How to Prepare Your Home For Spring Allergens
Spring is just around the corner, and this has many people worried about seasonal allergies. It does not take much for allergens to become trapped in a home and cause issues such as sinus headaches, itchy eyes, runny noses, and sore throats. This is why it is important for all families to understand some of the steps that they can take to improve their home’s air quality and avoid the respiratory issues that plague so many people.
Read ahead for a few simple tips you can use to get your home ready for the allergy season.
Don’t Cut Corners on Your Spring Cleaning
One of the reasons why spring cleaning has become such a common tradition is because it is the best way to clear out as many allergens as possible over the course of a few days. During the winter, you and your family most likely kept the fans off and windows closed, and this means that there could be dust trapped in every nook and cranny of your Reading home.
Your spring cleaning should be as thorough as possible and always start at the highest points of each room. By starting at the highest points in your home, you will give allergens the chance to settle on the floor where they can be vacuumed up. Whenever possible, you and your family should wear clean face masks that fit snugly over your mouth and nose as you clean your home.
Replace or Upgrade Your Air Filters
Many homeowners are surprised to hear that all residential air filters are rated by how well they remove airborne contaminants. The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scale is regulated by the Department of Energy and gives every filter a rating between 1 and 20. Air filters between 1 and 4 are generally made of fiberglass and remove very little from the air.
These low-quality air filters are actually designed to protect the HVAC system more than anything else. Filters with an MERV rating between 5 and 13 will remove around 45 percent of air pollutants from your home.
Most specialists suggest that families use air filters with an MERV rating of 14 or higher if they suffer from seasonal allergies. Any filter with a rating higher than 16 is referred to as a true HEPA filter. This means that they can remove up to 98 percent of all airborne contaminants that are pulled in by the HVAC system.
Replace or Disinfect Your Linens
No matter how efficient your HVAC system and air filters might be, you and your family members are still going to bring allergens into your Reading home.
Once the allergens are in a home, they will cling to fabric for months on end. This is why it is so important to disinfect or completely replace all linens in your home immediately after you have carried out some spring cleaning.
This is especially critical for any linens that come into contact with one’s skin such as pillowcases, blankets, sheets, and clothing. During the allergy season, anything made of fabric should be thoroughly cleaned at least once every other week.
Whenever your family goes outside, they should try to bring as few allergens back into the home as possible. One simple way to do this is to leave jackets and shoes at the door. Once you are back in the home, you might want to take a quick shower before putting on clean clothes or heading to bed. Much like fabric, allergens can cling to your hair as well.
Seek Out Mold
Most plumbers HVAC technicians suggest that homeowners schedule service calls for these two systems at least twice a year.
In addition to these service calls, homeowners can do some searching of their own in order to find standing water or mold.
Mold and mildew will quickly create airborne spores that can cause allergy-like symptoms such as sinus headaches and sore throats.
Some of the places that you might want to take a look at include under your sinks, in the basement, and inside of any crawlspaces that you can reach.
If you do find mold, standing water, or signs of water damage, then you should immediately contact an HVAC specialist or plumber to explore your options for repairing the damage.
Track Your Pollen Count
You might be surprised to hear that your city’s pollen levels not only change by the season, but they can even change by the hour. Most flowers and plants tend to pollinate in the early morning hours.
If you plan on going for a run or working in the yard, it is best to go outside in the afternoon when the sun is going down. The easiest way to track the pollen count in your particular area is to download a local weather app.
These apps can send warnings to your phone if there is a particularly high pollen count so that you can plan accordingly. You can also check the pollen count in your local newspaper on the same page as the weekly weather.
Schedule an HVAC Service Soon
Even if you keep your home immaculate, a huge volume of airborne contaminants can still be pulled in through the HVAC system.
The single best way to prevent this is to schedule a service call just before the allergy season. During these service calls, an HVAC technician can thoroughly examine your home and find any problematic areas that could be affecting the air quality.
They will also be able to help you come up with long-term solutions to prevent future issues. This includes creating a schedule to change out your air filters and tips for sealing up cracks around doors and windows. Your technician can keep you up-to-date on new technology such as UV lights that will remove up to 99 percent of all airborne allergens.
To schedule your next HVAC service in Reading, PA, please contact The Plumbing Works today at (610) 929-8860.