Ah, Spring: Flowers in bloom, birds on the wing, fun in the sun—and itchy eyes, runny noses, sneezing, coughing, hives, wheezing, fatigue and difficulty breathing for the more than 60 million Americans the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America say suffer from asthma or allergies. But there can be a solution.
Even the cleanest home can harbor all sorts of indoor allergens. Unseen contaminants and air pollutants including dirt, dust, pet dander, cigarette smoke, mold, mildew and chemicals. They get pulled into your home’s HVAC system and recirculated throughout the house several times a day.
A few simple steps can reduce and remove allergens.
• Pet dander: Regularly steam clean your furniture, carpets, and window coverings. De-cluttering gives dander fewer places to hide. And regularly bathing your dog or cat sends excess dander down the drain.
• Mold and mildew: Use mold inhibitors in your paints, clean your bathroom and kitchen with mold-busting products and use a dehumidifier or air purifier.
• Air system filtration: Change air filters monthly. Consider HEPA filters, designed to catch the tiniest particles of pollutants.
• Schedule a professional air duct cleaning: A good way to be sure you’ll get the job done right is to hire a National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) member through the online directory at www.nadca.com/en/prosearch/all.
NADCA members have technicians on staff with advanced training and certification in HVAC system cleaning.
What To Do
Fortunately, five simple steps can improve your indoor air:
- Change air filters monthly. They trap pollutants such as pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke.
- Dust with a damp microfiber cloth and vacuum regularly.
- Increase ventilation. Weather permitting, open a window to let fresh air in and stale air out.
- Get a humidifier. Winter air can be very dry and that can be uncomfortable. Humidifiers increase moisture in the air and reduce static electricity.
- Schedule air duct cleaning. Contaminants get pulled into the HVAC system where they can be a problem for people with respiratory conditions, auto-immune disorders, asthma or allergies. In addition, those contaminants cause the system to work harder, which shortens the life of your furnace and air conditioner and raises your electric bills. When you’re ready to tackle those air ducts, choose a qualified contractor to ensure the job is done right.
- Learn More
For further facts and tips, go to www.BreathingClean.com.