Spring is finally here! Along with longer days, blooming flowers, and chirping birds, spring also brings pollen and other allergy triggers. Allergies effect more than 20% of Americans, so you aren’t the only one with a runny nose and watery eyes. You may think you are safe from these pesky allergens inside your home but in fact, the indoors can be up to 10 times more polluted than outside! If you are seeing dust in your home, it is actually mold spores, pet dander, bacteria, pollen and other harmful contaminants. There are more allergens lurking that are not visible. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to improve the quality of the air you breathe and reduce allergens in your home.
1. Replace air filters: Filters help to remove irritants and dust from the air. We recommend replacing your filter once a month with the less expensive 1″ filters. As an added bonus clean filters allow your system to operate more efficiently, saving you money!
2. Invest in Air Cleaners: The most effective way to filter air is through your HVAC system. Whole-home filtration systems like American Standard’s AccuClean can remove 99.98% of allergens. More price friendly options include UV lights and the GPS-2400 plasma air cleaner. These products kill mold, viruses, and bacteria, as well as eliminate odors.
3. Control Humidity: Keep humidity around 50% and maintain a temperature somewhere between 68-72 degrees. Turn on kitchen and bath fans while cooking or showering to remove excess moisture from the air. In eastern North Carolina we don’t often think about humidity being too low but viruses, bacteria, allergens and other air contaminants increase when humidity gets below 40%.
4. Maintain a clean bedroom: According to experts, the bedroom has the most allergen content in the home. With Americans spending roughly 8 hours a day there, it is important to keep this room as allergen free as possible. Wash bedding regularly and use hypoallergenic casings on mattresses and pillows. Keep pets out of the bedroom and don’t smoke inside.
5. Follow a weekly cleaning schedule: Dust weekly with a damp cloth and shake out area rugs. Don’t forget about hard to reach places like ceiling fans and curtains or drapes. Remove clutter and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Be careful not to overwater indoor plants to keep mold away. Make sure all of the windows and doors are sealed properly and that there are no leaks in your roof.
6. Remove carpeting: Replace carpeting with hardwood or tiled floors. The average home’s carpet has over 200,000 bacteria every square inch! That’s 4,000 times more than a toilet seat! If removing carpet is not an option for you, vacuum weekly. Be sure to use floor mats at doors and take shoes off before entering the home. The bottom of your shoes carry millions of germs from everywhere you’ve walked.
7. Pest control: Mice and cockroaches release allergens and are known to contribute to asthma and increased health care visits. You can help deter these critters by keeping trash in a sealed container, wipe down countertops with a bleach solution, and limit eating to only one area of the home. Beware of using harsh chemicals to exterminate them.
For more information on the air cleaners and other indoor air quality products that we offer, please give Davis Heating & AC a call! We service all of Onslow county!