Here in Saraland, Alabama, we have a number of allergy-inducing plants and trees that cause discomfort for many people. If you’re suffering from allergy symptoms, you may find that a lot of these issues start in your home. Constant exposure to air that is of poor quality or that contains allergens will create respiratory problems — even for those without a history of allergic reactions. It is important, therefore to heed tips that can help you to make your home allergen free.

Keep Your Air Filters Clean

The air filters in your heating and cooling system play a major role in keeping the air clean. If you always choose the cheapest option, you may find that there are a number of allergens getting through them and into the system. Invest in filters that are higher quality, and look at the allergen rating before you buy.

If anyone in your home suffers from allergies or has respiratory conditions like asthma, it’s worth it to buy the options that have high ratings. If you’re using washable filters, you may want to switch to the disposable version. If you don’t clean and dry washable filters properly, you could actually be contributing to the indoor air quality problem.

Keep Your Home Clean

Regular vacuuming and dusting will help remove dirt, dust, pet dander and hair from the home. Regular cleaning will reduce the amount of pollutants that get trapped in your HVAC system. If you use an older vacuum, consider upgrading to one that includes a HEPA filter. This type of filter can trap tiny particles as small as 0.3 microns, so it will help to capture most of the allergy-causing dirt and debris.

When you dust, use a damp or microfiber cloth that attracts dust instead of move it around or send it back into the air. If you suffer from allergies, wear a dust mask to keep yourself from inadvertently inhaling particles while you clean.

Bathe and Brush Your Pets

For many people, having pets in the home is a part of life that they aren’t willing to sacrifice. Keep your furry friends out of your bedroom as much as possible. When you allow pets in your bed, they leave behind dander and hair that can irritate your allergies. Regular bathing and brushing can also reduce dander, and it comes with the added benefit of a fresh-smelling dog or cat.

Think About Upgrades

If you have wall-to-wall carpeting in much of your home, you may want to consider upgrading the flooring. Carpet fibers trap allergens then release them as you walk across the floor. Options like hardwood, tile, laminate and stone will eliminate this issue. You may also find that upgraded flooring increases your property value, so it’s a win-win.

Drapes and other fabric window treatments also harbor dust, dirt, dander and other particles that cause allergies to flare up. Blinds and shades are a better option. But if you can’t part with your drapes or curtains, be sure to launder them regularly. You can also use a brush attachment to vacuum them weekly to get rid of dust.

Look Into an Air Purifier

An air purifier is also a great addition to your home if you’re constantly dealing with allergies. An air purifier won’t replace the other tips on this list, but it can complement your cleaning habits for improved air quality. Purifiers also work well for reducing pollen, a common allergen that affects those living in and around Saraland in the springtime.

Get the Ducts Cleaned

Keeping your home as clean as possible will help you to reduce allergens. But one area that many homeowners overlook is cleaning out the ducts. When you run your heating or air conditioning system, the air moves through the ducts multiple times. If those ducts are full of dirt, dust, pet dander and other contaminants, the air coming through the vents will be of poor quality. This won’t necessarily cause issues for everyone in your home, but it does increase allergy symptoms like coughing, sore throats, congestion and headaches.

If you’d like more information about air duct cleaning or other tips for improving air quality, contact your HVAC team at Air Specialty by calling 251-545-3337.

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