With the change in seasons, allergy sufferers are mistaken if they think they can find refuge in the typical home. Most homes – with their airtight construction intended to maximize energy efficiency – harbor allergens along with the conditioned air you don’t want to escape. Often, the same contaminated air is re-circulated throughout the day by your heating or cooling system.
However, that doesn’t mean you’re without options. Follow these guidelines for improving indoor air quality and reducing the pain and suffering from household allergies.
- Reduce pollution and allergy sources in your home. This means avoid buying or storing products that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Go with natural cleaning, hygiene and home improvement products whenever possible. Brush pets before they come inside and keep them off the furniture. Clean and change sheets and bedding frequently, and store unused clothing in plastic boxes and bags.
- Improve ventilation. If your house is airtight (and most modern homes are), you definitely need an effective ventilation scheme to exchange stale and dirty indoor air with fresh outside air. During times of the year when the outside air contains lots of allergens, you’ll need a quality air purification system, preferably for the entire house. Just at the most basic level, make sure you turn on exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms whenever they’re in use, and for 10-15 minutes afterward.
- Use a high-efficiency air filter in your forced-air heating and cooling system. Even a medium-efficiency air filter will sift out many of the dust mites, dander mold spores and other allergens that threaten your health.
- Test your home for radon and use carbon monoxide detectors. Other threats to indoor air quality – and your health – exist besides allergens.
- Control indoor moisture. In both cases, air that’s too moist and air that’s too dry can trigger or exacerbate allergies. A whole-house dehumidifier in the summer and a humidifier in the winter allows you to keep humidity at a healthy level inside your home.
For more advice on improving your Phoenix area home’s indoor air quality, please contact us today at Wolff Mechanical.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).