The air system experts at Houston-based Richmond’s Air discuss five straightforward ways to reduce or eliminate indoor allergens
Environmental allergies affect somewhere between 10-30% of the world’s population, according to the leading group of America’s allergy doctors. With this number on the rise, it’s no surprise that people are always looking for ways to improve their indoor air quality. Many of the best ways to control the indoor allergens in your home involve your climate control system.
Here are five methods you can use to lower indoor allergens in your home:
- Improve Your Air Filter: As your air conditioner runs, it purifies your home’s air by circulating it through an air filter. If you buy the most basic filter you can find at the store, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to maximize the purifying effect of a system you already have. Look for filters with a higher MERV value that are rated for picking up allergens. If you’re considered a HEPA filter, know that these filters can clog easier, negatively affecting your AC’s efficiency and functioning. Buying a MERV filter between 8 and 10 and changing it every month works pretty well.Learn more about changing your air filter.
- Consider an Air Purifier: If your central air’s purifying abilities just aren’t cutting it, an air purifier can help remove the remaining allergens. Room and whole house models are available. Before you invest in an air purifier, make sure that you have done your best to limit allergens in the home in the first place.
- Manage Indoor Humidity: Managing humidity in your home has a big effect on the levels of indoor allergens. Dust mites, molds and mildews thrive when humidity levels are high. Central air can help dehumidify the air, but it may not be enough—particularly during times of the year when you’re not running the air or heat. Room or whole house dehumidifiers can help, as can ensuring that you have properly functioning vent fans in high humidity areas such as bathrooms and the kitchen.
- Perform Energy Upgrades: It may seem unrelated, but some home improvement projects that are usually seen as “energy upgrades” are also a really great way to limit the number of allergens in your living space. For instance, if your home has leaky ductwork, it is likely pulling allergens into your central air system from your attic, basement or crawl space, and distributing them across your home! Sealing ductwork is a generally inexpensive upgrade with big payoffs in your air quality and the energy bill. Likewise, a properly sealed attic helps limit your home’s intake of outdoor pollutants and allergens.
- Implement Lifestyle Changes: Changes to the way you operate are usually the cheapest way to improve your air quality, but also often the hardest to implement. Simple acts like removing your shoes upon entry can help limit the amount of allergens you track into the home. Changing your clothes and showering can be particularly helpful if you’ve been outside on high pollen count days. Also, grooming indoor pets regularly and eliminating indoor smoking are big ways to clean up the air quality in your home.
When it comes to improving your indoor air quality, the licensed AC contractors at Richmond’s Air are here to help residents of Houston, Katy, Bellaire, and Spring find practical and lasting solutions that fit their budget.
Contact us today to discuss ways we can help improve your air quality, including AC filter maintenance and whole house dehumidifiers.