May 16, 2024
Top Ways to Reduce Spring Allergens in Your Home

Spring in Amherst, NY, can be beautiful. During these early months of gradually warming weather, we all head outside after a long and grueling winter being stuck indoors. Unfortunately, springtime also brings about a lot of pollen. If you’re susceptible to allergy symptoms like itchy eyes and a runny nose, you might head indoors for relief.

Unfortunately, a lot of people experience poor indoor air quality that can be just as bad for allergy sufferers, if not worse, as the great outdoors. You don’t need to be one of them: You can reduce spring allergens in your home and enjoy refuge from high pollen counts outside and fewer allergy symptoms inside.

Controlling Humidity

Your home’s humidity levels can make a big difference in how you feel throughout allergy season in Amherst. Humidity should be kept at a level between 30% and 50% for optimal comfort, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Humidity commonly rises in the home during the spring, as rain showers are more common in April and May in Buffalo. Humid air can hold on to more allergens and particulates, and it can make your indoor air feel uncomfortable.

You can control humidity in the home using a whole-house dehumidifier. This dehumidifier will run as needed to remove moisture from the air. You can control the humidity level settings, and the water that is removed will be moved out of the home by way of a drain line. You won’t have to worry about emptying a collection bucket, such as with a portable unit.

Some homes may feel uncomfortably dry during the spring months, depending on how tight your home’s envelope is and the quality of your indoor air. You can use a whole-house humidifier to bring moisture levels back up to the desired level. If your sinuses are dry, they’re likely to feel worse if you’re experiencing springtime allergies.

Regular HVAC Maintenance

Spring is the perfect time of year to have an HVAC technician come out to your home to perform routine maintenance on your heating and cooling equipment. This process will ensure that everything is running efficiently, so you can maintain a healthy level of indoor air quality throughout allergy season.

The process of HVAC maintenance will include cleaning the interior components of your system to remove particulates that have built up over time, changing your filters, inspecting ductwork, recharging refrigerant if necessary, and ensuring all electrical connections are intact. You must be able to rely on your heating and cooling equipment to run during the spring months to keep your indoor air healthy and clean.

Air Filtration

A lot of homes use air purification devices that can be moved from one room to another. While portable units are convenient, they don’t cover all the square footage in your home. You have the option to have a whole-home purifier installed as part of your HVAC system. This equipment runs regardless of whether you’re using your heat at night or air conditioning during the day. By removing as much as 99.9% of the particulates in your indoor air, you can reduce allergies, asthma, and upper respiratory symptoms.

There are different air purifiers available. They can include using:

HEPA Filters

HEPA filters, or high-efficiency particulate air filters, are designed to trap extremely small particles. This includes things like pet dander, smoke, pollen, dust, and dust mites. These filters must be removed and replaced periodically, but they do an excellent job of reducing springtime allergens.

Electrostatic Purification

Many air purification systems utilize electrostatic technology to effectively trap allergens and other particulates. Electronically charged plates inside the unit will attract allergens that become oppositely charged when they pass through your purifier. There aren’t any filters to replace, but you will have to clean the collection plates every so often.

Standard Media Filters

Like the filter used in your furnace, media filters add more filtration to your HVAC system by way of air filtration devices. By using a longer series of filters, you’ll be able to catch all kinds of allergens before conditioned air is circulated back into your home.

Air Duct Cleaning

You should have your air ducts cleaned every few years. It’s not something that necessarily has to be done annually as part of routine maintenance, but dust and debris accumulate in this system over time. When you have a buildup of pollen, pet dander, dust, and mold spores in your ducts, these particulates will inevitably pass back into your indoor air as your heating and cooling equipment runs. In the springtime, you’ll likely be using your air conditioning a bit more during the day. The evenings in Amherst get very cool, so the heat may be turned back on to keep your home warm at night. You want to ensure that the air coming out of your ducts is clean and free of allergens.

An HVAC professional can use a few different methods to clean your ducts. Most commonly, each register will be removed and suctioned with a commercially powered vacuum system. This effectively removes most of the contaminants in your ductwork. Not only will your home experience fewer allergens in the air that’s circulating, but you may also find that your home smells fresher as well.

An air duct cleaning allows a professional to inspect your ducts for any signs of damage or wear. If air from outside the ducts sneaks in through gaps or cracks, this can negatively impact your indoor air quality. Repairs can be made, or sections of ductwork can be replaced to provide a more airtight seal.

Proper Ventilation

A steady flow of air circulation occurring throughout the day is critical for comfort and good health. You must be removing particulates from the air, in addition to things like volatile organic compounds. You might be tempted to keep all of your windows and doors closed during allergy season, but opening them up for at least 15 minutes or so during the day will allow for ample air exchange. The best time of the day to do this is early in the morning or late at night when the pollen levels are low. Ventilation systems are also a beneficial investment that can help with the exchange and purification of your indoor air.

If you would like to learn more about the various ways that you can improve the indoor air quality of your Amherst home, reach out to the team at Heatwave Heating & Cooling. We would be happy to perform an indoor air quality assessment, making recommendations for how you can reduce indoor contaminants. We offer the installation of air purification systems, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, new heating and cooling equipment, and much more. We can also take care of emergency repairs and routine maintenance.

Contact Heatwave Heating & Cooling to schedule an appointment today for AC maintenance and indoor air quality.

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