January 30, 2014

Pet Allergies Can Be DebilitatingAllergies are a complex condition; they can strike unexpectedly, or they can be something that plagues you from childhood. You can become sensitive to almost any substance in the environment, including, unfortunately, the pets in your home. Though getting rid of your dogs or cats is likely unthinkable, there are things you can do to address pet allergies.

Pet Allergies and Symptoms

The most common cause of allergic reactions to cats and dogs is to the dander they produce. Similar to humans (we produce dandruff and shed skin cells, too), pets regularly shed dander that becomes airborne and settles on surfaces in the home. This compromised indoor air quality has a direct impact on allergy symptoms, which typically resemble those of hay fever and can range from mild to severe. Constant itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and a stuffy nose can lead to chronic conditions including sinusitis, trigger asthma attacks, and over time physically wear you down.

Reducing Pet Allergens in the Home

Plan to manage those pet allergies with some practical steps to reduce dander and eliminate or reduce symptoms. A simple two step-approach consists of:

  • Minimizing the amount of dander that gets into the home, and
  • Removing as much dander from the air as possible with a high-quality air filter.

Minimizing Dander

Easy steps to take include:

  • Grooming pets daily outside the home
  • Cleaning pet bedding regularly
  • Keeping pets out of the sufferer’s bedroom, and
  • Cleaning household surfaces regularly.

Air Filters

Running your forced-air HVAC system for a short time each day, even if only with the fan operating, will make a big impact on removing dander and reducing your pet allergies. Make sure your furnace or heat pump is fitted with a high-efficiency filter, designed to remove allergens, including those coming from your pets. Consider a stand-alone air-cleaning system as a supplemental filtration step.

If you need advice on installing or replacing and selecting filters for your HVAC system, please contact us at Wolff Mechanical. We have been providing expert advice and service about home comfort issues to the Greater Phoenix area for more than 20 years.

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).

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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