According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 50 million people in the U.S have allergies. If you are one of them, springtime can be a challenging season as spores and pollen are released into the air.
However, it isn’t just outdoor allergens that can cause your eyes to water and your nose to itch. The indoor air quality of your home may also exacerbate your symptoms, as the level of pollutants within many homes is often two to five times higher than those found outdoors.
In this article, we will look at some of the potential sources of pollution within your home and provide practical tips on improving its air quality.
The air quality within your home can be adversely affected by any of the following factors:
· Combustion By-Products: Indoor combustion from coal or gas cookers and fireplaces can produce harmful gases such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide which can make breathing difficult and are especially harmful to asthma sufferers and people with lung conditions.
· Cleaning Supplies: Many household cleaners and disinfectants produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which when inhaled can irritate your eyes, nose and throat and make it harder to breathe.
· Biological Contaminants: Exposure to microbial contaminants such as mold, mildew and bacteria can cause allergies and respiratory problems. Pet dander, house dust, mites and other pests also contribute to the pollution within a home.
To keep the air quality within your home pollution-free consider the following steps.
Use an Air Filter
Air filters can purify your home, capturing airborne particles such as pet dander, mold spores, mildew, dust, pollen and smoke from the air. They are especially helpful if you live near a busy road or experience a high pollen count each year.
Installing a 16x20x1 air filter into your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system or your furnace can significantly reduce airborne contaminants, improving the air quality in your home. Make sure to replace your air filter at least every 90 days to ensure it is working efficiently and to reduce the risk of pollutants being redistributed back into your home.
Ventilation can significantly reduce allergens in your home by improving the air quality. Open doors and windows when possible to let air from the outside circulate in your home, reducing the concentration of indoor pollutants within it. This is particularly important when undertaking activities such as painting or cleaning, as the VOCs within paints, solvents and cleaning supplies can irritate your eyes and skin and may cause headaches or nausea.
By properly ventilating your home you also remove excess moisture from the air which is important in places such as bathrooms and basements which can otherwise become damp, leading to the buildup of mold and mildew on walls.
Carpets are home to many allergens such as pet dander, pollen and dust so vacuuming regularly will greatly reduce the levels of contaminants from your air. Vacuuming is especially important if you have pets, as pollen, dust mites and other allergens can attach to the hair that is shed on your floor.
By following the guidance in this article you can greatly improve the air quality in your home, reducing your allergic reactions.