We look forward to the spring season after a long fall and winter. We enjoy shedding the layers of clothing that kept us cozy for months on end and rejoice at the sight of spring flowers that promise warmer days. But spring also brings on itchy, watery eyes and a runny or stuffy nose, making the season less of a delight for anyone with allergies. While tree pollen is a major culprit that affects outdoor air quality, there are also other allergens (both inside and outside) that affect your well-being.
Tree pollen is a major allergen that affects Albertans during the spring. Pollen from weeds and grass also poses a hazard. During this time of year, there are several things you can do to limit your exposure to pollen from outdoor plants.
- Avoid staying outdoors for long periods when the pollen count is high.
- Remove outerwear, such as coats and shoes, before going back inside the house.
- Pass grass-cutting duties to someone else, as grass is a common allergen.
- Don’t hang your clothes on a clothesline. Pollen easily settles on clothing which causes problems for sufferers when brought into the house.
You’ve been indoors all fall and winter with the windows closed and the furnace on. Imagine how this might affect your indoor air quality.
It might be surprising to learn that house dust is made of a mixture of pollen, bacteria, dirt, pollution, hair, dust mites and tiny fragments of human skin cells. If you have house pets such as dogs or cats, you can add dander to the list of allergens that can affect your health.
With the windows closed to keep the cold air out, your indoor air is a constant cycle of these allergens and polluted air in your HVAC system. While a furnace filter can help to restrict some of the allergens that enter the system, it doesn’t keep everything out. As these allergens pass through your home, they eventually start to settle in your duct system and are recirculated time and time again. This recirculated air is a major source of allergens that affect your indoor air quality and exacerbate allergy symptoms.
Solutions to Alleviate or Minimize Your Allergies
1. Make Sure You Have a Clean Furnace Filter
A good air filter will help to trap some allergens, so they don’t recirculate through the system. There are several types of filters to choose from:
- A washable furnace filter
- A disposable air filter
- An electrostatic filter
When was the last time you changed or cleaned your air filter? While an air filter will help to improve air quality, a dirty air filter will reduce the efficiency of your furnace, so locate your furnace filter, remove your filter and either clean or replace it regularly.
2. Clean Your Ducts
While furnace cleaning is recommended to maintain efficiency and improve the life of your furnace, duct cleaning is also important. Dust and debris tend to settle within the ducts over winter. This causes several problems:
- Interferes with airflow causing your HVAC system to work harder
- Affects air quality by recirculating built-up dust through the vents and into the home
- Causes odours due to mould and mildew accumulating in the ducts
Cleaning your dirty ducts every one to two years can make a significant difference for allergy sufferers. While your having your air ducts cleaned, you can also request to have dryer vent cleaning completed to remove even more chances of dust particles in your air system.
3. Don’t Open the Windows
Opening your windows to allow fresh air to flow inside often seems like a good idea. Unfortunately, opening your windows allows tree and grass pollen to enter your home. If you do suffer from allergies, this is not the best idea.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you might want to consider air conditioning as a safer alternative to cooling down your home. With some types of tree pollen circulating through to the summer, air conditioning might be the only way to remain cool while keeping your allergy symptoms in check.
Your Edmonton Air Duct Cleaning Specialists
At Clean Air Solutions, we’ve got your heating and cooling needs covered. We provide a professional duct cleaning service that will keep your HVAC unit running efficiently and limit allergens in your home. Call to book your appointment today.