How to Fight Fall Allergies Indoors
Ready to fight fall allergies in greater Cincinnati? They’re particularly bad for many area residents. While avoiding fallen leaves, goldenrod fields and other external allergens it’s impractical to shut yourself indoors for the season. Sadly, you won’t find relief if your home’s indoor air quality is poor. Learn how to fight back against fall allergy and asthma triggers through indoor air quality improvements. In this blog, we’ll review the most common allergens in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky regions and how your home’s HVAC system helps reduce allergy triggers.
If You Fight Fall Allergies in Cincinnati You’re Not AloneCincinnati area residents face a big hurdle as they fight fall allergies – the city is ranked as one of the 100 worst cities for those with fall allergies in the United States, coming in at number 56 on the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s list. Cincinnati, Ohio is one of America’s allergy capitals, as well as Dayton and Toledo.
The Most Common Allergy & Asthma Triggers for Cincinnati and Kentucky
1. Ragweed and Other PollensRagweed is typically the worst amongst the weed group, maturing in August to release pollen throughout October. It keeps going until the Queen City experiences a hard freeze.
2. Mold and MildewWe associate mold and other microbial growth with damp and dark areas, like basements. Keep in mind fallen leaves quickly breed mold spores. Go ahead and get your photos of the kids jumping in leaf piles early. Just take precautions, especially if any family member copes with allergies. Or skip it altogether – there are plenty of other autumn photo opportunities.
3. DustDust, of course, is year-round. In your home, however, fall might mean a neighborhood yard sale. It may mean a swap of seasonal decor, bedding or clothing. Any of these activities can stir up dust in the garage or basement storage areas.
4. Dander and Dust MitesPets produce a lot of dander and all the soft surfaces in your home harbor dust mites. To reduce the impact, wash pets and linens regularly. Vacuum and dust, in that order. Sweeping often stirs up a lot of dust, which lands on surfaces. Save yourself the trouble of dusting twice!
How to Fight Fall Allergies Inside Your HomeFall weed and mold allergies are often thought of as just an outdoor problem. The truth of the matter is, these allergens are able to make their way into your home, causing misery indoors and making it difficult to fight fall allergies for relief. Unfortunately, once these allergens enter your home, they spread throughout living areas via the HVAC system as air circulates for heating and cooling. Your HVAC system is, in many ways, the “lungs” of your home. The ductwork extends throughout the living area, taking in air and returning it.
Check and Change Air Filters RegularlyWhen allergens and other contaminants come into your home on your shoes, on pets or through windows, they enter your heating and air system. Your air filter is the first line of defense for these particles. The amount of filtration depends on the grade. Check these filters monthly for clogs. Depending on your model, you may either clean or replace it. Most homes are good to swap it out every two to three months. Definitely change your furnace filter before turning it on for the first time this fall. If, however, you have pets, smoke or live in a high pollen area, we recommend a new filter every one to two months.
Regular Heating Tune Ups Clean Components TooWhen an HVAC technician performs a tune up of your furnace or heat pump each fall, it includes a comprehensive inspection as well as cleaning components. Ever smell a funny odor when the furnace kicks on for the first time each fall? It’s probably dust in the air or burning off as it moves through the system. Rodents and other critters also seek out HVAC equipment for shelter. They leave behind nesting material, feces and even carcasses. If you suspect rodent activity, be sure to notify your HVAC technician. He or she will let you know if pest control is necessary.
Why Whole House Media Air Cleaners are Better than Plain FiltersThe main purpose of regular furnace filters is to protect the HVAC system from airborne contaminants. They, in addition, trap allergens from circulating back into your home’s air. When an HVAC contractor installs a whole house media air cleaner, it uses high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to contain more indoor air pollutants. These complex filters also trap particles of pollen, dust and pet dander as small as 1.0 micron. For context, the American Lung Association tells us pollutants up to 10 microns can pass through our lungs. Wow!
How Ultraviolet Light Air Purifiers Help Control AllergensUltraviolet light air purifiers fight fall allergies as they neutralize airborne contaminants. An HVAC contractor installs it within your HVAC system to treat circulating air. This helps reduce allergy and asthma symptoms indoors. Remember Grandma hanging quilts outside? The premise of UV light, or sunshine holds. Think microscopic vampires. A UV air purifier uses UV light inside your heating and air system to kill airborne mold, bacteria and virus particles. These wonderful devices often grab airborne odors as well, another common asthma trigger. Ever felt your family is passing the same “flu bug” around for weeks? A whole house UV air purifier may help. Kill those particulates as they pass through the heating and air system instead of exiting your ventilation for another round. Fight fall allergies indoors when you equip your HVAC system with the right tools and take action to clear out allergens. We offer free estimates on whole house equipment as well as finance options.
Additional Tips to Fight Fall AllergiesIn addition to HVAC help, fight fall allergies when you take the following steps:
- If you regularly suffer from allergy-related illnesses, see a doctor to officially identify your specific triggers.
- If your doctor prescribes a prescription or over the counter medication, be sure to take it as directed. Pharmacists classify allergy medication as a prophylactic, meaning it needs to be taken prior to exposure to be effective.
- Check pollen levels each day and limit outside activities on high pollen days. Pollen counts are typically highest in the morning.
- Change clothes and shoes at the door to prevent tracking in allergens.
- Take a shower after spending time outside to clean off allergens on your hair and body.
- Wipe down pets’ fur and paws after they have been outside.
- Don’t hang clothes and linens outside to dry.
- Keep windows and doors shut.
- Vacuum, dust, and clean surfaces throughout the house often.