Runny noses, itchy eyes, and scratchy throats are the unglamorous signs that summer is coming, and that it’s allergy season. Outdoor air quality can take a toll on many allergy sufferers, but they hope to find relief once inside, and away from the pollen.
When your allergy symptoms don’t decrease once you enter the safe oasis of your home, it’s time to consider that your indoor air quality is preventing you from symptom relief. Outdoor air quality affects indoor air quality. We bring in pollutants from outdoors, and our indoor air on our clothes, and from open windows which, without proper air circulation, will linger in your home and continue to affect your health. These outdoor allergens combined with indoor allergens that already exist in the home may make for a hard allergy season for your family.
Some indoor air quality pollutants that may trigger your allergies include:
A poorly maintained HVAC system, which can play host to mold.
Indoor use of pesticides or chemicals.
Air fresheners or incense.
Allergy symptoms are not the only negative health effects poor indoor air quality can cause. Poor indoor air quality can also cause respiratory issues, dry skin, rashes, frequent headaches, and dizziness.
How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality and Your Health
According to the EPA, indoor air is actually up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. In a poorly ventilated home, outdoor pollutants and indoor triggers will combine to create an environment not suitable for those suffering from allergies. Some identifiers that your home may not have enough air ventilation include moisture condensation on your windows or walls, stuffy air, and dirty central air cooling equipment. There are multiple routes you can take to improve your indoor air quality, which will, in turn, improve your health in your home.
Increase Your Air Ventilation
If inside air has nowhere to escape, it can become up to ten times more polluted than the air outdoors. Proper ventilation is critical to the comfort level in your home. There needs to be a balance between indoor and outdoor air.
There are multiple whole house ventilation systems that you can install in your home to improve your health and indoor air quality:
Exhaust Systems: Exhaust ventilation systems remove stale air from the home by extracting indoor air and piping in new air through vents. Exhaust ventilation systems usually remove air from rooms where moisture and pollutants are most often present like the kitchen or bathroom. Areas such as bathrooms can spore mold, making sure they are well ventilated and cleaned is another way to make sure your home isn’t making your allergy symptoms worse.
Supply Systems: Supply ventilation systems utilize a powerful fan while brings outdoor air into the home while indoor air escapes out of the home through holes in the shell, fan ducts, and vents. Supply ventilation system introduces fresh air into one or more rooms within the home that residents occupy most often, such as the bedrooms or living room.
Balanced Systems: Balanced ventilation system work within your current HVAC system to distribute fresh air throughout your home. Fresh air supply and exhaust vents can be installed in every room, but are primarily focused to supply fresh air to bedrooms and living rooms where people spend the most time.
Systems that focus on common spaces within your home are the best at directly combating indoor air quality in areas that affect your allergy symptoms the most. Ventilation systems condition your air and require simple maintenance, making them an excellent option to increase your health inside your home.
Install a UV Purification System
UV air purifiers don’t just filter your indoor air—they actually sanitize it so you can breathe easier knowing your home is clean and healthy. These systems remove up to 99.9% of airborne bacteria and other organisms, such as mold, mildew, viruses, and fungi, from an indoor space through the use of state-of-the-art ultraviolet (UV) light technology. A UV purification system can help directly reduce the number of allergens and pollutants inside your home.
Change Your HVAC Filters
If your home has a forced-air heating system, (any HVAC system that delivers temperature-controlled air into your home through ducts and vents,) make sure to change the filters frequently. Electrostatic filters are the best at ensuring dust and other airborne irritants get trapped inside the filter rather than being recirculated throughout your home.
Vacuum Once or Twice a Week
A clean home is a healthy home, and vacuuming your home often will help keep outdoor allergens and indoor allergens such as pet dander low. It is also important to look for a vacuum that is allergy and asthma certified. These appliances can help ensure that your home is clean and that the pollutants are eliminated.