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Chilly winter weather in Columbia, Maryland, can bring a host of uncomfortable symptoms, ranging from dry skin to stuffy noses. If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s easy to blame a string of colds, but the answer could be a bit closer to home. Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) and troublesome allergens in the air could have you and your family suffering from winter allergies. It’s important to distinguish between allergies and a cold so you can take the appropriate actions to get well.

Winter Allergy Symptoms

Winter allergy symptoms are very similar to the signs of a cold or flu and include coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, a runny nose, and itchy eyes and nose. These symptoms might linger weeks or even months. An allergist can help you diagnose specific allergies, and your doctor can often prescribe an allergy medication that will resolve many of these issues.

Cold Symptoms

While many cold symptoms are similar to those of allergies, there are a few distinguishing factors. If you’re experiencing aches and pains or a fever, you probably have a cold, which should clear up in about 10 days. If you’re not feeling better after this point, you should begin investigating possible allergens in the home.

What to Do

If you suspect you or your children are suffering from winter allergies, take action to improve the IAQ in your home. Keep the humidity below 40 percent to reduce dust mites and discourage mold and mildew growth. Wash all bedding in hot water once a week to kill lingering dust mites. Seal pillows and mattresses in allergy-proof casings to keep dust mites inside.

Vacuum and change your furnace filter regularly to minimize other allergens throughout the house. Though most residential HVAC systems aren’t equipped to work with an HEPA filter, you can purchase a vacuum with a highly efficient HEPA filter to capture even the smallest of pollutants as you clean.

If you’re looking for smart ways to improve indoor air quality and reduce allergy symptoms, contact Griffith Energy Services at 888-474-3391. We’ll help you find the right products for your home.

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