July 12, 2022
Fall is nearly here, and with it the barrage of bright colors and cooler weather comes the watery eyes, a scratchy throat, post-nasal drip, and sneezing. These are just some of the symptoms allergy sufferers have to look forward to when fall allergy season gets in full swing. All is not lost, though. With some legwork and preparation beforehand, you can help curtail the suffering that’s in store. A primer on readying your home for fall allergy season can get you started.
Change Air Filters
Changing out the air filters on your home’s HVAC system is a necessary part of home maintenance, but it is also an essential part of preparation for allergy season. Changing your filters regularly during the year, especially during the periods of the year when allergies seem to kick into overdrive, is important. A clean air filter helps contribute to the overall air quality in your home because it traps airborne particulate matter and allergens that can lead to flare ups of your allergy symptoms.
Develop the habit of checking to see that your filters are clean, and be sure to schedule regular HVAC maintenance with Scott-Lee Heating Company so that a professional can clean your system, change your filters, and look for other areas that can be improved to make a difference in your home’s air quality.
Be a Good Housekeeper
Having clean air filters is just part of the preparation for fall allergy season. Just as you want to keep your HVAC system clean and your filters changed out regularly, you also want to be a good housekeeper. Be sure to:
Vacuuming often is important, because allergens can be found on nearly all of your furniture. Choose a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, if possible. Vacuuming at least twice weekly (if not more often) is a smart move to help keep allergens down. If you have pets, daily vacuuming is ideal.
Dust with a damp cloth to avoid spreading allergens around with other methods. This will cut down on allergy symptoms overall.
Clean Your Shower Curtain Often
Pay particular attention to the shower curtain’s lower edge, since this is an ideal spot for mold to take a foothold.
Consider Professional Carpet Cleaning
If you’re a seasonal allergy sufferer, think about getting your carpets and any rugs in the home professionally cleaned at least three times a year. This can remove any allergens as well as soil and bacteria.
Put Out the Welcome Mat
Some of the pollen and other allergens floating around outside ride into the home on your family’s shoes and jackets. Designate a place inside for shoes and jackets to be removed as people enter the home, which will have the effect of avoiding the pollen that is clinging to their clothing and shoes.
You’ll also want to make sure that your bedding and linens are laundered regularly. Microscopic allergens can take a foothold in your bed linens, and This is why the importance of washing your bedding regularly cannot be overemphasized. If you are an allergy sufferer, be sure that your bidding is laundered at least once a week or more often if you’re experiencing a flare.
Humidity in the air inside your home can worsen your allergies. With your home is humid, the air inside is more apt to cause allergy symptoms. For this reason, dehumidification of the home is important. Humid conditions allow things like mold and other harmful allergens to thrive. For most people, a humidity level of 50% or less can be useful in fighting allergy symptoms.
Purchase an inexpensive hygrometer to measure the level of humidity in your home. Consider purchasing a standalone home dehumidifier or talk to our HVAC specialists at Scott-Lee Heating Company about whole-home dehumidification. If you are looking at heat pump replacement, some units also offer dehumidification.
Even though the fall of the year brings with it cooler weather, it’s still important to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. Warm weather may still persist well into fall in many areas of the country, and these hot and humid conditions and the continued elevated temperatures provide an ideal environment for mold and dust mites to grow and thrive. For most allergy sufferers, temperatures between 67 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal and can help with reducing allergic symptoms.
Keep a Check on Pollen Levels
Fall allergies are a common contributor to allergy symptoms such as headaches, coughing, and nasal congestion. Because of this, you should always keep a check on the local pollen levels in your area. Several online resources are available to help you gauge the level of pollen outside each day. Make use of these resources so that you’ll know when you should stay home or indoors as much as possible in order to decrease the amount of exposure that you have to the allergens and pollen that cause your symptoms.
Choose Heating Wisely
The way you heat your home during the cold parts of the year can actually worsen your allergy symptoms. Fireplaces in particular are not a good idea for people who suffer from allergies, because some types of gases and the smoke that they admit can make respiratory allergies even worse. If you are using a fireplace, make sure to choose a non-wood burning fireplace such as a gas or even an electric model.
Consider Air Purification
Choosing an air purifier for your home, or even a whole home air purification system, is a smart move for allergy sufferers. Most air purification equipment comes with HEPA filters that can remove as much as 99% of all airborne based allergens, such as pet dander, dust, pollen, and mold spores. If you suffer from allergies on a constant or regular basis, it is an excellent idea to have an air purifier at least in your bedroom, and if possible, throughout the entire home. Talk to our HVAC technicians at Scott-Lee Heating Company about air purification systems and discover the best solution for your home
With the arrival of fall, no doubt you will have various tasks that will need to be performed outdoors. Anywhere that moisture collects, mold spores and other allergens can form. This includes gutters, piles of autumn leaves, compost piles, and mulch. Be sure to rake leaves and dispose of them properly or add them to a compost pile. Any compost pile, pile of yard waste, or mulch should be kept a good distance from your home. When you are outside working in the yard, be sure to wear an appropriate mask to avoid the inhalation of mold spores and other allergens.
Preparing for Fall Allergens is a Breeze!
As you can see, there are a few ways that you can prepare your home for the fall allergy season ahead. A change in the season means a change in the conditions for your allergy triggers. Because of this, it’s vital that you are aware of what triggers you, whether that’s mold, dust mites, or even the lingering warm temperatures when it’s not yet cold enough to turn on the furnace but it’s not hot enough to turn on the AC. With a little forethought and preparation, though, you can reduce your allergy reactions so that you can enjoy the beautiful fall ahead to the fullest.