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It’s allergy season in Manassas, Virginia, which has many residents avoiding the outdoors and stocking up on antihistamines. Unfortunately, unexpected allergy triggers lurk everywhere, including inside your home. Here are a few you need to be on the lookout for.

Indoor Pollution

Shutting yourself inside your home may seem like a good idea when the pollen count is high, but you could be doing your body more harm than good. Studies have consistently shown that indoor air pollution is greater than outdoor pollution because it’s more concentrated. Consider major sources of indoor air pollution and tackle each problem one at a time.

For example, ductwork harbors many allergens because dust, dirt, and other debris build up over time. If it’s been a while since your last duct cleaning, now is a good time to schedule one. A regular duct cleaning can help keep indoor allergens in check, boosting your home’s overall indoor air quality.

Vacuum Cleaners

Running a vacuum regularly can help filter out allergens such as dust and pet hair. But all that debris has to go somewhere, and it often ends up coming out of the vacuum’s exhaust. In fact, using a low-efficiency vacuum can make allergens worse because it acts as a dispersal device, picking up allergens and recirculating them throughout the home.

If you have an outdated vacuum, it’s time for an upgrade. Choose one equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter designed to catch the finest particles and trap them inside. You can then empty the vacuum as needed, completely removing allergens from the home. Once you have a high-efficiency vacuum, use it once or twice per week to keep allergens at bay.

Humidity

Most people don’t think of humidity as being an allergy trigger, but moisture is essential for biological growth and dust mite growth, which are allergy triggers. In fact, you should keep your home’s humidity levels between 20 and 40 percent if you have allergies. Just don’t keep your home too dry, as doing so can dry out the nasal passages, causing the sinuses to become inflamed and stuffy.

If you suffer from chronic allergies, consider adding a whole-home dehumidifier to your existing HVAC system. This device allows you to control your home’s humidity levels with ease, no matter the season.

Pets

Pet dander is a common allergy trigger, but pets harbor more than just dander. After coming in from their daily walk, your pets bring in biological growth, pollen, dirt, and other outdoor allergens. They also shed this time of year, so you probably have pet hair accumulating on your furniture, carpets, and corners of the home.

In addition to vacuuming regularly, you should also bathe pets frequently during allergy season. Keeping them indoors will also help reduce the number of outdoor allergens that find their way inside.

Cleaning Products

Common household cleaners are a major trigger for people with allergies. Commercial cleaners contain highly concentrated chemicals that aggravate the eyes and respiratory system, so you always want to have good ventilation when using them. When cleaning, open a window, turn on the ceiling fans, and run an exhaust fan.

Alternatively, switching to organic cleaners can help reduce the number of allergy triggers you bring into the home. Just be sure to read the labels carefully.

Overwatered Houseplants

Did you know that overwatering your indoor plants can result in biological growth? It’s true. Harmful or unpleasant biological agents can grow in the soil, releasing spores into the surrounding air and resulting in allergy symptoms.

Research your plant varieties to determine exactly how much water each one needs. If you’re not sure whether you’re overwatering, try using a dripper-style, self-watering system that releases water into the soil only when it’s dry. You can also grow plants known to clean the air, such as spider plants, dracaena, ficus, ferns, and snake plants.

Don’t suffer from indoor allergy triggers all season long. Call Griffith Energy Services at 888-474-3391 to discuss your options. Our friendly technicians can recommend indoor air quality products to boost your IAQ and help your family breathe easier.

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