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This dirty bathroom fan is coated with dust, which might be a sign of poor indoor air quality.

If you’re experiencing allergy symptoms indoors, it could be your indoor air quality.

Your life is busy. With everything going on, indoor air quality is probably low on your list of priorities—if it even made the list at all. Yet, for homeowners who are struggling with allergy symptoms that just won’t go away, it might be time to reconsider the relative importance of your home’s indoor air quality. In this article, we’ll review how indoor air quality (or “IAQ”) and allergies are linked, as well as what you can do to improve the situation.

When you’re ready to get started on the path to better indoor air, call our team. We’re your indoor air quality specialists here in Hamburg and Western New York. Our IAQ team helps local homeowners eliminate air quality problems at the source and—with whole-home air filters and purification systems—helps homes breathe easier.

Does indoor air quality trigger allergies?

Here’s what you should know.

Yes. In fact, indoor air quality is often a more significant factor in seasonal allergies than even outdoor air quality. After all, you spend a vast majority of your time indoors, whether you’re at the office, spending time at home, or sleeping at home. If you’re breathing in allergens throughout that period of time, you’re going to have indoor allergies.

Generally speaking, children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health or breathing conditions—such as asthma—are most susceptible.

What are some common allergens found inside?

Here are the most common allergens:

Dust mites

As their name suggests, microscopic dust mites live in the dust found on furniture, in carpets, and on bedding. Dust mites are a common allergy trigger for most people.

Pets

We love our pets. While your companion may be good for your health overall, their dander and fur can trigger allergies. Most pet owners can get by with some regular cleaning and air filtration.

Cockroaches

As if roaches aren’t disgusting enough, their bodies and droppings are a potent allergy trigger. If you’ve ruled out other allergy-triggers, it’s a good idea to call a pest professional.

Mold

We all know mold can make us sick. Its spores, when inhaled into your lungs, trigger an allergic reaction. You’ll want to invest in air filtration and purification.

What else might be in my home’s air?

While the four allergens listed above constitute the most common triggers for allergy symptoms, there are many other potential causes of allergies in the home. Here are just a few you should be aware of:

Asbestos: Once used as fireproofing in older homes and furniture, we now know asbestos is an allergy trigger and is linked to a number of long-term health problems, including lung cancer.

Volatile Organic Compounds: Ubiquitous around the home, VOCs are nonetheless a major source of allergy suffering. VOCs include everything from dust-cleaning aerosols to the paint stain used on your furniture.

Pesticides: Any pesticides or termiticides uses inside or around the home could potentially get into your home’s air, triggering an allergic reaction.

Radon: A naturally occurring gas. Like carbon monoxide, it cannot be seen or smelt. Radon is radioactive, and is actually the result of radioactive decay deep within the earth. Prolonged exposure to radon gas can cause a number of health problems. Hamburg and Western New York are within the EPA’s Zone 1 for high radon levels.

As with naturally occurring allergens, any pollutants outside can also become trapped in your home’s air. This includes car exhaust, commercial pesticides, and ozone. In concentrated amounts, any of these outdoor air pollutants can trigger an allergic reaction.

What can I do to reduce my allergy symptoms?

Ok, so you’ve decided to do something about your indoor allergy symptoms. Good call! Now, it’s time to make another one: call an IAQ expert in your area. An IAQ specialist will need to start with an indoor air quality test. This is a scientific and objective sampling of your home’s air to determine what it contains. This helps the IAQ specialist decide where to start, and helps to rule out possible—but less common—problems such as radon gas, asbestos, or mold problems.

With a completed IAQ test in hand, your IAQ expert will recommend where to go next. Typically, one of the most effective solutions is to install a whole-home air purification and filtration system. These systems use a physical filter to capture particulate matter—pollen, dust, and pet dander—paired with a UV light filter that kills viruses, bacteria, and mold that pass through it. In combination, these home filter systems can be a highly effective means of improving the air you breathe.


Created by Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC