We’re Closing up Tight for the Winter. Is Your Home Ready to Combat Indoor Allergens?
Without the fresh air we enjoy much of the year, indoor allergens can be a challenging problem during the winter months. Here are six ways to help reduce and prevent indoor allergens this season.
Replace Your Air Filters
Turning on the heat? Allergens like dust and pet dander can lurk in the air ducts. Use a high-efficiency furnace filter to reduce the amount of harmful indoor allergens that circulate through your home. It is recommended that you change your air filter at least every 90 days; start changing it with the seasons to help you remember.
Change your Bedding
Dust mites are common indoor allergens found in pillows, mattresses, carpeting and upholstered furniture. Encase mattresses, box springs, and pillows with allergen-proof covers; this can help minimize allergens you may encounter while you sleep. Washing your sheets and pillowcases in hot water at least once a week can also help keep dust mites at bay.
Clean Your House Regularly
Vacuuming with a HEPA filter at least once a week will also cut down on indoor allergens such as the dust mites and pet dander. When dusting around your books and knick-knacks, use a microfiber or electrostatic cloth that will hold the dust instead of just moving it around. While you are dusting and vacuuming, dust will get stirred up in the air so, if you are allergic, use an N95 filter mask while cleaning.
Avoid Pets Dander
Just like us, pets spend more times indoors during the winter. Pet allergens are found in the saliva and dander of cats and dogs, and no breed is allergy-free. Bathing pets once a week can help reduce the amount of dander they shed. Avoidance is key with animal allergies, however, after petting a cat or dog, washing your hands with soap and water can help keep symptoms from flaring. Remember to keep pets out of bedrooms and vacuum carpets often to reduce allergens as well.
Monitor Humidity Levels
Due to winter’s dry air, many use humidifiers in their homes to add moisture to the air. Humidifiers can prevent dryness, however, if you do not monitor the humidity levels you could be encouraging mold and dust mites to grow and live. Use a humidity meter to monitor the humidity in your home. The CDC recommends keeping it below 50% to reduce dust mites and mold and prevent them from growing. Use a dehumidifier if needed and remember to use a vent fan to remove moisture in bathrooms and the kitchen.
Maintain the HVAC system
Make sure your HVAC unit and ductwork are both clean and operating correctly. Your HVAC system acts like the lungs of your home. If they are not clean and working properly, they can easily contribute to the number of contaminants and allergens in the air stream. Without proper filtration and/or a dirty HVAC system a continuous cycle of contamination can continue.
Questions? Reach out to us anytime by visiting https://www.airessentials.com/ or calling (256) 217-2273.