Do your allergies seem worse than usual, or are you suffering them for the first time this year? It can be especially frustrating if they seem to only act up when you are home. Itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing or other respiratory distress when you are at home may indicate more than simple allergies – your indoor air quality could be suffering. The following are a few tips to help combat this problem.
Tip #1: Change out the AC or furnace filters
Chances are you already know that your home air filters require regular changing, but you may want to up your game if indoor allergies are a concern. Lots of dust, Lots of pets in the home, or pollen season can all cause air filters to stop working correctly more quickly. In this case, try switching to a HEPA-style filter, which removes more possible allergens from the air, and change it as frequently as once a month to help combat the poor air quality.
Tip #2: Have your ducts cleaned
Sometimes the culprit for poor air quality is the duct work. Pet dander, pollen, and mold spores can all settle into the ducts, where they then get blown throughout the entire house. A professional cleaning removes all of these items so the air that blows out is free from allergens and irritants. Another issue is if you have recently had construction or remodeling work done, and the allergy symptoms appeared afterward. This is often a result of construction dust in the ducts, which means a duct cleaning will also solve this issue. Unlike filter changes, duct cleaning is a semi-regular job. In a pet-free home with minimal dust or mold-causing damp, you may only need to have the ducts cleaned every few years. If you have pets or other conditions that lead to allergens in the ducts, you may need to schedule annual cleaning.
Tip #3: Install a whole house filtration unit
If the air quality and your allergies are particularly troublesome, consider installing an air filtration unit. The two most effective options are either a whole house unit that is connected directly to your HVAC system, or a freestanding unit that is sized to do a floor, single room, or the entire home. These do have additional filters in them that will require periodic cleaning or replacement, but the result is much cleaner air and less allergy and respiratory issues.
For more help in managing your indoor air quality, consult with an HVAC contractor or duct cleaner in your area.