Do you find yourself sneezing a lot when you're at home? Maybe your eyes get itchy and red, or you find your nose gets stuffed up. Chances are good that your indoor air is riddled with allergens like dust and pollen. Follow these quick tips to reduce the amount of allergens in your indoor air.
Change your furnace filter.
Despite contractors' recommendations to change furnace filters monthly, many people forget to do this and end up with old, clogged filters that are no longer removing the dust, pet dander, and pollen from the air. Keep a stack of filters on hand, and put a reminder in your phone to change yours on the same day each month.
Vacuum out your cold air returns and vents.
You can't clean your whole duct system yourself, but vacuuming out your cold air returns and vents is a good start. Any dust you vacuum up is dust that could have otherwise ended up in your air. Use the wand attachment on your vacuum for best results.
Leave shoes outside.
This tip is especially valuable during pollen season. Instead of tracking pollen indoors on your shoes, take them off before you enter your home.
Dust first, vacuum second.
When you clean your home, make sure you're dusting off your furniture and décor first, and then vacuuming the floors. If you vacuum first, any dust that you brush off your furniture will fall onto the carpet and may become airborne when you walk across it. Vacuuming after dusting removes it.
Keep your humidity levels in check.
A humid home is often an allergen-ridden home. High humidity promotes mold growth, and even a small amount of mold can release enough spores to cause symptoms. An HVAC professional can test your home humidity, and if it is above the recommended 50%, he or she can recommend a dehumidifier to correct the problem.
Keep your windows closed.
It may be tempting to open your windows on a nice day, but this is a bad idea if you've been struggling with allergies indoors. Opening the windows lets in pollen, and it can also increase your home's humidity, promoting mold growth. Rely on your heating and cooling system to keep your home's temperature comfortable.
With the tips above, you should be able to keep indoor allergens under control. If you continue to experience allergy symptoms in spite of following these tips, you may want to have your ducts professionally cleaned by a company like Reed Heating to ensure they're not spreading mold spores or other debris around your home.