Allergies and asthma can wreak havoc on a family. Whether you’re in the doctor’s office for a flare-up or just miserable in your home, you may feel that there’s nothing you can do. However, there’s hope out there. There are several steps you can take to reduce the flare-ups and issues you deal with daily due to pollen, pet dander, mold or dust particles. Below is our list of 5 Ways to Reduce Allergens in the Home. You may want to consider trying these suggestions when finding relief from allergy-related breathing issues.
1. Install Quality Air Filters and Dampers
The first line of defense for your home is the air filter in your furnace. Everything you breathe goes through the filter. That’s why it’s critical that the type of filter you use is one made to get the most particles out of the air. The right air filter and heavy-duty dampers can help you to remove allergens that would normally come back through your air filtration. For instance, every day you have pollen, dust, and possibly pet dander floating around your home. When the air is pulled through your HVAC system, it is either filtered out or blown right back into the home itself. Using quality air filters ensures you remove as much of the allergens as possible before breathing it in.
2. Double Check Weather Stripping
Particles from outside can float into your home through cracks in your doors and windows. No matter how much you may try to keep pollen and allergens out, they are going to come in if your home has not had the proper weather sealing installed. It’s important that you double check each season around your doors and windows and repair any cracks you may find. Adding new stripping around windows also gives you better efficiency with heating and cooling the home. Sealing windows is also highly recommended to help with winterizing your home. There’s also other ways to get your home ready for winter.
3. Check the Seals on Duct Work
When was the last time you checked your ductwork? It’s probably time to do so. Making sure that your ductwork is sealed throughout your HVAC system helps to prevent allergens from coming in through cracks. Just as you must seal your doors and windows, the ducts in your home should be checked on a regular basis. Sealing these areas allows you to reduce the pollen, dirt, mold, dust and other irritants from seeping into your air supply.
4. Install an Air Barrier
Another way to reduce allergens in your home is to install a home air barrier. This is simply a barrier of material around your home that reduces or restricts the airflow from outside coming into your home. It will also help to reduce moisture from coming in.. Moisture can be a huge problem as it is a breeding ground for mold or mildew. These are both huge irritants for most people when it comes to breathing issues. An air barrier also provides other benefits such as moving heat to cooler spots of the home which will assist with efficiently heating and cooling a home.
5. Install an Air Purifier
While your filter can only do so much, an air purifier helps to take it to the next level. Installing an air purifier in your home can help to reduce even more allergens for those who are struggling with asthma and allergies. This is on top of your high-quality air filter that you already installed. It’s a great way to make the air cleaner and easier to breathe.
The above 5 steps to help reduce allergens are just the beginning to make your home’s indoor environment more clean and livable for allergy sufferers. There are also positive ways you can help with the outdoor environment, such as with sustainable living. For example, when you optimize your HVAC system with the addition of solar panels, you also gain the benefits of net-zero construction with sustainable energy sources. It’s not just about breathing more comfortably in your home; it’s also about making sure your home is sustainable for the long haul.
Did we leave out other ways to reduce allergens in the home? Do you have a favorite tip you’d like to share? If so, please leave us a comment below. Also, remember to reach out to Ivey Engineering the next time your need an HVAC expert!
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Construction and Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency and increase property value.