air. Your floors are a breeding ground of allergens, especially if you have carpet throughout your home. Now is the time to vacuum thoroughly before having your carpeting steam cleaned.
Be sure to hire a reputable company that offers extraction-style cleaning. They should have truck mounted equipment that forces hot water and cleaners into your carpet and forcefully extracts it, completely removing all dirt, allergens, and cleaning products used, leaving you with nothing but clean carpet. Most companies will also clean area rugs, but you’ll need to take rugs requiring special care to a specialty company.
If you are considering replacing your carpet, look for one that has short, cut loop nylon fibers, or a flat weave textured pattern. These types of carpet don’t hide allergens well, making them easier to vacuum.
For tile, hardwood, and other non-carpet surfaces, it’s time for a thorough scrubbing. Ask your floor care company about cleaning options they have for hard surfaces, and be sure to ask for finishing products that do not attract fine particles.
If your vacuum is bagless, go ahead and take it apart and clean the canister and the filters thoroughly, allowing them to air dry before use. Over time, these filters get clogged and prevent the vacuum from thoroughly sucking debris out of the fibers in your carpet.
During allergy season, it is important to vacuum every day, preferably first thing in the morning after dust and allergens have had time to settle to the floor overnight, and before your family stirs them up again.
Don’t Track It In!
Impose a mandatory rule that shoes come off at the door. Keep a tray for shoes and boots by each entrance to your home or even outside the door. Just think about all of the potential allergens you walk through in a day – both environmental and seasonal.
Pollens in the grass, oils and pollutants in parking lots and streets you walk through gather on your shoes throughout the day, and you don’t want to track them into your home! Keeping a container of cleaning wipes by your most used entrance is ideal. This way, you can wipe down the shoes and return them to their respective closets once a week. Don’t forget the family pets! They should also get a thorough wipe down when they come inside.
Remember, if you are allergic to something outside, you should try your best to avoid bringing it into your house. If your kids go outside to play during peak allergy season, have them change clothes when they come in to keep pollens and other allergens off of your furniture. Showering at night will prevent allergens from hanging out on your pillow, making you sick night after night.
Check Your Windows
Not all hope is lost if you love the fresh air before it is warm enough for the air conditioner. Check your screens and see if they are in good repair. The finer the mesh, the better the allergen protection will be.
In fact, you can find products on the market that can be placed in an open window and work much like the air filters in your furnace, letting you enjoy the fresh air while maintaining good air quality in your home.
Using HVAC Year-Round
For some severe allergy sufferers, you may have no choice but to run your HVAC system year-round, changing your high MERV rating filters monthly. The benefit of using your HVAC is that the air in your home is continuously filtered, removing allergens from your air constantly. Yes, it can get expensive and yes, it puts more wear and tear on your system, but it is the best way to keep the allergens in your home at bay.
Take the first step to prepare your home for spring; have your HVAC system inspected today! For quality services in your Pasadena, CA home, call Air-Tro Inc. at 626-357-3535.