Most of us are aware of springtime allergies, with the biggest culprit being pollen. However, fall allergens also impact a majority of the same people. A combination of factors, including ragweed, mold, and dust mites are common causes of irritation – especially in September and October. Though we can’t control the outdoors, there are several ways you can prevent allergens from spreading in your home. Take advantage of Wyckoff’s six tips to improve your home’s indoor air quality this season.
- Keep windows closed and use your air conditioner. After a long hot summer, it’s tempting to open windows to let the cool, fall breeze in. However, along with the breeze comes exposure to outdoor allergens. The most effective way to reduce allergens in your home is to keep windows closed to prevent them from entering in the first place. Stick to central air to keep your home cool in the fall.
- Inspect and change your filter. Remember to regularly check and change air filters to prevent dirt and dust from gathering and circulating in your home. Wyckoff recommends monthly filter inspection, depending on the type of filter your HVAC system requires. If your filter is clean, but you or a loved one is still combating allergy symptoms, you may wish to convert to a high-efficiency filter. High-efficiency filters do a better job of collecting dirt, mold, and bacteria than standard filters.
- Reduce moisture with a dehumidifier. Did you know that dust mites and mold flourish in humid environments? Indoor moisture can be an issue year-round in Iowa, but particularly in the fall. You can use a dehumidifier to help reduce your indoor allergy symptoms by controlling the humidity level in your home, in turn, keeping indoor allergens at bay. Keep in mind, your home’s humidity level should remain constant between 30 and 50 percent.
- Filter allergens with an air purifier. When a basic air filter doesn’t do enough to keep your home’s air supply clean, you may wish to add an air purifier to your existing HVAC system. These devices work with your heat pump, air conditioner or furnace to remove a high percentage of particles from circulation, including microscopic pathogens. No matter if you’re concerned about bacteria or pet dander, an air purifier will take your indoor air quality to the next level.
- Consider a deep cleaning. Vacuuming, dusting and washing linens and drapes are all good ways to ward off allergens in your home and limit your allergy symptoms. Be sure to wash ragweed, pollen, dirt, and debris off your skin and hair after spending time outdoors, and avoid wearing shoes in the house. This will help to eliminate bringing in and spreading allergens unknowingly throughout your home.
- Plan preventative maintenance. It’s always easier and cheaper to keep your HVAC system functioning at maximum efficiency than it is to fix a costly repair. Keep your system running smoothly year-round by scheduling routine service visits through Wyckoff’s Peace of Mind Planned Service program. We’ll replace your air filter, check fluid level, inspect wiring and more, to ensure proper operation all year long.
For more information on indoor air quality, contact Wyckoff’s service department at (515) 287-6000.