Fall allergies aren’t only an outdoor issue. Airborne allergens, such as ragweed pollen that is dominant during autumn, are microscopic and easily infiltrate the indoor environment on air currents. Also, other pre-existing allergens inside the home like dust mites and airborne mold spores become more prominent simply because the house tends to be more closed up as weather cools down. Fortunately, there are meaningful steps you can take to limit the effect of these and other irritants that cause fall allergies.

Change the air filter. Your HVAC system air filter cleans the entire volume of air inside the house. Filter effectiveness is directly related to its MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating as well as how frequently the filter is replaced. Purchase quality pleated cotton or polyester filters with a MERV rating between 8 and 11 for protection against common airborne allergens such as pollen. During fall and winter, check the filter monthly and change immediately if it appears dirty. Otherwise, install a new filter every other month.

Control humidity. About 20 million Americans experience asthma-like allergic responses to microscopic dust mites. Actually distantly related to spiders, dust mites easily remain airborne in household currents of air. Dust mites thrive as indoor humidity rises above 50%. Using exhaust fans to ventilate bathroom and kitchen water vapor as well as installing a whole-house dehumidifier to mitigate excess humidity helps eradicate dust mites and reduce allergic symptoms.

Neutralize microorganisms. Microscopic airborne mold spores are toxic to many people. Inside the enclosed environment of a house, the high concentration of mold spores may trigger allergic responses ranging from common respiratory symptoms to chronic illness. Consider installing disinfecting ultraviolet (UV) light arrays inside your HVAC ductwork to neutralize airborne spores in household air. The germicidal effect of UV light disrupts the ability of spores to replicate. Also, since mold spores are inert until activated by exposure to moisture, keep indoor humidity in the EPA-recommended range of 35% to 60%.

For more ways to improve indoor air quality and reduce fall allergies, contact Apollo Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing.