If you show symptoms of being allergic to particles in the air, then there are steps you can take to purify the air you breathe. However, it’s not the air to which you’re allergic. You can narrow down the exact contaminants, filter them and still enjoy fresh clean air inside your home.
Common Household Irritants to Allergies
Before discussing how to keep cleaner air indoors, it helps to know what irritates your allergies. Here are some of the most common pollutants found in modern homes:
- Dust Mites – Dust mites are particularly irritating to sufferers of asthma. Commonly found in bedrooms and kitchens, they thrive on eating shed human skin cells. The weakness of dust mites is their dependence on moisture in the air. If you can reduce the relative humidity below 50 percent, then they struggle to survive and reproduce.
- Mold – Common types of fungus, called mold, grow in the presence of water. Some forms are merely irritating, while others can be fatal. You can check for it near areas where water is present. Look under sinks, behind water heaters, along pipelines, below rain gutters and inside the attic. It’s typically a very dark discoloration. Spores can become airborne and spread throughout the house through the ventilation system. If discovered, a thorough scrubbing with bleach kills most strains. Take measures to prevent water leakage in the future.
- Pet Dander – If you own pets, then pet dander is a problem. However, your home most likely has pet dander even if you don’t have pets. That’s because pet hair and fibers cling to clothes and rub off at common meeting places, like work and school. Very often, you’ll arrive home tracking in pet irritants from friends, family and coworkers. Rodents and pests can also contribute to airborne dander and bacteria. A good air filter is your best defense against most pet dander. Purchase the best filter for your system and change it at least every three months. Allergy sufferers should change filter every one or two months.
- Chemical Agents – Modern homes abound with chemicals from cleaning solvents, paint, wallpaper, synthetic fibers and more. Without adequate ventilation, chemicals can build up in the air. Not all air filters can clean out very small chemical agents. You can’t easily inspect for chemicals either. Most likely, a professional will need to bring in specific sensors to determine their presence. The solution is typically either a secondary ventilation system to bring in outside air or a high quality purifier with a strong filter.
Solving Indoor Air Quality Problems
Now that you know the most common irritants, you can take steps to keep cleaner air in your home. Beat dust mites by controlling the humidity in your home to less than 50 percent. Likewise, eliminate shelves and unnecessary surfaces from the bedroom, where dust mites are most concentrated. Inspect for water leaks to prevent moldy areas. Likewise, regularly change your air filter on heating and cooling systems to strain out pet dander. If you suspect symptoms of chemical contaminants, then call a professional at once.
Griffith Energy Services
Griffith Energy Services has been providing high-quality heating, ventilation and air conditioning services for over 100 years. We specialize in indoor air quality. If you’d like to learn more about modern technology for maintaining the freshest inside air, then give us a call today.
Written by Kevin Spain